The land that makes up Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site has been used by many different people over time. Archaeological evidence shows that Native American groups used the land here for thousands of years. The Native Americans who were in the area at the time of contact with Europeans are known as the Pawtucket.
European exploration and settlement brought about vast change, and introduced new groups of people who made use of the area. In the 1640s, a group of Englishmen and Massachusetts residents built the Saugus Iron Works to make iron for the new colony and to make money for themselves. Their iron works forced interactions between diverse groups of people including Puritans, English iron workers, Scottish indentured servants, and Pawtucket Native Americans. They did not always get along, often disagreeing on matters of religion, laws, and cultural values.
In more modern times, people concerned with the preservation of history have left their own mark at Saugus Iron Works. Archaeologists have excavated the site to help us protect artifacts and learn more about the past. Preservationists were originally drawn to the Iron Works House, but eventually ended up protecting the entire site.
Explore the links below to learn more about these different groups of people, and how they lived and worked in this area.
Did You Know?
A type of gabbro was used as flux at the Saugus Iron Works. Gabbro refers to a large number of dark, coarse-grained, igneous rocks, but the specific type of gabbro used at Saugus Iron Work was unique to Essex County, Massachusetts. It is named Essexite after the county.