By Marguerite Krupp, Originally published in the 1972 Norwood Centennial Magazine
The Indians who lived near the Great Blue Hill often came here to hunt in the fields and fish in the clear stream of the Neponset River. When the colonists from Dedham Village began to settle here, they, too, found good hunting.
In 1600, European settlers had bought a vast amount of land from the Indian Sachem Chickalawbut. This purchase extended as far south as the Rhode Island border. Over the years, sixteen separate towns have been carved out of this area.
The Indians and the settlers lived fairly peacefully at first, but in June of 1675, the news reached Boston that two men had been found scalped in the road near Swansea.
Blaming the Indian renegade leader King Philip and his warriors, the Colonists sent a hundred-foot soldiers and a troop of horsemen down the Country Road after the Indians.
This was the beginning of the last Indian uprising in New England, the terrible and bloody conflict known as King Philips War.
On the evening of Juno 26. 1675, the Colonial troops approached King’s Bridge, where Pleasant Street now crosses the Neponset River. There the march halted, for an eclipse of the moon so upset the men that they refused to go any further, thinking it a bad omen for the expedition.
In the shadows on the moon, some saw an Indian bow, while to others it seemed a dark and bloody scalp. Not until the eclipse ended and the shadows passed was the march resumed southward.
After the Indian Wars, the citizens of Dedham Village had adopted “Contentment” as their town motto, but discontent mote often seemed to be the rule. The arguments that arose were settled in the town council. Sometimes these meetings were held at six o’clock in the morning .so they wouldn’t interfere with the farmers’ daily chores. Absentees from the council meeting were regularly fined.
Some of these farmers complained that Ezra Morse’s grist mill on Mother Brook held back too much water that was needed for their meadows and crops. As a solution, the town offered Morse 10 acres of land in the wilderness of South Dedham, where he built a sawmill. This first industry, located next to Hawes Brook, was the beginning of the village that became Norwood.
Once the mill was running, other families came bringing timber to the Morse sawmill and using the boards it produced to build their homes.
The Hawes Brook area where this first settlement was founded came to be called TIOT. The village grew and changed, and Tiot is now known as South Norwood.
By Marguerite Krupp, Originally published in the 1972 Centennial Magazine
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