Middlesex Fells Reservation Development – Medford MA

Description

The Middlesex Fells Reservation spans multiple towns north of Boston. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Civil Works Administration (CWA), and Works Progress Administration (WPA) were each active in developing the area.

Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission annual reports detail the work of the New Deal over time.

1934 report:
“During the first eleven weeks of this year about 2,800 men were employed on Federal Civil Works Administration projects. Most of these men were employed in the Blue Hills and Middlesex Fells Reservations. A large amount of necessary work was accomplished in the various divisions, which consisted mainly of cutting and burning brush, removing dead and diseased trees, repairing bridle paths, painting structures and fences, drainage and grading. About five miles of police cable was relaid in the Middlesex Fells Division.”

1937 report:
[CCC work:] The dams and dykes on the Upper and Lower ponds have been repaired and strengthened. The ponds will undoubtedly be very popular for both summer and winter recreational use. The motor road is practically completed but will not be given a permanent surface until the necessity for operating heavy equipment over it is eliminated. A large parking area near the lower pond, which will accommodate about one hundred cars, is finished. The development of a picnic area in a four-acre grove of large white pines is now underway. In addition to a water supply and sanitaries, enough tables, benches and fireplaces will be provided for one hundred and fifty people and an adjacent parking space will take care of about fifty cars. An 800 foot stretch of roadway from Quarry Road to the top of Pine Hill in the Middlesex Fells Reservation was built to provide access to the site of the Elizur Wright Memorial Tower. Construction of the double driveway entrance road from Lynn Fells Parkway to the reservation proper has been started and is progressing satisfactorily. 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.”

[WPA work:] “Middlesex Fells Reservation; a project is now in operation which will provide for insect pest control for all infested areas in the reservation. The work is directed primarily towards the eradication of Gypsy Moth and Forest and Tent Caterpillar infestation. The work will proceed through the winter and early spring.”

Source notes

"Annual report of the Metropolitan District Commission," by Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission (1934 volume; pg. 3)

"Annual report of the Metropolitan District Commission," by Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission (1937 volume; pp. 19, 21)

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

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Location Info


Middlesex Fells Reservation
Medford, MA

Coordinates: 42.454930, -71.104792

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