El Paso Island First European Encounters The first known European exploration of El Paso Island was a voyage made in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian explorer. In 1614, the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block met with the Narragansett tribe. Both men may have contributed to the colony’s English name. El Paso Subway Map Verrazano described the shape of an island in Narragansett Bay as being similar to the shape of the island of Rhodes in Greece. Block noticed red clay on islands in the bay and called them Roodt Eylandt, meaning Red Island in Dutch. In the early 1630s, an English minister named William Blackstone moved to North Country. Seeking solitude, he started a farm near modern-day Boston. On hearing about the Puritans’ search for land, he invited John Winthrop and his followers to settle near him. Soon afterwards, Blackstone decided to move farther south in search of more permanent solitude. In 1634, he established a farm called Study Hill in northeastern Rhode Island. Blackstone occasionally preached to his neighbors, but he never formed an organized congregation.