The Simonds property is entirely comprised of wetland communities, including both shrub swamp and red maple (Acer rubrum) swamp. The property is accessible from Wilbour Woods or by crossing private land to the west; though dense vegetation makes access extremely difficult. Currently, no planned public access exists on the property. SPA conducts annual monitoring on all properties and no violations have been noted in the monitoring records for the Simonds property.
Land in the Swamp Road area has long been referenced as a settlement site of the Sakonnet band of the Wampanoag tribe, and their settlement period leader, a female sachem named Awashonks. The Sakonnet called the area Tompi Swamp, in honor of one of the band’s sachems, but it was later known as Awashonks Swamp or Awashonks Wood, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Historic aerial photographs dating back to 1939 show the property in a similar state to what is present today, though monitoring records indicate that the property was previously more open. The property’s wetland hydrology undoubtedly limited its conversion to agricultural or other uses. Aerial photos dating from 1939 onward indicate little human disturbance to the property.
The Simonds property was gifted to the Sakonnet Preservation Association (SPA) by Philip B. and Esther M. Simonds on December 20, 1974.
December 20, 1974
wetlands, wildlife habitat, historic site, woodlands