Historical Sites

Hatch’s Gunning Stand

176 Central Ave, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Owned By: Private

Site of a boat yard and active hunting club in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Most of its remains were destroyed in the Blizzard of 1978, but portions of the foundation remain. Private property. No public access, but you can view it from the water.


According to Fred Freitas’s book Humarock: Hummocks, Humming Rocks, and Silver Sands, hunting in the marshes along the North and South Rivers were extremely popular pastimes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many families maintained gunning stands, especially in the New Harbor Marsh (today’s North River estuary).

Longtime Marshfield resident W. Ray Freden describes Hatch’s Boat Yard and Gunning Stand as follows. “The largest building ran with its gables east and west, with large sliding doors on the east side — they seemed boarded tight, with no ramp or entrance. The entrance door was on the left side, with maybe 3 steps. There was a smaller, shed-like building, attached on the left (south side), with two doors. If any boat building was going on, it was in there. There was room to park in front of these doors. The foundation on the north and west was made of field stones, of which some are still visible today. Dories were stacked on one another on the south side. On the north side there were tracks that ran from near the street to below the low water line. A cradle with wheels sat on the tracks, and a winch was at the head of the tracks. The building was shingled and silver grey and in poor condition outside. There were two brick chimneys, one in the shed-like building, and one in the west room of the main building.”

This land is within the region of the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett) Native American tribe.

Trail Description

No trails. The remains of Hatch’s Gunning Stand are located at the edge of the South River. They are visible from the river at higher tides. Please respect private property.

Habitats and Wildlife

Look for sandpipers on the flats between the remains of the gunning stand and the South River. The South River flows into the North River a short distance downstream.

The Blizzard of 1978 was a catastrophic nor’easter that struck New England from February 5-7, 1978. Extensive storm damaged was sustained along the coast of the South Shore. Extremely high tideland gale force winds resulted in significant property damage along the North and South Rivers.

176 Central Ave, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Parking: No public parking available.

Trail Difficulty: No trails.

Dogs: No

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: No

Waterbody/Watershed: South River