History & Lore

 

From the History of Carver Massachusetts Historical Review 1637-1910

by Henry S Griffith 1913

The Weweantic rising at Swan Hold and flowing across the town in a southwesterly course, with its great tributary, the Crane Brook, drains the larger half of the town. Wenham Brook, which flows from Wenham Pond southerly; Horseneck brook, flowing from the Center swamp easterly; Causeway brook, flowing from a swamp on the Wenham road southerly; Beaver Dam brook, flowing from Beaver Dam pond westerly; Cedar brook, running westerly from the Cedar swamp; two brooks flowing out of New Meadows westerly; a blind brook flowing westerly from No-Bottom pond, and Atwood brook, flowing southwesterly from Bates pond, all add to the majesty of the Weweantic.

With the exception of East Head, West Head and the swamps on the Wareham-Carver town line, the Crane brook drains the territory south of cedar swamp, including the southerly section of the swamp itself. This stream from Federal ponds southwesterly, pouring its accumulated waters into the Weweantic just before it leaves town. Dunhamís pond sends its surplus water down the Crane brook either directly through a short brook that connects its easterly shore, or indirectly through Tilsonís brook, which flows from the cedar swamp southwesterly into Sampsonís pond. This pond also receives water from New Meadows country through a brook that crosses Rochester road east of Union church, and sends its surplus to the Crane brook through its southerly outlet, Sampsonís brook.

Cedar pond and Clear pond are closely related and connect with Crane brook through the westerly outlet, more or less blind, that makes through the pond southwesterly. Indian brook, rising in the Indian swamp and running southerly, fed itself by a brook running from near the southwesterly point of Sampsonís pond, adds to the waters of the Crane brook.

East Head brook, running from East Head and West Head brook, running from white springs, give rise to the Wankinquoah, which drains the swamps in that region and empties its waters into Tihonet pond. The swamps in the extreme southerly section of town also drain into Tihonet pond through Mosquito brook. Rose brook has its source in these swamps, but drains but a small part of them.

Cooperís, Johnís, Triangle, Gouldís Bottom and Barrettís ponds have no outlets.

The large area of the town sparsely populated, with numerous ponds, streams and jungles, unite to make the territory a favored breeding ground of the fish, animals and birds that thrive in this latitude.

Fish formed a staple article of food for the early settlers and in the days of the first residents the industry developed three fish weirs. Sampsonís and Dotyís ponds were breeding places for herrings until their egress and ingress was closed by the development of manufacturing along the Weweantic river. These ponds were also stocked with white perch, a valued food fish until the specie was landlocked, since which it has so far degenerated as to become nearly worthless. During the latter half of the 19th century some of the ponds were stocked with black bass and that species has become the most valuable for food. The list of fresh water fish that have always thrived would include pickerel, red perch, shiners, white fish, roaches, hornpouts, and brook trout.

Deer, the largest of our wild animals, find favorable conditions. Through persistent hunting they were exterminated in the latter half of the 19th century but under the protection of the law they regained a foot hold and the opening days of the 20th century found them so numerous as to be actually depredatious.

The first settlers found beavers and wolves in abundance. The former were highly prized for commercial reasons and quickly exterminated while war was declared on the latter also for well known reasons and they to disappeared. Foxes and skunks have ever been regarded with suspicion and while they have never had protection of the law they still thrive. Being valued for their furs there is a double motive for destroying them and the persistency in which they hold their own is creditable to their cunning. Other animals which are valued for their furs, but which appear to be disappearing are otters, minks, raccoons, muskrats and weasels.

The woods once teemed with hare and rabbits, but these are liable to be extinct. The destruction of their breeding places in the process of cranberry bog construction is the main cause of the extermination of this game, with increasing population, forest fires and persistent hunting as contributing factors. Gray squirrels, red squirrels and chipmunks are undiminished.

The first settlers declared war on crows, crow blackbirds and red birds (brown thrashers) in the interest of their corn fields, but in spite of these inconveniences the birds are with us yet and as we get better acquainted with them we rejoice that they have not been exterminated.