Historical Sites

Ashdod Triangle

641 Congress St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Duxbury Rural and Historical Society: 781-934-6106

Owned By: Duxbury Rural & Historical Society

The Ashdod Triangle is a small park with a stream running through it. It is located at the intersection of Union and Congress Streets in Duxbury.


The Ashdod Triangle, acquired in 1908, was one of the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society’s earliest purchases. It was initially acquired to preserve trees planted at an important intersection for those traveling between Pembroke and Duxbury. (The trees are gone now.)

This west Duxbury neighborhood goes by the name Ashdod. It appealed to early settlers because its open meadows — bordered by Keene’s Brook, Philips Brook, and the South River — were excellent farmland. Later, mills were established on the streams.

In the 1730s, Reuben Peterson (1710-1795) dammed Phillips Brook to power a sawmill, creating Peterson’s Sawmill Pond, just down the road on Congress Street. The dam is right underneath today’s Congress Street (Route 14). (Look behind the Ashdod Fire Station to see the mill’s foundation stones.) In her book, Settlement and Growth of Duxbury 1628-1870, Dorothy Wentworth describes it as “the usual up and down type mill.” It ran for many years, but like Howlands Mill upstream, suffered from insufficient water supply.

According to Wentworth, an agreement in the Town Records of 1772 says, in part, “Reuben Peterson will pay Consider Smith a shilling a year for the privilege of maintaining a ditch across the Simmons land through which to bring an additional supply of water from a stream draining out of Black Friar Swamp. That ditch is right here at the Ashdod Triangle!

This property lies within the upper portion of the South River watershed — right between the historic territories of both the Massachusett (or Massachuseuk) and Wampanoag Native American tribes. It’s possible that both tribes utilized the area.

To learn more about local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett, the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag, the Mashpee Wampanoag, and the Herring Pond Wampanoag share information on their websites. 

Trail Description

Open area; no trails.

Habitats and Wildlife

The stream (actually a 200-year-old manmade ditch) that runs through the triangle has historic significance and can be a fun place to explore. Two South River tributaries are nearby. Keene’s Brook is to the northwest, and Phillips Brook is to the east. Phillips Brook flows through Peterson’s Sawmill Pond and continues northeast into the Camp Wing Conservation Area, where it joins the South River. Keene’s Brook flows into the South River just north of Temple Street.

The South River originates deep in Duxbury. Its source is in the Round Pond area, and from there it winds unobtrusively through the woods for several miles. Although one can view it from Route 3, and also from both the South River Bog and the Camp Wing Conservation Area, it remains a narrow and mostly un-navigable stream until just below Veterans Memorial Park. From there it flows through South River Park, behind the playground of South River School, and under the Willow Street and Francis Keville Bridges. Wider at that point, and navigable at most tides, its course winds through the marshes as it runs parallel to Route 139, all the way to Rexhame. From there the river turns northward. It flows for 3 miles between Humarock and the mainland to Fourth Cliff, where it joins the North River at its outlet to the sea.

  • A photograph of a property sign on grass beside a stream.
  • A photograph of a stream through a grassy area.
  • A photograph of a bench and a property sign on grass beside a stream.
  • A photograph of a stream through an area with grass and trees, with an American flag in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a culvert and a stream with some decorations in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a property sign on grass beside a stream.
641 Congress St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: Yes

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 0.25 acre

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited roadside parking.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Bench, footbridge.

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash or under control at all times. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Keene's Brook and Phillips Brook (South River watershed)

Other Things to Do at This Site