MHM Wigwam

With the Manchester 375th anniversary celebration in full swing, the Manchester Historical Museum is beginning its year-long lecture series at the very beginning by focusing on Native Americans living here at the time of European first contact.  The lecture, “Wigwams on Sawmill Brook” will be presented by Mary Ellen Lepionka, local scholar of archaeology and early history of Cape Ann. 

At the time, Jeffrey’s Creek (Manchester) was a Native homeland under the stewardship of Masquenominet, sagamore of Agawam.  Indians lived along Sawmill Brook, with a permanent village near the end of Old School Street and a burial ground overlooking the harbor.  Who were the people, where did they come from, how were they making their living here, how did the contact period unfold, and where did the people go?  Lepionka’s slide lecture addresses these questions and more: how can we appreciate Native American history in relation to our celebration of Manchester’s 375th anniversary?

Lepionka, a resident of Gloucester, is an independent scholar studying the archaeology and early history of Cape Ann and vicinity for a book on the subject. Her careers in anthropology at Boston University and the University of British Columbia and in college teaching and textbook publishing support her interest in local Native history and culture. Mary Ellen has served on the Gloucester Historical Commission and as a trustee of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society. Her articles have been published in the Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and online at Historic Ipswich and Enduring Gloucester.

“Wigwams On Sawmill Brook”


Thursday, February 20

Sacred Heart Parish Hall

6:30 Refreshments / 7:00 program

Free to the public