784 High St, Hanson, MA 02341, USA
Owned By: Fern Hill Cemetery
Historic cemetery with walking paths and views of Wampatuck Pond. Water access for canoes, kayaks and anglers.
Founded in 1748 in association with the Second Church of Christ in the West Parish of Pembroke (now the First Congregational Church of Hanson). Also known as Old Burial Hill and Gravely Hill. The only active cemetery in the town of Hanson, it is very well-maintained. There is an on-site office with burial records. The granite archway at the entrance was placed in 1899, with great fanfare. It reads “1750-1900.”
There is a small section of shoreline at the rear of the property, where one could launch a kayak or canoe. More universal access to Wampatuck Pond is available at the Hanson Town Hall on Route 58.
Prior to European contact, the Mattakeeset band of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe lived for thousands of years in the North River watershed. Their village included most of today’s Pembroke and Hanson. The word “Mattakeeset” means “place of many fish.” Wampatuck Pond is named for the Chief Sachem of the Mattakeeset, Josias Wompatuck (also spelled Wampatuck).
Trails extend around the perimeter of the property and in row formation among the gravestones. Some are paved and some are grass or gravel. The public is welcome for walking from dawn to dusk.
Habitats and Wildlife
The cemetery is set on Wampatuck Pond, which was created by the damming of Wampatuck Brook in 1695. Where the brook flows out of the pond, it is known as Indian Head Brook. Indian Head Brook is a major tributary to the Indian Head River.
The Indian Head River forms the boundary between Hanover and Hanson, and merges with Pembroke’s Herring Brook, a short distance downstream of Ludden’s Ford Park, to form the North River at a spot called The Crotch. The North River flows 12 miles through Pembroke, Hanover, Norwell, Marshfield and Scituate, eventually making its way to Massachusetts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Historic Site: Yes
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 6.6 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking. Follow the paved road from the entrance closest to Route 14 to the rear of the cemetery. A small parking area overlooks Wampatuck Pond.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Occasional benches. Informational kiosks. Stairway from the parking area leads down to the shore of Wampatuck Pond.
Dogs: Pets are welcome but must remain on leash and under control. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: Yes
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Indian Head Brook (North & South Rivers watershed)