The cultural and natural resources within Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site are important in interpreting the story of how 17th century European settlers adapted their lives to succeed in the building of Colonial America. Today, these resources are under constant threat.
The Saugus River is perhaps the most significant natural and cultural resource within the historic site, and, in turn, the most sensitive resource to environmental change. Water pollution, human development, and the introduction of non-native invasive plants and animals have changed this unique river over the last three and a half centuries. Park staff at Saugus Iron Works are working closely with other government agencies and local organizations to monitor the health of the Saugus River and its watershed.
Did You Know?
At the time of English settlement, the native community in what is today Saugus was led by a woman known only as the “Great Squaw Sachem”. It was not uncommon for a woman to take the lead as sachem after her husband died. Our squaw sachem had several contemporaries; 3 in Connecticut, 2 in Rhode Island and 1 in Massachusetts. What did the colonists think of this practice?