76-44 Woodbine Ave, Pembroke, MA 02359, USA
Owned By: Town of Pembroke
Small pond in a neighborhood setting, ideal for swimming, fishing and paddling.
Little Sandy Bottom Pond, also known as Little Sandy, has 1.23 miles of shoreline. Its depth averages 10 feet, with a maximum of 20 feet. It was original home to a colony of summer cottages, but it is now populated by year-round homes.
Beginning in 1901, and continuing to about 1940, a hill beside the pond was home to an amusement park known as Mayflower Grove. The park featured games and rides, a penny arcade, a rifle gallery, a mini golf course, concessions, and a replica of Plymouth Rock. Other features included an open-air theater and movie house, a bandstand, a dance hall, and a restaurant, plus a bath house, a boat launch, canoe rentals, picnic areas, a small hotel, and even a jail! The park was situated close to the railroad line that passed through Bryantville, making it easy for visitors to make a day trip by train.
Before European colonists arrived, the Pembroke Ponds were home to a settlement of Mattakeeset, a band of the Native American tribe known as the Massachuseuk (or Massachusett). They named their settlement Namassakeesett, or “Place of Much Fish.”
Wampatuck (also known as Wompatuck, White Goose and White Deer) was Chief Sachem of the Mattakeesett. He maintained a lodge just off the pathway between Furnace and Oldham Ponds. This spot — on a promontory jutting into Furnace Pond — was later named Sachem’s Point in his honor. The restaurant Towne Tavern is now located there.
Wampatuck began selling his lands to European settlers in the 1640s or 1650s (although “selling” is a relative term, since Europeans and Native Americans held distinctly different views on the notion of land ownership vs. use or stewardship). The area known as Mattakeeset — today’s Pembroke and Hanson — was transferred to the Europeans in 1662. However 1,000 acres of this area, directly abutting the ponds, was retained as property of Wampatuck and his descendants. Queen Patience, granddaughter of Wampatuck, retained significant acreage on Furnace Pond, but sold it to European settlers before her death in 1788.
Please bear in mind that Native American cultures often favor oral histories to written ones. Much of what’s recorded about the history of the South Shore is from the perspective of European settlers. It’s not the whole story. To learn more about our local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mattakeeset band of the Massachusett and the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag both share information on their websites.
Habitats and Wildlife
Little Sandy Bottom Pond is a natural pond that rests at the top of a groundwater divide. It is not connected with natural surface water flow with any other ponds in the area. Most water leaves the pond as groundwater recharge. Some of the fish commonly found in Little Sandy Bottom Pond include largemouth bass, white and yellow perch, chain pickerel, and sunfish.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 54 acres
Parking: Very limited parking on Shepard Ave. and Woodbine Ave.
Fishing pier, picnic tables, benches, porta-potty.
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: North River watershed