| The Parklands, 1899 - 1905
From the Reports of the Park Commissioners
The large area bordering on the edge of the pond was taken rather in reference to a probable distant future use, than with intent of spending any large amount of development in the near present. As access at the present time is rather difficult, the inhabitants of the town can hardly appreciate the natural beauty of the scenery included in this tract; but when a system of park roads and bridges can be afforded, they will undoubtedly prove that the voters showed wisdom in their anticipation of future necessities.
In the area bordering on the pond a notable improvement has been made, by taking advantage of the situation when the pond was drained by the Draper Company. A force of laborers was enabled to remove the projecting snags and tree limbs, which formerly made the upper tract unsightly, and interfered more or less with boating. Several large boulders, which were dangerously situated with relation to the usual river channel, were also removed by blasting.
The Maroney grove, which includes the best tract of pine timber in town, has been cleaned up, and put into attractive shape for use by picnic parties. We have also started a roadway commencing at Hazel Street and continuing over the new bridge, and through the woods to the Grafton & Upton Railroad. With the trolley cars running on the Grafton & Upton road, the public can easily reach this new territory from the western side. There are three good springs in the vicinity, and the general attraction of the environment can only be appreciated by investigation.
The old brookway between Dutcher Street and the pond has been covered in by a very substantial and permanent stone drain, at a considerable expense.
The park commissioners wish to call attention to the fact that the upper part of the Park property is now well cleared and adaptable for use by picnic parties and others. It can be reached by team from Hazel Street, the cross street leading from the Upton road north of the connection of the Upton road with the extension of Dutcher street. The electric cars will stop by request, and an entrance on the west side of the property. The whole territory is, or course, available by boats, and a boat landing has been built near the bridge. While Park property is intended for advancing legitimate pleasure, it is not the purpose of the commissioners to encourage its use for questionable purposes. A region intended for use by all citizens, including women and children, is not the place for drunken carousels, and after noting several violations, the commissioners succeeded in arresting four out of six parties who had brought intoxicating liquor on the premises, and they were served by the court with the maximum penalty for such offense.
We are continuing trimming and thinning on our wood properties during the winter months, the sale of the wood about balancing the expense. The upper end is now well reached from Hazel Street, but the lower end of our property is somewhat swampy in places, necessitating more in the way of culverts and filing to even allow a proper foot-path to be laid out.
During the year we have arranged a complete system of pathways on the eastern side of the pond from the bath house to the "second bridge" so called, with a branch from Dutcher Street and connection side path loops. Care has been taken to provide dry footing through the swamps and brooks, and this whole region is now available for foot passengers at any period of the year. We find many availing themselves of the opportunity to use these paths, and thereby for acquaintance with a very interesting portion of the park reservation.
The Park Commissioners during the years covered here were Charles Roper, Frank Dutcher and George Otis Draper.
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