Pre-colonial Walnut St
In our region, the Wampanoag, “the people of the first light,” were the native inhabitants of the land. Osamequin (or Ousamequin, or 8sâmeeqan) is the name of the intertribal chief of the Wampanoag Nation at the time when the Pilgrims first arrived in Massachusetts, in 1620. To quote Ramona Peters, a member of and historian for the Wampanoag tribe, “In the 17th century, when the Wampanoag first encountered the early settlers, 8sâmeeqan had a vision of how we could all live together. There was 50 years of peace between the English and Wampanoag until he died in 1665. That was 10 years before the King’s Phillips War, which changed the whole course of history in this country.” (See this article for more text). Osamequin signed the first peace treaty between the native people and the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony, in 1621.
The journey of educating ourselves about the indigenous history of the land where we live and work is an important and lengthy one - more detail to come as we learn!
The Carpenter family
The Carpenter family were the stewards of the land from the early 1700s until the 1930s. The earliest Carpenter immigrants were notably among the founders of the town of Rehoboth in 1644. The house at 80 Walnut St, known as the Carpenter Homestead and originally constructed in 1720, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 and is one of the oldest homes in Seekonk.
20th century Osamequin
The Jencks family have been the stewards of Osamequin Farm since 1939. In 1985, the beloved Pick Your Own blueberry field was planted, and it remains a feature of the farm today! Responsible, organic land care practices have been utilized on the property for decades. The land, which totals more than 350 contiguous acres in Seekonk and Rehoboth, is conserved and therefore will remain forever as it is today - a combination of wild nature and agricultural activities.
Present day Osamequin Farm - Our Mission
Osamequin Farm’s mission is to serve as a community hub centered around sustainable agriculture, keeping in balance our concurrent goals of education, community engagement, and sustainable farming. We offer favorable land leases to young, beginning, and marginalized farmers, including access to shared infrastructure and cooperative marketing structures. We encourage and foster collaboration and cooperation among our farmers and throughout the farming community in southeastern New England. We invite in our local community for educational events and shared enjoyment of the natural landscape through community gatherings. We strive to offer educational opportunities for both children and adults. We are careful to be mindful of our historical context, and to be a welcoming space for all people regardless of race, religion, or socio-economic status. We respect the sanctity of the land as it has been maintained for centuries, and believe that the authenticity of the landscape should endure throughout the evolution of Osamequin Farm’s projects. Sustainability is of the utmost importance to our mission. All is cared for in the spirit of holistic management, keeping in mind the interconnected health of soil, crops, forests, livestock, pollinators, consumers, farmers, and community.
Our logo is a representation of the view of the marsh from the bridge over Walnut Street, which in pre-colonial times was known as the long dam. The Wampanoag people created the dam to control the waters of the Runnins River that still flow through the farm and create a vast marsh.
Later inhabitants added the stone wall, and then the paved street that we use as the farm driveway today.
The image also includes goldenrod and joe-pye weed, which grow wild and abundantly along this marsh and others on the property, and throughout the northeast. These two plants are often seen growing together, and they are beloved by pollinators and floral designers alike.
Our hope is that the logo we use today brings together the many stories at play at Osamequin Farm - the first peoples’ footprint on the land, the colonial era modifications, and the symbiotic relationship between the farmers and the native landscape.