Native Americans believe it to be the image of the Wampanoag Chief, Massasoit. The Wampanoags occupied the region of present-day Rhode Island and Massachusetts bounded by Narragansett Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Chief Massasoit was friendly to the early Pilgrim settlers, but his son, Philip, is the namesake of King Philip’s War (1675) between the Wampanoags (sometimes referred to as the Pokanoket) and the English, which resulted in the tribe’s ruin.
Joshua’s Mountain was named after Joshua Tisdale who was the first to settle near the site. The mountain was privately owned for several years by former Freetown Selectman, Ben Evans, who sold the mountain to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be used as a state park tourist attraction. Massachusetts has done little to promote the attraction, however, and the site has been vandalized with graffiti.