mhc reconnaissance survey town vaughn's hill, north rochester and vicinity of mill pond. early 18c...

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  • MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report ROCHESTER Report Date: 1981 Associated Regional Report: Southeast Massachusetts Reconnaissance Survey Town Reports, produced for MHC’s Statewide Reconnaissance Sur- vey between 1979 and 1987, introduce the historical development of each of the Common- wealth’s municipalities. Each report begins with an historic overview, a description of topogra- phy, and political boundaries. For the purposes of the survey, the historic period has been sub- divided into seven periods: Contact (1500–1620), Plantation (1620–1675), Colonial (1675– 1775), Federal (1775–1830), Early Industrial (1830-1870), Late Industrial (1870–1915), and Early Modern (1915–1940/55). Each report concludes with survey observations that evaluate the town’s existing historic properties inventory and highlight significant historic buildings, set- tlement patterns, and present threats to these resources. A bibliography lists key secondary re- sources. Town reports are designed for use together with a series of town maps that demarcate settle- ment patterns, transportation corridors and industrial sites for each historic period. These maps are in the form of color-coded, polyester overlays to the USGS topographic base map for each town on file and available for consultation at MHC. For further information on the organiza- tion and preparation of town reports, readers should contact MHC. Users should keep in mind that these reports are now two decades or more old. The informa- tion they contain, including assessments of existing knowledge, planning recommendations, un- derstanding of local development, and bibliographic references all date to the time they were written. In some cases, information on certain topics was not completed. No attempt has been made to update this information. Electronic text was not available for digital capture, and as a result most of the reports have been scanned as PDF files. While all have been processed with optical character recognition, there will inevitably be some character recognition errors. The activity that is the subject of the MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior. This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information please write to: Office of Equal Oppor- tunity, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20240.

    MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL COMMISSION William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth Chair, Massachusetts Historical Commission 220 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, MA 02125 www.sec.state.ma.us/mhc mhc@sec.state.ma.us / 617-727-8470

  • MHC RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY REPORT

    Date: June , 1981 Community: Rochester

    TOPOGRAPHY

    Roches te r i s l o c a t e d i n t h e c o a s t a l lowlands i n l a n d from Buzzard's Bay. The s o i l s a r e sandy t o g r a v e l l y . Topographic r e l i e f i s moderate w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n of t h e Vaughn H i l l e s k e r i n t h e wes t c e n t r a l p o r t i o n of t h e town. Drainage i s t o t h e s o u t h v i a t h e M a t t a p o i s e t t River i n t h e wes t and t h e S ipp ican River i n t h e e a s t . There a r e numerous ponds i n t h e town some a r t i f i c i a l and some n a t u r a l t h e S n i p a t u i t be ing t h e l a r g e s t n a t u r a l pond. The o t h e r noteworthy n a t u r a l pond be ing t h e k e t t l e h o l e Mary's Pond on t h e e a s t e r n boundary. There i s an e x t e n s i v e sys tem of swamps i n t h e town.

    POLITICAL BOUNDARIES

    The town of Roches te r was e s t a b l i s h e d on June 4, 1686 (O.S.). P a r t was i n c l u d e d i n Wareham, 1739. P a r t annexed t o Fa i rhaven i n 1836. P a r t e s t a b l i s h e d a s Maron i n 1852 and p a r t a s M a t t a p o i s e t t i n 1857.

    HISTORIC OVERVIEW

    Roches te r i s an i n l a n d r u r a l community on t h e w e s t e r n boundary of Plymouth County. There appears t o have been a l a r g e n a t i v e popu- l a t i o n d u r i n g b o t h t h e Contact and F i r s t P e r i o d . F i r s t Pe r iod European s e t t l e m e n t r e l a t i v e l y r e s t r i c t e d t o h e r d i n g and l i v e s t o c k r a i s i n g f o r Plymouth p r o p r i e t o r s . The European p o p u l a t i o n i n - c r e a s e d e x t e n s i v e l y d u r i n g t h e C o l o n i a l P e r i o d , c o l o n i a l economic b a s e p r i m a r i l y a g r i c u l t u r e w i t h two i r o n f o r g e s and tar produc t ion f o r t h e M a t t a p o i s e t t and Marion s h i p y a r d s p rov id ing v a r i e t y . L a t e 1 8 t h and e a r l y 1 9 t h c e n t u r y economic f o c u s con t inued t o s h i f t away from Roches te r c e n t e r t o Marion and M a t t a p o i s e t t . Minimal re - s i d e n t i a l development a long t h e major roads d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . E a r l y t o mid-19th c e n t u r y economic b a s e r e v e r t s t o t a l l y t o a g r i c u l - t u r e which remains prominent throughout t h e remainder of t h e s t u d y p e r i o d . Slow p o p u l a t i o n growth and l a c k of economic i n c e n t i v e s r e s u l t e d i n minimal r e s i d e n t i a l development i n t h e 20th cen tury . Some p o s t World War I1 suburban development.

