Wompatuck State Park - Hingham, Massachusetts
Posted by: RIclimber
N 42° 13.122 W 070° 51.976
19T E 345967 N 4675744
Quick Description: Wompatuck State Park is located in Hingham, MA - just 35 minutes from downtown Boston. Rich in history, this land was originally the property of Indian chief Josiah Wompatuck who deeded the land to English Settlers in 1665.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 11/8/2009 4:45:23 PM
Waymark Code: WM7MBC
This land that we call Wompatuck State Park was originally the property of the Indian chief Josiah Wompatuck. In 1655 he deeded the land we now call Hingham so that others could enjoy the land as he did.
In the 1700s early settlers and ship captains held title to the area, but the land was never extensively developed. The tall trees were used for masts and stone walls were built to denote survey and boundary lines.
During the 1800s, the land was used by the local residents. Families maintained woodlots to heat their homes. The streams powered Stockbridge Mill, which was used to make shingles. The farmers used the fields to graze their horses, sheep, and oxen. Water from Mt. Blue Spring was commercially bottled.When the Civil War broke out all the local men were swept into the fight. Many never returned. In their absence, the land was not utilized and the forest started to reclaim it.
In 1941, the U.S. Navy acquired from private landowners all of the property in order to expand the already existing Hingham Naval Ammunitions Depot. This area was known as the Cohasset Annex. Many cement bunkers were constructed and the area became a huge ammunitions storage depot. During World War II the Depot was the main ammunition supply for the North Atlantic naval forces. When World War II ended, this area reverted to maintenance status only. It was reactivated for the Korean conflict and once again went into full military operation. Explosives such as TNT loaded depth charges, bombs, fuses, projectiles, and cartridges were produced and stored along with the assembly of rocket motors.
This all came to an end in 1962. The U.S. Navy deactivated the Cohasset Annex and in 1963 the land was declared surplus by the Navy.
In 1966 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took possession of the Cohasset Annex property. In 1967 the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources purchased the 3496 acres to convert it to a public park.
In 1969 the park opened for limited outdoor recreational use, and in 1973 it was dedicated as Wompatuck State Park.
In 1986 the Park acquired an additional 600 acres from the government.
On January 1, 2004, a 125 acre parcel off of Leavitt Street was added to the park.
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