December 2016: Identify This Place

We received 10 correct entries to our December 2016 contest to identify this old photograph.

The two winners of free one-year Conservators memberships, drawn from a hat, were Suzette Barbier and David Tobias.

The old postcard is a view of Laundry Brook just below the the dam that forms Bullough’s Pond. The current concrete dam was built in 1898. The postcard was created between 1898 and 1908, the date of the postmark on the card.

The best source of info about Bullough’s Pond is Diana Muir’s book: Reflections in Bullough’s Pond.

Muir writes that the first dam on Smelt Brook (now Laundry Brook) was built in 1664 to power a grist mill. (p 56) The dam lasted for 200 years. “The dam and its shallow, marshy pond attracted the attention of a real estate development company that replaced the seventeenth-century dam with concrete in 1897-1898, landscaping the banks of a new, smaller pond intended as the centerpiece of a residential neighborhood.” (p 165)

The image below is the north end of the pond, prior to the construction of the new dam, from an 1895 atlas. The next image is a 1907 map. A modern map is at the bottom.

The outfall to Laundry Brook is now farther to the east than it was in 1895, and there’s more land (as well as Dexter Road) between Mill Street and the northern edge of the pond. Aside from the construction of houses along Mill and Dexter, there’s been little change from 1907 to the present. Muir writes that the pond’s “present size and shape were determined by a nineteenth century real estate developer.” (p 236).

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