    CONTACT PERIOD (1500-16 20)

    A. T r a n s p o r t a t i o n Routes:

    In land c o r r i d o r between Assawampsett Pond (Middleborough) and c o a s t a l h a r b o r s a t M a t t a p o i s e t t s and S i p p i c a n (Marion). Primary t r a i l from Assawampsett Pond t o S i p p i c a n a p p a r e n t l y f o l l o w s from Q u i t t e c u s Pond ( N o r t h Rochester) a l o n g S n i p a t u i t Pond Road t o Vaughn H i l l p a s t S n i p a t u i t Pond and s o u t h e a s t a s Rounsev i l l e Road (Rt . 105) t o Roches te r Cen te r t o Dexter Road (now abandoned). Primary i n l a n d c o a s t a l t r a i l i s documented a s Per ry -Hi l l Roads

    MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report: Rochester 1

  • from Rochester Cen te r t o Mary's (Merrys) Pond-Masquunipash a s ~ a r y ' s Pond Road w i t h f o r d a t Doggett Brook (Leonard, 1907, pp. 98-99) and former loop o v e r S i p p i c a n River a s Ba tes Road. O r i g i n a l t r a i i l p rese rved i n t a c t a s former branch a t Cross Road w i t h connec t ions t o main n o r t h / s o u t h t r a i l t o S ipp ican Harbor as Country Road (Wareham). Other p o s s i b l e t r a i l r o u t e s i n c l u d e n o r t h / s o u t h connector t o M a t t a p o i s e t t i s M a t t a p o i s e t t Road around Towsers Swamp w i t h c o n j e c t u r e d l i n k t o S n i p a t u i t Pond a long a s i x o f Vaughn Road and a probab le n o r t h / s o u t h t r a i l around Cedar Swamp from t h e S ipp ican f o r d a l o n g t h e a x i s of Walnut P l a i n Road. Re- ment t ra i l s a p p a r e n t l y i n t a c t around H a s k e l l Swamp t o M a t t a p o i s e t t a l o n g Towsers Neck.

    B. S e t t l e m e n t P a t t e r n s :

    No r e p o r t e d n a t i v e c o n t a c t p e r i o d s i t e s , one s m a l l n a t i v e s i t e w i t h a Woodland component s i t u a t e d s o u t h of S n i p a t u i t Brook and North Avenue j u n c t i o n and f i v e u n i d e n t i f i e d n a t i v e s i t e s c l u s t e r e d around j u n c t i o n o f P e r r y H i l l , Mary's Pond, Marion Roads. However, t h e r e i s a s t r o n g l i k e l i h o o d . Rochester was t h e s i t e of n a t i v e p o p u l a t i o n a s sugges ted by t h e a r e a ' s environmental d i v e r s i t y , c o a s t a l a c c e s s i b i l i t y and p rox imi ty t o t h e Middleboro Ponds, t h e s i t e o f e x t e n s i v e n a t i v e c o n t a c t p e r i o d s e t t l e m e n t . Na t ive p o p u l a t i o n probably focused around t h e two major f r e s h w a t e r ponds ( L i t t l e and Grea t Q u i t t a c u s and S n i p a t u i t Ponds) and t h e moderate uplands of c e n t r a l Rochester ( e . g. , Vaughn H i l l , town c e n t e r ) . C . S u b s i s t e n c e P a t t e r n s :

    Seasonal h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g , c o l l e c t i n g and h o r t i c u l t u r e . Ex- t e n s i v e swamp, woodlands and f r e s h w a t e r ponds and s t reams s e r v e d a s an e x c e l l e n t h a b i t a t f o r w i l d game, w a t e r fowl and f i s h ( seasona l f i s h r u n s i n S n i p a t u i t Pond and M a t t a p o i s e t t R i v e r ) . c . 1700 Engl i sh f i s h w e i r on S n i p a t u i t Pond (p robab ly l o c a t e d a t pond's o u t l e t t o M a t t a p o i s e t t R iver ) may p r e d a t e w h i t e s e t t l e m e n t . P rox imi ty t o c o a s t f a

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