History, industry and herrings: a tour of Buckeye Brook

In conjunction with Rhode Island Rivers Month, the Buckeye Brook Coalition will host a cultural history tour through the land surrounding and the shores of Buckeye Brook this Sunday at noon.

.There is so much history surrounding Buckeye Brook,. said Steve Insana, president of the coalition, .and many people don.t even realize it. In fact, many people don.t know this, but not only was Buckeye Brook the site of one of the first millhouses in the country, but it also led to the whole economic development of Warwick..

Buckeye Brook is a stream that runs from Narragansett Bay to Warwick Pond. Each year, thousands of buckeye herring migrate to the pond from all along the Atlantic seaboard to spawn in Warwick Pond and they use Buckeye Brook to get there.

Insana said one of the most interesting parts of the tour will be the stops at graveyards along the brook, including the burial spots of two Revolutionary War heroes, Amos and Joshua Lockwood. Also, they will visit a site on Sandy Lane where the first act in opposition of slavery was signed.

.The first act against slavery in America was signed along the banks of Buckeye Brook,. said Insana.

.There will be an emphasis on Native American and colonial culture,. said Insana. .We.ll talk about how the Shawomet Indians used the brook for survival. We will visit the outside of the mill houses..

Insana will host the tour, which will begin from the Knights of Columbus parking lot on Sandy Lane. Once everyone has met, they will move on to the first step of the tour - the Buckeye Brook estuary at Mill Cove. Participants are expected to drive themselves to each of the roughly four or five sites. The tour should last about two hours.

.Once we get to Mill Cove, we.ll have a light discussion about the history of the brook and then work our way up. The whole point of this tour is to educate people about the brook and what is going on in their own backyard..

Considered the largest self-sustaining herring run in the state, efforts to protect and preserve Buckeye Brook have been put forth by both Save the Bay and the Department of Environmental Management. Insana and the Coalition have hosted field trips to the brook, held Earth Day clean-ups and are currently working out getting Buckeye Brook recognized by the Rhode Island Rivers Council as a Watershed Council.

To participate in the tour, simply show up to the Knights of Columbus parking lot Sunday shortly before noon to meet Insana. The tour will be free of charge. For more information call 737-1342.