Fresh Pond (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

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Fresh Pond
Fresh Pond, Cambridge, MA 08.jpg
The pond in winter
Fresh Pond landscape plan by Olmsted.jpg
General plan for Fresh Pond Park, by the Olmsted Brothers landscape design firm (1897). "[A]lmost none of the plans to relocate the carriage drive [to the route shown] were ever implemented."[1]
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°23′N 71°9′W / 42.383°N 71.150°W / 42.383; -71.150Coordinates: 42°23′N 71°9′W / 42.383°N 71.150°W / 42.383; -71.150
Type reservoir
Basin countries United States
Surface area 155 acres (63 ha)

Fresh Pond is a reservoir and park in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to the Pond's use exclusively as a reservoir, its ice had been harvested by Boston's "Ice King", Frederic Tudor, and others, for shipment to North American cities and to tropical areas around the world.

Fresh Pond Reservation consists of a 155 acre (627,000 m²) kettle hole lake, and 162 acres (656,000 m²) of surrounding land, with a 2.25 mile (3.6 km) perimeter road popular with walkers, runners and cyclists, and a nine-hole golf course.[2] On the northern outskirts of the Fresh Pond Reservation lies an assisted living community called Neville Place (formerly Neville Manor) and a nursing home called Neville Center.[3]

Water and ice[edit]

In the mid-19th century, the Pond was privately owned and home to a flourishing ice-harvesting industry, with ice shipped as far as Europe, China, and India. In 1856, a private company began supplying its customers with drinking water from the Pond. In 1865 the business came under city ownership. By the end of the century the Pond and the land surrounding it was entirely city-owned, and an elaborate public water supply system had been developed.

Fresh Pond is part of the overall Cambridge water system. Its water is fed to the pond via an aqueduct from the Hobbs Brook and Stony Brook Reservoirs, located in Lexington, Lincoln, Waltham and Weston, Massachusetts.[4] After purification at the Walter J. Sullivan Water Treatment Facility adjacent to Fresh Pond, the water is pumped upwards to the underground Payson Park Reservoir in Belmont. From there it flows back to Cambridge, with gravity providing the pressure to distribute drinking water to residents and businesses.[5]

Transportation[edit]

Fresh Pond is bordered by Fresh Pond Parkway, Huron Avenue, Grove Street, Blanchard Road, and Concord Avenue. The Reservation can be reached via the Minuteman Bikeway or MBTA 72, 74, 75, and 78 buses. It is about a ten-minute walk from Alewife Station on the MBTA Red line.

Proposed Watertown Branch trail[edit]

A portion of the abandoned Watertown Branch Railroad is situated between Fresh Pond Parkway and the water treatment facility. Currently overgrown in parts, this single track line enters the Fresh Pond reservation at its northeastern edge, near the Concord Avenue–Fresh Pond Parkway rotary. The line continues in a southerly direction along much of the eastern boundary of the reservation until it reaches the Huron Avenue overpass to the south. The branch terminates in the nearby town of Watertown. There are plans to have this rail line, disused since 2001, converted into a rail trail and linear park. A section in Watertown, from Grove Street to School Street, opened in 2011.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Sinclair, Jill (April 2009). Fresh Pond: The History of a Cambridge Landscape. MIT Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-262-19591-1. 
  2. ^ Fresh Pond Golf Course Accessed 2008-10-02
  3. ^ Neville Center at Fresh Pond Accessed 2008-10-02
  4. ^ Map of Cambridge drinking water source area Accessed 2008-10-02
  5. ^ Cambridge Water Department Fresh Pond FAQ Accessed 2008-10-02

General references[edit]

External links[edit]