Strange New England - Devils Foot Road

Through out history many small New England towns have chosen local landmarks that personify the unique flavor and history of the area. Often it will be a home where Washington slept, a tract of land where a battle occurred or even pub historical characters frequently stumble from on a late evening. When these sites are put at risk the community rallies to protect them. All in all, as this story begins it sounds much like the usual Yankee lifestyle and it would be if it were not for the odd characters and location involved. For in North Kingston RI at the end of Devil’s Foot Road is a rock bearing the same name. It came as a surprise to me when I had heard how important this slab of stone had become to this fair town and the many mysteries wrapped up in its history.

It was known as Devils Foot Rock as far back as when Rhode Island was just an island in the bay surrounded by a collection of settlements along the shores. The tale has many variations and it’s not clear which is the original. In the most popular version, the Devil and his Devil Dogs had been leaping around the New England coast, made a stop in Little Rhodey to rest. He had been busy recruiting new minion in order to establish his kingdom here. When arriving in the ocean state he decided to take a bride before returning to the fiery abyss from whence he came. He had chosen a local woman who put up great resistance. The Devil took her hand and running up the rock face, leaped into the air changing into a serpent before landing in Narragansett Bay. In the process of this dastardly exit, his hot cloven hooves and those of his dogs had burned their imprint into the granite bedrock.

~ Strange New England

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