To the west of Cross Mills village and south of Old Post Road is where you will find the historic site of Fort Ninigret.
Archaeological findings prove that the site was once occupied due to the many artifacts that were excavated here, including items of both Native American and European origin. The cannon and sword found at the site are preserved by the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence.
The outline of the fort is marked by railings which show the fort footprint to be mainly rectangular and measured 152' length by 137' width. Of interest are the corners of the footprint which end in 5-sided bastions, with the exception of the corner directly facing the water. Theories regarding the style of the fort are attributed to either early Dutch or Portuguese settlers, or of Native Americans.
The site was added to to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. This memorial to the the Narragansett and Niantic Tribes was dedicated by the state when the state declared the tribes extinct in the 1880's. The remains of the fort were outlined by iron fence and an inscribed boulder was placed inside the footprint of the fort.
Ironically, the Federal Government officially recognized the Narragansetts as a tribe in the early 1980's, and the site is now maintained by the Charlestown Historical Society and the State of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
The site is located at the end of Fort Ninigret Road, high on a bluff overlooking Ninigret Pond. Few people know much about it's location and history. Parking is limited and there is no access to the pond.