In Wampanoag Nemasket means Place where the fish are, because it is the largest Alewife run on the eastern seaboard. The water is clear and there are several good places to put in, such as Old Bridge Street, Wareham Street and Oliver Mills on U.S. Route 44.
The Native American Wampanoag Indians would leave their winter encampments on the coast and navigate the Taunton River to the Nemasket River in the early spring to take advantage of the Alewife run and relocate to their summer encampment on Betty's Neck on Assawompsett Pond. When Oliver Mills built the factory that spanned the river, it created contention with the Wampanoags by forcing them to portage around the facility.
The remanants of Camp Joe Hooker, a training camp for Massachusetts regiments during the Civil War located on the left side of Staples Shore Road, and the tie up for the side-paddle wheeler Assawompset can still be seen off the canal that cuts across the right hand side of the marsh between Bridge Street and Vaughn Street. This was a tourist destination (before the dam was erected) for folks that wanted to spend a day on Assawompset Pond.