Historical Sites

Border Street Bridge

86 Border St, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA

Town of Cohasset: 781-383-4100

Owned By: Town of Cohasset

The scenic and historic Border Street Bridge,on the Gulf River between Cohasset and Scituate, offers extraordinary views, especially at high tide! It is also known as the Mill Bridge. Swimming is prohibited.


Elisha Doane operated a dam and tidal grist mill here c. 1792. A few blocks of the original stones are still visible on site. Doane was required to provide “suitable Flood Gates” so that vessels could still travel past the dam. During the War of 1812, a militia was stationed here to prevent landings by British warships. After the mill burned down in 1862, the Tower Brothers established a lumber wharf here.

This land is within the region of the Massachusett (or Massachuseuk) Native American tribe. Long before the arrival of European settlers, the Massachusett maintained a village on the eastern shore of the Gulf river, as well as in Scituate Harbor. According to John F. Hartshorne’s “A History of the Gulf River,” the river and village were known as “Conyhassit,” (often translated as “long rocky place.”)

In 1614, while exploring what was known then as the New World, Captain John Smith (1580-1631) landed in “Quonahassit Harbor” to trade for furs. A tablet erected nearby, at Lawrence Wharf, commemorates the event. Captain Smith was tasked with mapping the coastline from Virginia to Maine, searching for a suitable location for an English settlement.

There was probably a Massachusett village in the vicinity of today’s Elm Street (Cohasset), a summer camp for fishing, and for growing corn, beans and squash. The village moved inland during the winter for shelter, and to hunt for deer, turkey and other wildlife. A widespread plague decimated the Quonahassit population shortly after Smith’s visit.

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

Beginning around 1640, the Conihasset River (Gulf River) and Cohasset Harbor served as boundary line between the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies.

Follow the Gulf Association for more information about the Gulf River.

Trail Description

A sidewalk provides access to the bridge. Extend your visit by exploring Government Island, Lawrence Wharf, and the Cohasset Veterans Memorial, all within walking distance. The Cohasset Historical Commission has placed markers at 10 different historic sites along the way. This is known as The Captains’ Walk.

Habitats and Wildlife

This bridge offers spectacular views of the Gulf River, which originates in Scituate. A short distance downstream, the Gulf River flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Cohasset Harbor.

  • A photograph of a bridge over a river with trees and shrubs in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a historic marker with some buildings in the background.
  • A photograph of a raging river with buildings on both sides.
  • A photograph of a bridge and some adjacent buildings with trees and shrubs in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a bridge with rocks, trees and shrubs in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a river with a grey building beside it.
  • A photograph of a historic marker on a bridge.
  • A photograph of a river flowing past a large rocky outcropping with a house on top.
  • A photograph from on top of a bridge, with a river in the background and the words No Swimming painted on the road in the foreground.
  • A photograph of paved roadway passing over a bridge.
  • A photograph of an interpretive sign for The Captain's Walk.
86 Border St, Cohasset, MA 02025, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Parking: Limited roadside parking on Border Street in Cohasset.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Historic marker.

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Gulf River

Other Things to Do at This Site