Native American Outcry Sparks Renaming Of South County Landmarks
In an effort to take back their history, the summit of Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, along with one of its trails, was recently renamed in honor of the Native Americans who call the area home.
According to a report from Western Mass News, the Trustees of Reservations, a conservation group that oversees the land, has renamed two areas of Monument Mountain, after a year of collaboration with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohicans.
On Friday, the Trustees announced that Squaw Peak, the summit of Monument Mountain, is now named Peeskawso Peak. Also, the new name for the Indian Walking Trail is the Mohican Monument Trail.
Due to its many beautiful sights and views overlooking not only the Berkshires but also, the Taconic Mountains, and the Catskill Mountains of New York, Monument Mountain receives over 20,000 visitors annually.
One of my favorite sights on Monument Mountain is called "The Devil's Pulpit", a free-standing pillar of stone, part of Peeskawso(formerly Squaw) Peak. For some reason, maybe because I was so young when I first saw it, it just gives me goosebumps.
Western Mass News also reports that, according to legend, famous writers Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne first met at a picnic hike up Monument, and its believed that one of their conversations helped inspire Melville's classic novel, "Moby Dick".
Director of cultural affairs for the Stockbridge Munsee Community, Heather Bruegl, had this to say:
Being able to rename these areas in our homelands is a great honor but also an opportunity to take back our history and to right a wrong.
The trustees are also trying to reframe the history of the area to honor the indigenous people who call it home. To support that effort, new signs are currently being installed.
For the full story, visit Western Mass News' website here.
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