Breakheart Reservation – Saugus MA

Description

The Civilian Coservation Corps (C.C.C.) was active at the Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, Mass.

1934 Metropolitan District Commission annual report:
“Under Chapter 338, Acts of 1934, the Commission were authorized to purchase about 650 acres of land in Saugus and Wakefield, adjacent to the Lynn Fells Parkway, near the junction of the Newburyport Turnpike. This area, which has been named Breakheart Reservation, will be developed into one of the most attractive recreation parks in the Metropolitan District. Application has been made for establishing a Civilian Conservation Camp by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior.”

1936 report:
“About 3,000 man hours were contributed by the C.C.C. at Breakheart Reservation on insect control, creosoting nests.”

“The Breakheart Reservation camp continued work on the park road started in the early fall of 1935 and completed it to sub-grade during the year. The construction of this road, which is 2.3 miles in length, presented considerable difficulty as more than 1,200 yards of ledge had to be removed and an unusually large amount of drainage provided. An additional strip of land has been acquired between Lynn Fells Parkway and the reservation entrance which will permit a double driveway entrance road to the starting point of the one-way park road.

A layout of the entrance driveway is now being prepared by the Commission’s landscape consultant. A survey of both Breakheart and Middlesex Fells Reservation was made by ski experts to determine the suitability of the terrain for skiing facilities. It was not found possible to lay out any downhill runs but a suitable practice area with a drop in elevation of about 100 feet was constructed in Breakheart. This practice slope is now ready for use. No cross-country ski trails in Middlesex Fells were suggested by the experts as the reservation is amply provided with trails and service roads which are generally adequate for the purpose.

1937 report:
“The C.C.C. camp is still in operation at this reservation, engaged in the work of building roads, clearing woodland areas and making picnic grounds. The house and barn on this reservation, which are the property of the Commonwealth, were repaired and electrical and plumbing work done as needed, by division forces. The entrance road was seal coated with asphalt and stone.”

“The camp in Breakheart Reservation has made substantial progress on its work program during the year, and it is expected that the development of recreational facilities will be far enough along in the early summer to allow a limited use of the area by the public during week ends. The commission has found it necessary to discourage unrestricted use of the reservation as construction operations by the camp work details has made it advisable to do so because of the dangers involved. …

The gypsy moth scouting details continued the creosoting of egg clusters in both Middlesex Fells and Breakheart Reservation until the start of the spraying season. A detail of twenty boys were assigned to the sprayer crews while spraying operations were carried on. Creosoting was started again in October and a vigorous campaign will be pursued through the winter in both reservations as the infestation is unusually severe.”

1938 report:
“At Breakheart Reservation work has continued on the approved development plan for this area. The double driveway entrance road from Lynn Fells Parkway to the reservation proper and the one-way motor road were finished and will be given a bituminous surface treatment in the spring. The parking areas at the Lower Pond and Pine Top were completed; the area at the Upper Pond is under construction. Truck trails for fire fighting, insect pest control and other maintenance purposes have been completed in the section between the upper and lower ponds and in the Wakefield end of the reservation. Another truck trail north of Water Street is partially completed. 10,000 man days of labor were expended on gypsy moth creosoting and spraying in both Breakheart and Middlesex Fells.”

Source notes

"Annual report of the Metropolitan District Commission," by Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission (1934 volume; pg. 4)

"Annual report of the Metropolitan District Commission," by Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission (1936 volume; pp. 7, 14)

"Annual report of the Metropolitan District Commission," by Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission (1937 volume; pp. 7, 19)

"Annual report of the Metropolitan District Commission," by Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission (1938 volume; pg. 18)

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on February 12, 2018.

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Location Info


Breakheart Reservation
Saugus, MA

Coordinates: 42.4835, -71.0315

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