Block Island Historical Markers
Put up by the Block Island Historical Society 1942 this monument reads:
Elevation 78 ft
Here original settlers lived in caves and shelters.
Site of first church 1772
David Sprague, Thomas Dodge
Oliver Dodge, Trustrum Dodge
Nearby site of first school house; Windmill; Pound; Precious Spring; Indian Burying Hill.
|This is a picture of the Fresh Water Pond where the first settlers and their families spent the winter of 1661-1662 holed up in caves and dugouts in the hillside next to the pond to escape the harsh weather of the island before they could build their own houses. There are references to a "Thomas" Dodge as Pastor of the first church on this site in 1772 and to an "Oliver" Dodge and a "Trustrum" Dodge as Deacons of the same church. I cannot find an "Oliver" Dodge in any of our family lines, so he must have been the son of one of the many sons of one of Trustrum Sr's many sons. "Thomas" Dodge may have been the son of Trustrum Dodge Sr's son Israel Dodge, and if so he would have been quite elderly at the time of his job as church paster in 1772. Or, he may also have been a son of a son of a son. "Trustrum" is possibly the son of Nathaniel Dodge, Jr., great grandson of the Trustrum Dodge who settled Block Island in 1661, and if so he would be the brother of Jushua Dodge, who was the father of the John Dodge who married his second cousin Phebe Dodge in 1812. OR, he too may be a son of a son of a son.|
RE-DEDICATED FOR THE TERCENTENNIAL
JUNE 17TH AD 1961
1661 - 1911
THIS STONE WS PLACED HERE
SEPTEMBER 2d AD 1911 BY THE
CITIZENS OF NEW SHOREHAM TO
COMMORATE THE TWO HUNDREDTH
AND FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
PURCHASE AND SETTLEMENT OF
BLOCK ISLAND BY THE FOLLOWING
NAMED PERSONS WHO LANDED AT
This is the historical marker placed at Cow Cove on BlockIsland, RI, the site of the first settlers' landing in 1661. It's hardto read, so I'll recreate the marker in it's entirety here in this text: "Some were settlers, some were purchasers. Purchasers held land deeds commissioned by the Massachusetts Bay Colony for ownership of land. Settlers were allowed to live as tenants on land owned by the purchasers." Some were both settlers and purchasers, and this wasn'texplained by our tour guide, who came to the island in 1972 and nowdrives an island taxi.
One thing he did mention when he found out that I was a descendant of Trustrum Dodge was that, "The Dodges think they were original settlers of this island, but I seriously have my doubts. That name 'Trustrum Dodge, Sen.' on the plaque really refers to Trustrum Dodgewho was a Senator from this district in 1911 and he wanted his name on the plaque, so he forged it as an original settler." Then he laughed heartily and admitted he loved to take a swipe at any and all Dodges he could whenever he could. He was a good tour guide. Quite a character, too.
|This monument reads:
"Near this spot House of TRUSTRUM DODGE
One of sixteen original settlers in 1661
1614 Capt. Adrien Block landed and named this island Adriaen Block's Eylant
1636 Capt. John Oldham killed by Indians
Col. John Endicott and ninety soldiers landed to punish Indians
Start of Pequot Indian War
1688 French Fleet landed and plundered the island"
|This is the historical marker showing the location near the Old Harbor where Trustrum Dodge's house was built in 1662. Note that although our records show his name being "Tristram" Dodge, Block Island records list him as "TRUSTRUM" Dodge. The house was first built in 1662 because after the 16 original families settled the island in September 1661, they spent that first winter in caves and dugouts near the Fresh Water Pond on the interior of the island to avoid the harsh weather. Another e-mail will have the picture of that marker and the Fresh Water Pond in the background.|