Metallak: "The Lone Indian of the Magalloway"

Gravesite of Metallak in North Hill Cemetery, courtesy of Tom Childs. Used with his written permission.

Reputedly the “son of a chief,” Metallak [sometimes spelled Mettalak] was one of the Native Peoples. He lived  in the lake region of New Hampshire. Some identify him as “the last of the Pennacook,” however he certainly was not the last of his band.

Others still say he is the son of Philip, an Abenaki chief from the St. Francis tribe. It has been said that Philip sold 3,000 square miles to two separate groups of men. This sale was New Hampshire’s claim to the Indian Stream Republic. Reportedly in 1836 Metallak sold this land once again.

Farrar’s Illustrated Guide to the Androscoggin Lakes states, states “from his earliest youth [he] was taught the use of weapons and the craft of the woods. He grew up tall, lithe, and active, the pride of his tribe…He built his lodge in the old home of his tribe, the Coo-ash-aukes, on the waters of the Amariscoggin….”  One legend about Metallak says that he rode on a moose.

Likeness of Metallak near his grave. Photo courtesy of Tom Childs, used with permission.

His two children moved on to other places, but Metallak remained. Peter Smith Bean, of Bethel Maine, met Metallak, and wrote about his memories of those meetings.

Over time, and by accident, Metallak became blind, at first in one eye, and then in both. His wife had died. Two hunters found him in the wilderness, close to starvation, and brought him to Stewartstown, in Coos County, New Hampshire.  He died there, a “town charge,” in the home of Leonard H. Fellows in 1841 or 1847, allegedly at the age of 102.  He was buried in the North Hill Cemetery (located on the east side of NH 145, about 1 mile north of Stewartstown village).

Metallak Island is named for him, as is Metallak Point near Lake Molechunkamunk, Metallak Pond, and Metallak Brook.  A group of Odd Fellows adopted the “Chiefs of Metallak Council No. 21” (Lebanon). There was a Metallak ship, Tutoring School, and Lodge.  Molls Rock, near the outlet of Umbagog Lake is reportedly a name given to the location by Metallak, to honor his wife’s burial location.

In 1967 New Hampshire placed a historical marker in Stewartstown NH. The sign reads: “Hunter, trapper, fisherman and guide, well and favorably known by the region’s early settlers. “The Lone Indian of the Magalloway” was the last survivor of a band of Abnaki inhabiting the Upper Androscoggin.


*Additional Reading* Magalloway River

This entry was posted in N.H. Historical Markers, Native Peoples, New Hampshire Men and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Metallak: "The Lone Indian of the Magalloway"

  1. Dave says:

    4th paragraph. Should be Bethel Maine, not NH.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Thank you Dave, you are 100% correct in that being Bethel Maine not New Hampshire. Fixed! 🙂 Thank you for your sharp eyes.

Leave a Reply