Mary Ellen Lepionka – Beverly’s Indigenous People

November 2, 2020




Mary Ellen Lepionka
Beverly’s Indigenous People
Thursday, November 12
Google Hangouts

Join scholar and anthropologist Mary Ellen Lepionka to learn about the history of the land now known as Beverly, MA.

As Lepionka describes, The people living where Montserrat is now were the Pawtucket of Nahumkeak. They welcomed the “Old Planters” of Salem Village, today’s Beverly, and lived peaceably side by side with them during the first 50 years of English settlement. During the 18th and 19th centuries, however, their sites, history, homeland, and very identity were “erased.”

Mary Ellen Lepionka of Gloucester is an independent scholar researching the history of Cape Ann from the last Ice Age to around 1700 for a book on the subject. Some chapters have been published at

Mary Ellen’s interest in local indigenous history and culture was sparked by Samuel de Champlain’s 1606 map of Le Beauport (Gloucester) showing a wigwam on her street. Mary Ellen is a retired college instructor, textbook developer, author, and publisher with a Master’s degree in anthropology from Boston University and post-graduate work at the University of British Columbia. She taught anthropology and world history at Boston University, Vancouver City College, Northeastern University, North Shore Community College, and Salem State College.

Articles by Mary Ellen appear in the Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and the local history blogs Enduring Gloucester and Historic Ipswich.