King Phillip’s Burning of Simsbury

King Phillip's War

In order to further understand early American Literature we must look into the relations between the Natives and the European settlers. The Europeans arrived in America to meet well established native nations who have had claims on the land thousands of years before the Europeans even knew the land existed. Much of the disagreement seen between the two sides was over land and respect of each other. The tensions between both the Natives and Europeans broke out into fighting in 1675. This war had been named King Phillip’s War, after King Phillip (his birth name is Metacomet), the chief of the Wampanoag tribe at the time of the war. The was took place between the Wampanoag tribe and their allies against the European settlers and a few of their allies. The conflict mainly arose over the influx of new settlers into the territory, upsetting the careful balance and peace. One of the most interesting parts about this war was its proximity to what we now call home.

King Phillip's Cave

One of the battles of King Phillip’s War was the burning of Simsbury, CT. Many of the cities in Connecticut remained relatively untouched. Simsbury was not one of them. According to legend, King Phillip sat in the infamous cave on Avon Mountain overlooking Simsbury as the natives burned the city to the ground destroying much of its landscape. They were ordered to do this by King Phillip as an attack on the Connecticut Militia. My personal connection to this location is not only do I live the city once burned but I have also hiked much of the trail King Phillip would have needed to travel in order to reach the cave. The closest I have gotten to this cave is on the cliff approximately 75 feet beneath it… in the dark. We carefully stepped as we were mere inches from the long drop that waited if we misstepped. Just imagining how King Phillip was able to reach this cave is incredible and its something I will now think about as I pass the mountain and look up at this amazing natural piece of history. The next time I am hiking the trail I will look out over the shining city of Simsbury at twilight and imagine the red hot flames blazing in the night sky King Phillip would have seen as the town of Simsbury slowly sank to the ground.


“America’s Most Devastating Conflict: King Phillips War” America’s Most Devastating Conflict: King Phillips War. Web. October 1 2015.

This entry was posted in Becoming an American Literary Critic, Local History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to King Phillip’s Burning of Simsbury

  1. David Malugen says:

    its super easy to climb the cave, I watch the sunset there all the time. Just park at the Heli pad entrance of heublein and take that trail, after about 7-10 mins you’ll see a trail leading right and slightly down, you’ll take that goat path trail 7-11 mins to the cave.

  2. Appreciate the information. Look forward to trying this! Thx!

  3. Pingback: Another Spooky Ghost Story | First 911 Call

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s