23 Howland Landing, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA
Owned By: Town of Duxbury
A hillside park overlooking Kingston Bay with a launch for small boats.
This land was within the region of the Patuxet, members of the Wampanoag tribe, who inhabited the area around the Jones River now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth.
This property is part of the original 120 acres granted in 1627 to Captain Myles Standish, Commander of the Plymouth Militia, ten years before Duxbury became incorporated as a town. It is a prime spot, sheltered by Captain’s Hill, and overlooking Kingston Bay. The Myles Standish Monument State Park is located nearby.
In 1742, members of the Standish family sold 11 acres of their original farm to Samuel Drew, who established shipyards there, as well as a home. The shipyards were some of Duxbury’s earliest. Three generations of the Drew family (Samuel, Isaac, Joshua) built coastal schooners and sloops there until 1863. Isaac Drew, Samuel’s son, built a house on the property around 1781. The house and land remained in the Drew family until 1941, but fell into disrepair. Remains of the cellar are still visible today.
In the mid-1870s, the Duxbury Wharf Company purchased part of the property, and developed a small steamship wharf on site. Remnants are still visible, just west of the landing. Then, in 1879, the Seaver Family acquired most of the original Drew shipyard and established the Standard Fertilizer Company. Also known as the “Pogy” factory, the enterprise processed menhaden fish (or pogies) into fertilizer and oil. Neighbors sued the company because of its unpleasant smell. Even though Standard Fertilizer successfully defended its right to operate in this location, it eventually moved elsewhere, due to negative publicity. Samuel Howland was the next owner of the property, until his death in 1933.
In 1894, the Town of Duxbury purchased the road and landing, to provide public access to the water. After Samual Howland passed away, the town renamed the road and landing in his honor. Ralph Drew sold his family’s remaining acreage to a church in 1934, creating Blairhaven, a summer camp. The Town of Duxbury purchased the camp in 2011 with Community Preservation Act funds, and created Howland’s Landing Park.
No distinct trails, but the hillside is grassy and forested, inviting a pleasant stroll. It is bordered on one side by a split rail fence.
Habitats and Wildlife
The open woodland is primarily pine, cedar and oak. There is a small gravel beach on Kingston Bay.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 5 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking for 15 cars and 3 trailers.
Trail Difficulty: Easy, Medium
Benches, picnic tables, informational kiosk, dog waste receptacle. There is also a small amphitheater, located within a cedar grove.
Boat Ramp: Yes
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Kingston Bay (Atlantic Ocean)