Posts Tagged ‘Haggett’s Pond’

A Picnic with Bessie

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Today I am blogging about a fun summer day with Bessie that features a few activities that I’m sure we can all relate to. Enjoy!

July 1st 1896

Today I went on a picnic to Lakeview with Miss Jenkin’s Sunday school class. We started at half past eight and got there about half past ten. Before dinner most of the girls rode in the flying horses three or four times. We ate dinner in the piazza. We had a great variety of things to eat and a plenty of everything. After dinner I rode in the flying horses twice and the second time I caught the brass ring and so I had another ride free. We went around the lake on the steamboat. I didn’t take money enough and so I borrowed ten cents of Annie Johnson and ten of Ethel Coleman and Miss Jenkins treated me to my rides on the steamboat and on the flying horses. We started home a little after three but we didn’t get there till about half past five for we missed a car and had to wait half an hour in Lowell. I was very tired and so I went upstairs directly after supper but I came downstairs again for Miss McLaulin and Miss Robinson and May Locke came in.

I really like this entry because once, I caught the brass ring at a carousel at Martha’s Vineyard.  At some carousel’s if you grab the brass ring, you win a free ride!  I think it’s cool that Bessie and I shared similar experiences, even though we live in such different time periods. Also, Bessie certainly had a lot of friends!

Below is a picture from Andover Historical Society that shows young children picnicking near Haggett’s Pond, which was a popular spot for picnics until the town started using it for drinking water. Rules prohibiting swimming, boating, and other water activities, were set into place.

Doug Cooper, a researcher at the Historical Society found this information about Haggett’s Pond:

“In 1889, Haggett’s Pond was named as the official water supply for the town and swimming was no longer allowed. The prohibition was routinely ignored by people and cows alike. (Joan Patrakis. “What Our Ancestors Did For Summer Fun). In 1908, the state of Massachusetts took further steps to protect the pond from pollution so that nobody got sick from drinking bad water. (Report on Water Supply & Sewerage pg. 26 [1984.10] ).  The state regulations helped bring an end to organized activities at the pond.”

In another one of her entries, Bessie mentions having a picnic at Haggett’s Pond with some friends.

#1992.803-Picnic at Haggett's Pond


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

For my next post, I have decided to talk about another well-known site in Andover, Haggetts Pond.

Haggetts Pond is the largest pond in Andover, covering 220 acres of land. It was orginally known as Blanchard’s Pond, but was changed when families by the name of Haggit bought the land from Samuel Blanchard.
Haggetts Pond is located in West Andover, and connects to the Merrimack River. Haggetts Pond Road is named after Haggetts Pond, and runs next to the shore. Haggetts Pond Road is a very long road that connects to route 133 and High Plain Road. Activities offered at Haggetts Pond include boating and fishing. Hiking trails encircle the pond. Suprisingly, swimming is not allowed at Haggetts Pond. Haggetts Pond is perhaps the most famous pond in Andover, and an important attraction to the town.
Haggetts Pond is even listed on Wikipedia!

Photo of the Week

Sunday, May 6th, 2012


Located in West Andover, Turtle Mound may be the oldest stone structure in America. This lovely collection of rocks overlooks Haggetts Pond. An aerial view of the mound resembles a turtle. By going inside the turtle, like this woman is doing, you can step into two stone 8-by-10 rooms.

Turtle Mound used to be on the property of M. Harnois. Harnois built a shrine inside of the caves in 1914. There is still evidence of the shrine today.

In 1951, Frank Glynn, a Yale archeologist, uncovered the history of Turtle Mound by using carbon dating. Glynn found a layer of charcoal and human bones on the ground, indicating the cave was used for creamation and ceremonies. Glynn also discovered that the cave has been around since 2000 B.C., and he even found prehistoric tools, like spear heads and drills. So if you’re ever in West Andover and in need of an outdoor ceremony…



Photo of the Week

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

In our last photo of the Lewis family, an unidentified family member is standing near the old train line behind Haggett’s Pond. Before 1919, Andover students from West Andover boarded the train at Haggett’s Pond and took it to Lawrence, where they picked up the street car to downtown Andover.  It took two hours to make the journey to school, and then another two hours to get back home again.  The train stopped running in the early 1920s.  Looking at the clothing worn by the woman, the photograph might have been taken right around the time the train stopped running.

An unidentified member of the Lewis family by the old train line at Haggett's Pond. (Acc.#1998.558.3)

Remnants of the train line can still be seen today.  It forms part of the rail trail that can be accessed from Haggett’s Pond Road.  According to the Andover Trails Committee, the trail, “provides an unpaved but smooth walking, jogging, and mountain biking trail, suitable for wheelchair use and the vision impaired as well. Wheelchair users may be able to enter trail under or around the vehicle barrier at Haggett’s Pond Road.”


Andover Stories – July 29, 2010

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

This week’s Andover Stories by local historian and author Joan Patrakis, “What our ancestors did for summer fun,” describes warm weather entertainment before the digital age.  How did people entertain themselves during the dog days of summer?  Many are familiar family activities today.  Boating, picnics, cycling, swimming, amusement parks, and sports still top lists of summer fun.  Follow the link to the Andover Townsman Online to learn how these popular activities have changed over the past 125 years.


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

This week’s photograph is a staff favorite.  This image is part of a collection of photographs of these children and their families enjoying an outing at Haggett’s Pond.  Given that public swimming was outlawed in Andover as late as 1895, it’s not surprising that the children are not dressed in swimming attire.  All of the other people in the party were similarly dressed.  Today it’s hard to imagine keeping children this age completely dressed and out of the water!

Children enjoying the beach at Haggett's Pond at the turn of the last century.

Haggett’s Pond has had many uses over the past 150 years.  For many years it was the home of Bailey’s Grove, a private recreation area that included dining areas, a dance floor, boating, and even for a time, a world-renown boxing camp!  Little is known about the camp beyond this news article that describes George Dixon, the “famed Boston pugilist,” coming to the Grove for training.


Photo of the Week

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
The beach at Bailey's Shady Grove on Haggett's Pond was a popular summer spot

The beach at Bailey's Shady Grove on Haggett's Pond was a popular summer spot

Andover was a summertime destination in the 1800s and first half of the 1900s.  This week’s photograph is of Bailey’s “Shady Side Grove” on Haggett’s Pond. The grove and beach was a popular picnic site.  As their 1885 advertisement claimed, “Shady Side is always cool and pleasant.”  The grove featured a restaurant that sold fruit, candy, ice cream, soda and “fish dinners in good style.”  Dances were sometimes held at the grove and in 1901 there was a bowling alley as well.  There was a steam boat called “Spitfire” that would steam customers around the lake.  Common dories could be used for free, but an Adirondack canoe would cost you 50 cents for an hour’s use.