675 Long Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA
Owned By: Wildlands Trust
The headquarters of the Wildlands Trust and the gateway to the 230 acres of woodlands collectively known as the Davis-Douglas Conservation Area. This includes Emery Preserve West, Six Ponds East Conservation Area, the Plymouth Conservation land that stands between them, was well as Emery Preserve East. The property also features an office, a function space, a community garden, and trails.
As you pull into the driveway of Davis-Douglas Farm, it’s impossible to miss the water tower — a cypress barrel set atop a pillar of native stone. Recently renovated, it dates back to the farm’s early days, when water was pumped uphill for Long Pond.
According to interpretive signage on site, the history of Davis-Douglas Farm begins in the 1880s, when Howland and Anna Davis began acquiring property along the eastern shore of Long Pond. By 1890, they had built a summer home there. In September 12, 1900, “The Great Fire” of Plymouth, which lasted for several days, burned a large swath of land from Carver to Cape Cod Bay, including much of the Davises land. After clearing away the charred stumps and other detritus, they began to build a working farm. This included “large vegetable gardens, fruit trees, berry patches, dairy cows, chickens, pigs, and horses,” as well as a large barn, a chicken house, a home, and the aforementioned water tower. Along with Percy and Agnes Douglas, who were brought on board in 1922, the Davis family worked the farm together. After World War II, the Davis children gave the farm plus 7 additional acres of land to the Douglases, who had raised their 8 children on the farm. In 2012, the sons of Enzo & Barbara (Douglas) Bongiovanni (grandchildren of Percy & Agnes) sold the farm to the Wildlands Trust.
According to the website of the Wildlands Trust, this part of Plymouth was protected thanks in large part to the local Six Ponds Community. In 1973, the preserves known as Emery East and Emery West were donated to the Wildlands Trust by Mary B. Emery, Arthur H. Emery, Edward S. Emery, III, Richard B. Emery, Mary Charlotte (Emery) Russell, H. Shippen, and Lydia Goodhue. Then, in 2001, Six Ponds East Preserve was acquired. In 2010, the Town of Plymouth acquired a parcel of land in between Six Ponds East Preserve and Emery West Preserve with the assistance of Wildlands Trust. And then in 2012, the Wildlands Trust purchased Davis-Douglas Farm, with funding from public and private sources. It became the organization’s headquarters in 2014. Long before European settlers arrived in 1620, this land was part of Pokanoket, a Wampanoag village governed by Massasoit.
From the parking area, follow the “trail” signs and arrows up the pathway between the office and the barn/function space. The trail leads across a rolling green lawn to a crosswalk on Long Pond Road. Across the street, you can access a 3-mile trail loop which extends through the Six Ponds East Conservation Area (80 acres) and Emery Preserve West (142.66 acres).
Habitats and Wildlife
According to interpretive signage on site, Davis-Douglas Farm and the woods that surround it are situated on an outwash plain — thick layers of sand and gravel deposited by retreating glaciers 14,000 years ago. Kettle ponds, esker ridges, and kames (steep-sided mounds of sand and gravel) — common characteristic features of outwash plains — are all present here. The soil is sandy, acidic, and well-drained, which is why cranberry farmers have favored it for centuries. It’s also why Pine Barrens have flourished here.
Davis-Douglas Farm is located within the watershed of Halfway Pond, a headwater to the Agawam River. The Agawam River, part of the Wareham River watershed, flows southwest for 10.7 miles through Glen Charlie Pond and East Wareham, draining into the Wareham River near Wareham center. Its active herring run dates back to 1632.
The farm itself is mostly grassy, with some oak, maple and pitch pine trees.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 10 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk (trails) • Office hours vary
Parking: Limited on-site parking.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Informational kiosks, picnic tables, function space,
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Halfway Pond (Wareham River watershed)