Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Westport is filled with places we drive by often, sometimes see, but seldom know.

Machamux Park — tiny, serene, nestled between Green’s Farms Road and I-95 near the Beachside Avenue curve — is one of those spots.

We pass it by. We glance at the lone wooden table, and wonder who picnics there. (No one ever does.)

Machamux Park. (Photo by Fred Cantor)

Machamux Park. (Photo by Fred Cantor)

We certainly don’t stop and read the plaque on the rock. But if we did, we’d see that it says “Machamux” means “The Beautiful Land.”

And that it was named by “Chickens.”

Not the animal kind. “Chickens” was, apparently, “a young Sachem who settled here.”

It must have been a “beautiful land” indeed, long before the highway, railroad, even Colonial houses.

Chickens probably roamed all over. You know: “free range.”

4 responses to “Nobody Here But Us Chickens

  1. Chief Chickens Warrups was an interesting, chap. The following is from a report my son Nash wrote when he was in the fourth grade.

    “Hello, my name is Nash Hooper
    I have a story about a little known Native American who lived in Fairfield [and Greens Farms].
    His name was Chief Chicken Warrups. Chief Warrups was a Mohawk Indian came to Connecticut from Pennsylvania. He was captured by the Ramapos (RAM-A-POE) but married the Chiefs daughter. They settled here in Greenfield Hill but Chief Warrups got into trouble when he killed another Native American so he fled to the Northern part of the town of Fairfield which we now call Redding. The Chief joined a group of Native Americans who were from the Potatucks of Newtown and the Paugussetts of Milford. He became Chief of this group. Chief Warrups was smart, he saw how the settlers wanted land so he bought or traded land all over the area from Stratford to Newtown. Some historians called him the “Donald Trump” of the time. The Chief sold off all of his land to the settlers, one of which was my relative Thomas Nash. I have with me the Deed for the largest and last sale to the settlers in 1746. Here is a copy {its a Christies Country Store} but we have the Original at home

    The Deed is written in his handwriting and shows his Mark. [point to it] It says Chief Saggamore, but Saggamore means “under chief” a name he carried with him from the Mohawk Nation.

    And that’s the story of Chief Chicken Warrups”t\

    Dad here, the interesting part about Chickens is when he conveyed land he always retained the rights for hunting and fishing. This screwed up title to many of the lands in Redding…so much so the state legislature got involved and is the reason for the special deed, a copy of which we have at Chrisites.

  2. Peter Gambaccini

    Funny thing is, I was visiting with a girlfriend from the city one weekend and decided we could picnic there because, as you say, no one’s ever there. It turned out to be the only occasion the picnic table was in fact being used. We sat on some rocks instead.

  3. Nancy Powers Conklin

    I remember when I was a student at Greens Farms Elementary, our Girl Scout troop went there on a “field trip” and read the plaque. We learned about the history of that place. Funny that all these years later you are posting about it, Dan. Thanks. Brings back memories…