WITH INTERPRETATIONS OF SOME OF THEM
By LINCOLN N. KINNICUTT WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS 1905
Mr. Peter Whitney, in his history of the County of Worcester, in 1793, writes:
"At Little Asnaconcomick pond there is every appearance that once a stone wall was built, or building, in some places it is two feet and a half in height, as if laid up by the hands of men." It has "the appearance of a large stone wall thrown down."
I believe the name was first applied to the place where these stones are, rather than to either Great or Little Asnaconcomiok ponds, as there is nothing in this name referring to water, which is almost always the case in Indian names for ponds. I would suggest from Hassun a stone, quon, komuck, long house or long enclosed place; 'a long place enclosed with stones.'
Little Asnaconcomiok pond is now known as Moosehorn pond.
A large hill in Paxton and Holden, and a pond in Paxton. The pond taking the name from the hill, probably derived from Hassun, a stone, and ompsk, a standing rock, with the locative suffix, at or near, signifying 'the place where a large rock rises from stony ground.' At a prominent place on the hill this is a striking feature.
In some old deeds the name is spelled Hasnebumskeat and Hasnebumskeag. It is generally called by the inhabitants “Bumskit,” which is an acknowledged corruption.
The Indian deed of the township of Towtaid (Leicester) recorded March 8, 1713-14, but made the 27th of January, 1686, mentions this hill as one of the boundaries.
Hon. Emory Washburn, in his history of Leicester, says "The northern line (boundary) is assumed to be known by its running into a great hill called Aspomsok, which is supposed to be the hill now called Hasnebumskit in Paxton.
The meaning of the name may be the same as Aspanoch, which Trumbull says is “perhaps the equivalent of Sehonach in Southampton, L. I., from Sipunnah, ground nuts, Indian potatoes," and formerly these plants were found in abundance in this vicinity, but I believe it is another form of expressing the same meaning as Hasnebumskit, both being corruptions of the same word, Hassun, a stone, ompsh, a standing rock, with the locative suffix.
A pond in the western part of Oxford.
In the division of thirty thousand acres of the original grant of Oxford among five individuals ' ' Augutteback ' ' pond was the only permanent bound mentioned. All the others were marked trees, heaps of stones or stakes. This deed, dated July 3, 1698, was found m London in 1872, and is now in possession of the New York Hist. Soc. Cox copy is in the library of the Am. Anticq. Soc. in Worcester, and also printed in full in Amidown's Historical Collections, 1-128. Mr. Whitney gives the name “Augootsback,” but I can find no authority.
I believe that this name is a corruption of Ahkuhq-paug or Aueuck-pag, ' Kettle pond, ' from the fact that many soapstone pots have been found in this vicinity, and a ledge or deposit of soapstone is still in existence, where many signs of Indian work have been discovered. From Ohkuk (Narr. Aucuck) (Cotton. Ohkuke) 'a pot or vessel.'
Hassanamiset, Hassanamesitt, Hassanamisco, Hassunnimesut.
The name of Grafton, near Worcester. Was one of the most important of the villages of the praying Indians. Gookin, in his "Historical Collections of the Indians in New England," written in 1674, says: "The name signifies a place of small stones," probably derived from Hassun, a stone; Haseunemes, a little stone, with the locative aifix, et or it. Hutchinson wrote the name " Hassunimesut " (Hist., vol. 1, p. 156).
James, the Printer, who was distinguished for his assistance in printing the Indian Bible, being employed in setting up the type, was a native of Hassanamiset. “A school was established here where the Bible was read and studied in the Indian language. Young men were here educated and sent into the neighboring towns to preach the Gospel as Christian teachers." (Mrs. Freeland's History of Oxford.)
A name sometimes given to an overhanging rock on Stone house hill in Holden, from which the hill takes its name. This name was never used by the Indians for this locality, but although modern is a literal translation.
Assinech (Hassunnek, Eliot), 'ledge of rocks.' Eliot used this word for any cave or den.
Hobbamoco was the Indian god of Evil, or Devil. In Wood's N. E. Prospect he is called Ahamocho (pt. 2, chap. 8). In many Indian legends his name occurs. In West Millbury there is a large upright flat rock called Hobbamoco's quoit, which by Indian tradition Hobbamoco attempted to throw from Wachusett mountain into Manchaug pond, and failed by about half a mile. The hill near the pond in Westborough was supposed to be one of his dwelling places.
“There is another pond in Westborough which was called Hobbamocke, from some supposed infernal influence, which a man was unhappily under nigh that pond, from morning till the sun set" (Mass. Hist. Soc.'s Collections, series 2, vol. 10, p. 84).
The highest hill in Milford. The Indians gave the name probably to the whole range of hills. Mr. Ballou, in his history of Milford, says : " The name may be rendered, 'ground affording a grand show.' Its compounds appear to be Magko, to afford, give, or grant, misse, affording a grand prospect of the surrounding country." swollen, large, showy, grand, and ohke, earth, ground or place, literally, a high swell of land.
I would suggest, however, that the base word of this name may be "Ompsk " (standing or upright rock), var. msk-msq ms, etc., and the name might be translated, ' Great Rock Country,' ' a place of great rocks.' Adin Ballou in his history speaks of the primitive ledges and the superabundance of various sized rocky fragments, preventing the profitable tillage of a considerable portion of the high lands (page 22). At the present day the quarries of Milford are celebrated.
Now Lead Mine pond in the western part of Sturbridge, mentioned in letter of William Pynchon to Stephen Day in 1644, "that place of Quassuck. " I should suppose the name was applied first to Lead Mine brook from its termination, "suck," which signifies "a stream flowing out of a pond or lake." (Trumbull.)
Quas-suck, the largest outlet. Possibly derived from Qussuk, with a lost locative suffix, et or ut, signifying, 'at the rock.' This was the Black Lead Mine property of which John Winthrop, Jr., eldest son of Gov. John Winthrop, received a grant from the General Court in 1644. The existence of this lead was known as early as thirteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims. (See Tantiusques.')
Possibly ' Pine tree brook, ' Cowawsuch.
Mentioned as a boundary in Indian deed of Rutland, Dec. 22, 1686 (Middlesex Reg. of Deeds, libro 16, page 511, Apr. 14, 1714).
This name is very similar to Wullamanick with the addition of ' ' umps ' ' and possibly may have designated 'a place where a rock rose from red paint ground' (see Wullamanick) ; ompsk, "standing or upright rock,” ock, ' ground' or ' place. '
Babaquamshk, Windham County - "split rock".
Peskeompscut, Franklin County - "at the split rocks".
Petacomscot, Petacomscott Petaqumskocte
"At the cleft rock; split boulder place"
Tattahassun, Worcester County - "at the top of the shaking or rocking boulder".
Wasapskotock, Hampden County - "at the shining rock".
Cheapschaddock, Cheeapschaddock, New London County - "big rocks at boundary place".
Chickons, Hampden County - "burned place (burned so as to be clear) ready for planting".
Pesuponck Name found throughout the region Hot house (Indian sweatlodge)
Quassakonkanuck: Stone fence boundary mark; place at the stone wall