Mill Pond / Cushing Ice House

Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Owned By: Town of Duxbury

This property includes a small historic site and a 13-acre pond. The Cushing Ice House once stood here. It was used to store ice harvested from the pond. Island Creek flows through the pond.


According to Dorothy Wentworth’s Settlement and Growth of Duxbury 1628-1870, there is a record of this pond existing when Duxbury was first settled. Known then as Little Island Creek Pond, it grew larger after a dam was built at its outlet. It has been known by several names through the years: Mill Pond, Tack Factory Pond, and Ice House Pond.

James and Richard Soule established a grist mill here in 1814. Samuel Loring later purchased the mill and turned it into a brass and iron foundry. (There were two large deposits of iron ore nearby — one of them was located southwest of Island Creek Pond near Tinkertown.) Later still, the mill site became a tack factory, which remained in operation into the late 1800’s. The ice house came after that.

This land is within the region of the Patuxet Wampanoag tribe, who for centuries have inhabited the area around the Jones River now known as Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth.

Habitats and Wildlife

Island Creek flows from Island Creek Pond, located in the village of Tinkertown. Visit the pond at  Duxbury’s Crocker Memorial Park. Fed by natural springs, it flows south for two miles through Mill Pond, under Route 3A (Tremont Street), and into Kingston Bay at Hicks Point.

There is a sluice way downstream of Elm Street and a fish ladder downstream of Tremont Street designed to facilitate the migration of anadromous fish. Alewife and blueback herring, as well as rainbow smelt, swim upstream to spawn in Island Creek Pond. Other fish commonly found here include largemouth bass, pickerel, yellow perch, sunfish, shad, and crappie. The forest surrounding the pond is primarily oak and pine, with some cedar.

The pond’s water quality is impaired, due to the overgrowth of non-native aquatic plants. There is a fishway at the dam, but it has deteriorated and no longer functions.

Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes

Lifeguards: No

Size: 0.42 acres

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Limited roadside parking on Tremont Street (Route 3A).

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: No trails.

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Island Creek watershed