When the valley of the Kennebec was first explored, it was inhabited by a tribe of Indians known as the Kennebis (Kennebec Tribe). The ruler of this great tribe lived upon Little Swan Island, a small island in the Kennebec River between Richmond and Dresden. He bore the title of Bashaba, and from him or his ancestors the river and the tribe received their names. It appears that the abode of this great chieftain was strongly fortified. The ruins of this great fortress were visable up through the end of the 19th century. It was built of logs in circular form, with the entrance from the north. The entrance was probably an underground passage. The Kennebecs were divided into four subordinate tribes, each tribe was subject to a chief, who in turn paid alliegence to Basheba, who was looked upon as the supreme ruler of all four tribes.