2-102 King Caesar Rd, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA
Owned By: Duxbury Rural and Historical Society
Located across the street from the King Caesar House museum, this small grassy park offers gorgeous views of Duxbury Bay.
Ezra Weston I (1743-1822) established a shipyard nearby, where he built small fishing vessels. His son, Ezra Weston II, joined the family shipbuilding business in 1798, and constructed a home across the street from this park. Weston II was known as King Caesar, because of his success in the shipbuilding and mercantile businesses.
This park is located on Weston Wharf, one of many locations used by the Weston family in their shipbuilding operations. In earlier times, it was large enough to house 5 buildings, including a counting building and a sail loft. Weston II docked smaller vessels here for outfitting, loading and rigging. In 1840, the family enterprise was known as “the largest ship owner in America.” In 1850, the 881-ton ship “Hope” was built here — the largest merchant ship in New England at the time.
Duxbury’s shipbuilding era extended from 1790 to 1850. There were numerous wharves along Duxbury Bay, and more than 25 shipbuilders working both on the bay and on the Bluefish River. Most of the ships constructed there were merchant vessels that sailed to Europe and the Mediterranean. Toward the end of Duxbury’s shipbuilding era, locally-built ships were also used in the domestic cotton trade.
Duxbury’s bay is relatively shallow, making it inhospitable to clipper ships. That combined with the effects of the Financial Panic of 1837 and a scarcity of resources are some of the major circumstances that drew Duxbury’s shipbuilding era to a close.
The property was donated to the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society in 1946, to be used as a public park. It was given in honor of Dr. Hermon Bumpus (1862-1943), a naturalist and academic who owned and restored the King Caesar House in the early 20th century. Please call the DRHS office to inquire about reservations for private ceremonies and photography sessions.
This land is within the region of the Patuxet Wampanoag tribe, who for centuries have inhabited the area around the Jones River now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth.
A U-shaped gravel path of about 0.1 mile provides a short walking path around the property.
Habitats and Wildlife
The park is is built on a wharf on the Bluefish River as it enters Duxbury Bay. It is mostly grassy, with some cedar, oak and pitch pine trees, and some shrubs.
The Bluefish River originates in ponds and springs between Duxbury’s Station & Washington Streets and Partridge Road, and flows north, parallel to the coast, to the Cushman Preserve. From there, it turns east, passing the Reynolds-Maxwell Garden and flowing under Washington Street, where it opens up into a broad estuary. The Bluefish River merges with the Duxbury Back River in Duxbury Bay.
Historic Site: Yes
Boat Launch: No
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Very limited roadside parking (3 vehicles)
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Benches, interpretive signage. Geocache location.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Bluefish River (Duxbury Back River watershed)