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Takemmy (West Tisbury)
Manitouwattootan (Christiantown)
Quansoo
Deep Bottom
Alley's General Store   
The South Shore Coastal Ponds
The Takemmy Trail
ALLEY'S GENERAL STORE Now tribally owned, this famous up-Island business landmark predates the Civil War (established 1858). It is perhaps the longest continuously run business on Noepe. In the spirit of the old-fashioned general store, Alley's features just about everything but the kitchen sink. Back Alley's has everything you need to make a great picnic lunch.

DEEP BOTTOM, a part of Ukquieset (Tisbury Great Pond), was a village site of the Takemmy - one of the four Wampanoag Sachem Tribes on the Island when the English settlers arrived.

A "bottom" is a natural formation created by glaciers. Run off from the glaciers created gouges that became the fingers for the great pond. Where the water stops, a little valley continues into the land. This is a frost bottom - a place that experiences frost sometimes twelve months a year. The foliage in a bottom is very delayed and hosts a unique array of insects - especially moths and butterflies.

MANITOUWATTOOTAN (CHRISTIANTOWN) began in 1659 when the sachem of Takemmy set aside one mile square of land for the four known Christian members of his sachem. It was called "Manitouwattootan," meaning "God's Town" or a place residents had access to intense spiritual power. In 1939, Dukes County took the 4.7 acres remaining from the original grant by eminent domain. In 1993 the Wampanoag Tribe purchased the tiny chapel and burial ground from the County.

QUANSOO Eels were caught by tribal members in the two ponds which border Quansoo during the months of September and October when eels become more active.       

THE SOUTH SHORE COASTAL PONDS are the site of important shellfisheries. When the glaciers receded, the ocean levels rose, flooding the valleys. Longshore currents deposited sand along the southern edges of these valleys, eventually forming barrier beaches, closing off the ponds to the ocean. All of the larger ponds receive freshwater input from streams which drain into them and are opened to the ocean at least once during the year. These openings flush the ponds and increase the salinity, creating better growing habitat for shellfish - particularly oysters. Because of its rich resources and open lands for grazing, this was an area immediately settled by the Europeans, further limiting the Wampanoag.

THE TAKEMMY TRAIL is an old Wampanoag trail. Takemmy in Wampanoag means "where he or she strikes it." It is believed to have been a major processing center for pounding corn. Many island-wide roads are believed to be built on the extensive trail system of the Wampanoag.

 
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Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) 20 Black Brook Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535-1546
Phone: (508) 645 9265    Fax: (508) 645-3790    Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
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