of Redemption Rock dwells deep within New England history. This Granite rock,
measuring 35’ x 50’ x 75’, is the location of the release of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson to Mr. John Hoar, after
eleven weeks of captivity by Indians.
more about the Captivity of Mary Rowlandson, and King Philip’s War, see the following pages.
since the year 1676, when Mrs. Rowlandson was released, Redemption Rock has been a monument of strength for the town Princeton,
MA, where the rock is located. Here is a brief history of Redemption Rock, from the captivity of Mary Rowlandson, to the present
May 2, 1676 – Mary Rowlandson is ransomed to John Hoar for a sum of
20 pounds, at Redemption Rock.
During the eighteenth century, the Everett family owned the land surrounding
Redemption Rock. As legend goes, Mr. and Mrs. Everett were
buried in a tomb just behind Redemption Rock. There they lay for 75 years before being moved to the Princeton North Cemetery.
To this day hikers and tourists can still visit the Everett tomb.
1879 - Senator George Hoar, descendant of Rowlandson’s redeemer John
Hoar, purchased the parcel of land where Redemption Rock sits. He had the rock inscribed with the following message:
Upon this rock May 2nd 1676 was made
The agreement for the ransom of
Mrs. Mary Rowlandson of Lancaster
Between the Indians and John Hoar of Concord
King Philip was with the Indians
But refused his consent¹
1930 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission
erected a sign on route 140, marking the location of Redemption Rock.
1953 – Descendants of George Hoar donated the one-quarter acre of
land, on which the rock is situated, to the Trustees of Reservations.
1997 – The Princeton K-8 school, Thomas Prince, hosted a play,
performed and written by the eighth grade class. This play outlined the captivity of Mary Rowlandson, and the release at Redemption
Rock, featuring a song, written by the students, entitled “Redemption Rock.”
For over twenty years, Thomas Prince School has held a fourth grade field
trip, to explore the history of Princeton. One of the main stops on this tour is to Redemption Rock, where the children are
told the story of Mary Rowlandson.
In addition to being
a historical site, Redemption Rock is also a passing point along the Mid- State trail, which stretches 92 miles across Massachusetts.
For more information on hiking see the “links” page.
¹ History of Redemption Rock Also History of the American Indians (Fitchburg, MA: Joseph Mason), 1.