Watchemoket Square Day September 29, 2018
Celebrating the Past, Present & Future
The Eigth Annual Watchemoket Square Day will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018 with indoor and outdoor activities taking place at or near Tockwotton on the Waterfront, 500 Waterfront Drive in East Providence.The event is open to the public with plenty of free street parking and no admission fee.
Watchemoket Square Day is presented by the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce and was created eight years ago by local businesses, churches and organizations to bring awareness to Watchemoket Square: an area which once served as East Providence’s business district with over 100 businesses and hotels.
The event opens at 11:00am with a presentation by URI Marine Scientist, David Robinson, who returns to this event to continue the discussion about his research on Green Jacket Shoals’ “Ship Graveyard” located off the East Providence coastline. The presention begins in the Tockwotton Theater, and weather-permitting, it will continue at Bold Point Park so attendees can see and learn about the site in-person. It’s a short walk down the road. Bring a camera and appropriate footwear for walking on dirt and grass.
Throughout the day, an exhibit about the Sowams Heritage Area will be on display in the Café at Tockwotton on the Waterfront. It is hosted by the East Providence Historical Society. They will also host two walking tours about the area with local historian, David Kelleher.
The Sowams Heritage Area is a new project to bring the 17th century to light in eight communities in East Bay Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. Generations ago, the area was called Sowams or “South country” in the Native American language, and Watchemoket was the fording site for crossing between, what is now known as, the East Bay and West Bay. Links for more information can be found at www.watchemokesquareday.com
Short presentations about East Providence’s waterfront projects including Kettle Point, Bold Point and more will be offered by the East Providence Waterfront District Commission. Discover what is happening now and to come in the future for this developing area of the City.
Other activities include:
Free raffles for gift baskets filled with items donated by local businesses.
Watchemoket Square Winter Wear Clothing Drive. Bring your gently-used winter clothing and drop them off in the donation boxes at Tockwotton on the Waterfront.
Food available for sale at local establishments in or near Watchemoket Square. Tockwotton on the Waterfront will have clam chowder and other treats on their menu.
Visit www.watchemoketsquareday.com and the Watchemoket Square Facebook page for schedule of events, more information and updates, or contact East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce at 401.438.1212 or email@example.com
History of Watchemoket Square
Watchemoket Square (pronounced watch-uh-mocket or watch-moe-ket) began near Bold Point and was used by the Wampanoag Indians to cross the Seekonk River to what is now Providence. Watchemoket is an Indian word meaning the proximity of the river and the tidal marsh… with the feel and smell of the area.
In the early years of East Providence, which was then known as Rehoboth, Massachusetts, the site was the best place to cross the river. In 1793, John Brown of Providence built a bridge from Fox Point (Providence) to Bold Point. In 1885, an iron bridge was built which led to development in the area; including an inn followed by over one hundred businesses. By 1906, Watchemoket Square became the central business district of East Providence and covered approximately nine acres of land in the central section of the town.