A fierce battle is being waged in the courts over a hitherto obscure corner of North Smithfield, a place where American Indians warred with Colonial settlers over ownership of the land more than 300 years ago. Today the dispute is preservation versus progress, but property rights remain at the core of the case.
The Town of North Smithfield has filed suit in Superior Court, seeking a declaratory judgment to protect and preserve what may be hundreds of American Indian burial grounds dating from at least the 17th century. Mounds of rocks about 2 feet tall, which may mark American Indian graves, are located at the proposed Rankin Estates, a development of 120 single-family homes on 264 acres in the northwest corner of the town.
There seems to be nothing really indicting that anyone is buried on the property except for some historical references. They have a photo on the site of one of the piles o' rocks. Doesn't strike me as being anything particularly burial-related, but of course, one could remedy this whole thing by digging a couple of them up. Heck, one would be sufficient.