Thursday, July 28, 2011

Following the Satucket Path through Abington, Massachusetts

Several years ago, plans were started to note points of historic interest in Massachusetts towns. One of those "tours" was the work of a long-time Abington resident Dorothy (Mrs. Kenneth) Taylor.
1. As you enter Abington from the North on Route 58, you are following the route of the old Satucket Path , an Indian Trail that connected Weymouth with East Bridgewater. Just over the town line in Abington is the "Heape of Stones" whose plaque reads:"The Heape of Stones marks the oldest jurisdictional line in the country erected in 1664 "to mark the crossing of the line between Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony at the Satucket Indian Path."
2. Continuing south on Route 58, turn left at Harrison Avenue and continue to the end. On the left is Arnold Park with a boulder commemorating the Abington Riot of August 16, 1893. The riot occurred when the railroad tried to stop the street car company from laying tracks across the railroad right of way, in spite of a court order permitting this. The Massachusetts Supreme Court later ruled in favor of the street car company and set a country-wide precedent when it jailed the railroad officials involved in the riot. As a peace offering to the town, the railroad built the North Abington Station, designed by the famous architect H.H. Richardson. The station, a National Historic Landmark now being used as a restaurant stands opposite Harrison Avenue and Arnold Park.
3. Returning to Route 58, continue south to take the right fork at the North School as you continue along the Satucket Path. On reaching Central Street, approximately a mile from the fork inthe road, turn left and watch on your left for the entrance to Mt. Vernon Cemetery. Halfway into the cemetery on the left are the graves of both Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers and at the far end of the cemetery are some of the oldest graves in Abington.
4. Retrace your way back to Central Street and look to your left. You will see the railroad bridge which was also part of the railroad's peace offering. Prior to the street being lowered for the bridge, this had been a very dangerous intersection.
5. Now turn to your right on Central Street and return to the old Satucket Path (now known as Washington Street). Turn left and take your next left which is Wilson Place. This will take you to Island Grove Pond. You may park along the street here and walk over the bridge to admire the Memorial Arch built in 1912 to honor those who fought in the Civil War. Continuing into the grove area, to your right you will find a boulder marking the site of many Abolitionist Meetings whose speakers included William Lloyd Garrison.
6. Retrieving your car, follow the pond south to Centre Ave (Route 123). Turn right and just a few doors further on, on your right you will see the Dyer Memorial Library. This building was erected in 1935 and is both museum and library perpetuating the history of Old Abington which originally covered the areas now known as Whitman and Rockland. Miss Marietta Dyer (1853-1918), last living heir of her uncle's importing fortune, establlished the Dyer Trust Fund in her will for the purpose of constructing this building to house a library and historical exhibits.
7. Leaving the Dyer Library, turn left at the lights to regain the Satucket Path and continue straight through the second set of lights to the intersection with Route 18. Here, in front of the church, is a plaque marking both the Satucket Path and the New Bedford Toll Road which you have just joined.
8. You continue south on Route 18 (the Ols Toll Road and Indian Trail), there is a plaque at Route 18 Auto Body marking the site of the first meeting house in Abington.