However, the mutual deference of the Native Americans and the settlers soon dissipated as covetous speculators eyed the vast, valuable tribal lands. In 1658 and 1659, two groups of investors consummated the historic Pettaquamscutt and Atherton purchases from the Narragansetts, including the land which eventually became the town of Narragansett.
The Town of Narragansett, of course, is the namesake of the tribe. At the beginning of the English colonization, the town site was merely part of a much larger territory called "Narragansett Country." Most likely, the town simply adopted the name to distinguish itself from surrounding areas and villages, which had earlier selected appellations recalling their English heritage. (The Native American word "Narragansett" translates roughly into English as "people of the small point".)
Following the mid-Seventeenth Century Pettaquamscutt and Atherton purchases, the bountiful Narragansett acreage - consisting mostly of three peninsulas called "Boston Neck" (north of Narrow River), "Little Neck" (now the Pier Village area), and "Point Judith Neck" (the south end of town) - served largely for grazing, farming, and fishing purposes.