In Rhode Island there is a rocky hill known as Queen’s Fort. It was an Indian fort that was occupied by Narragansett Indians that survived the battle in the Great Swamp, and chose not to leave RI. It lives on a hill covered with glacial erratics. With that natural feature alone, this was a fantastic place for a fort. Somewhere hidden in this rugged landscape is a cave know as Queen Quaiapens Chamber.
The Indians did not rely on the natural boulders. There were many man-made walls and structures that were planned and built by an Indian that the colonists called Stonewall John. Stonewall John was a very talented mason. Stonewall John and Indians loyal to Queen Quaiapen, the wife of a son of Canonicus, built the fort early in the King Phillips War. Some believe it was not only a fort, but also a sacred place for the Narragansett Indians.
Over the past 350 years much folklore has developed at this location. Some Neo-Pagnas have visited the fort claiming there was a vortex or ley lines on the hill. One of the greatest sources of folklore is a talus cave known as the Queen’s Bed Chamber. The Queen’s chamber has been written about since the late 1700s. Some claimed the chamber had 80 – 90 square feet of floor space with a height of over 7 feet. Other said it was large enough to fit 20 men. It is said to be so well hidden in the landscape that even when you’re 6 feet from it, you would still miss it.
Though the chamber was visited often in the 1800s, its exact location seems to have been lost by most. Some say that due to tremors, it collapsed. Others believe that well meaning Boy Scouts filled it with rocks decades ago, because it was thought a hazardous curiosity in the area.
With the clues in hand, we went out to Queen’s Fort to find the chamber. We spent several hours scrambling up and down the rocky hill, and found many small talus caves, but nothing
of interest. Just before we were about to leave, we hit pay dirt!
We found a plateau in the hillside were the Queen’s Chamber lived. The opening was much larger than we had suspected. The floor of the chamber was three feet lower than the forest
floor. The chamber was only about 3 – 4 square feet at waist height, but at the knee level it expanded to about 5+ square feet. The ceiling was over 7 feet high, as most of our sources mentioned.
Poking around the chamber, we found a passage to a small back chamber that was not very significant. Then we remembered reading many descriptions that spoke of a sand filled floor. The current floor appeared to consist of forest debris. We decided to dig down to see if we could find the sand. We found the floor to be very light and loose materials and was very easy to dig through. We dug down three feet and then poked a stick another two feet with no resistance. It struck us that this might be 350 years of leaves collecting in the chamber. If all the leaves were removed, it might expand the chamber to over 6 square feet with the lower overhanging rocks being about 7 feet from the floor. Though it still could not hold 20 men, it would make a much more impressive chamber. We’re tempted to return and see if we can clear all of the debris, but it is a protected historic site in RI and we wouldn’t want ot disturb anything without permission.
Posted in Archaeological, Cave, Geological, Historical, Ruins, Subterranean by Michael with no comments yet.