Reader Ted writes:
Visit to the Queen's Fort, Exeter, RI
I am very new to this subject, so please forgive any gaffs or naive mistakes. I have been researching the usual sources. I stumbled (sorry) on the rock pile blog recently and have enjoyed reading the posts. My wife and I have been looking around as time permits, and visited the Queen's Fort in Exeter, RI this past weekend.
Our GPS got us there alright, following coordinates from Fredrick Meli's article posted on the NEARA website. I have to admit we passed it the first time, distracted by the mega-mansion across the street, but we backtracked and found a pull off. Walking up the hill and orienting ourselves, we found the spiral enclosure. We could not help but notice the difference between the appearance of the structure compared to the photo in Mavor and Dix.[here is a scan from p98 of Manitou - PWAX]
The terminus of the foreground wall seems to be missing. We also noticed the recent construction of a fire pit/grill made from stones similar in size and shape to the ones used to construct the spiral structure.Hmmm... Perhaps this is old news, but the recent scattered beer cans and relatively fresh ash and smoke coating inside made us think that might be a recent repurposing of the stones originally in the spiral. Might I ask for some advice from this experienced group? Should the Rhode Island Historical Society, owners of the property, be contacted? Or is the risk tat they might close access too great if that is done? I honesty don't know.
Overall, I had to agree with the idea put forth in the Meli article that this is unlikely to be a defensive fort as the boulder field on the top of the hill makes an impossible area for settlement or occupation. As we explored the walls and nooks we saw something along the east side that looked like a Manitou stone sticking up from a wall. Anyone have an opinion about this:
It was very thin, about 24-26 inches above the rest of the wall. I am beginning to realize we should carry a tape measure and be more careful about taking notes of our visits.
I took some black and white large format panoramic negatives of some of the same views and will be printing them soon.