195 Myrtle St, Hanover, MA 02339, USA
Owned By: Town of Hanover
This park features baseball and soccer/lacrosse fields, as well as a basketball court. There are also links to the 3-mile Hanover Senior Center / Nava-Stasiluk Conservation Area / Tindale Bog trail network. A bridge that crosses Torrey Brook is right behind the park.
Named for Arthur “Art” Ceurvels.
The trail network that you can access near this property’s basketball courts includes a 0.4-mile section of the former Hanover Branch Railroad, which once extended 7.8 miles from Hanover Four Corners, through South and West Hanover, across Rockland, to North Abington, where it connected with the Old Colony Railroad to Plymouth. Incorporated in 1846, and constructed over the better part of the next 20 years, it officially opened for service in 1868.
E. Y. Perry — a businessman, Justice of the Peace, and abolitionist — operated a large tack factory in South Hanover, and was largely responsible for the creation of the railway. He also owned a general store (now Myette’s) and constructed the building in South Hanover that for many years housed a series of a shoe factories – Goodrich, Cochran, and Shanley — and part of the Clapp Rubber Company. The railway facilitated the transport of materials and finished products to and from these and other businesses, and also offered passenger service. Amusingly, in its latter years, when the businesses along its route had shut down, it continued to carried passengers, . . . but only by self-propelled cars! The Old Colony Railroad absorbed the Hanover Branch in 1887. In 1893, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad took over the lease. Railroad service had dwindled significantly by the 1930s.
Also of note, from about 1929 to 1958, this section of Hanover was home to a small commercial airport, East Coast Airways. Established by W. Melvin Clark, an airplane enthusiast who lived on Winter Street, the airport was situated in the triangle between Winter, Center and Myrtle Streets, and was known colloquially as Clark’s Airport. Two hills were leveled and numerous trees and stones were removed to accommodate construction. During World War II, the airport land served as a storage area for magnesium powder and other products used by the National Fireworks nearby. (Source: Barbara Barker’s “Focus on History.”)
For thousands of years, the land that encompasses what is now Hanover was inhabited by indigenous people. Circa 1617, there was a major outbreak of disease from European settlers that decimated an estimated 90% of the native population in New England, including the Massachusett and Wampanoag tribes that inhabited this area. There are still descendants of these original inhabitants living on the South Shore today, and they are known as the Mattakeesett Tribe of the Massachusett Indian Nation, the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, and Mashpee Wompanoag Tribe.
For quick access to Torrey Brook, follow the trail in the rear of the property, and you will arrive at a bridge that crosses the brook almost immediately. There is access here to Samoset Drive as well as the green trail that leads into the Nava-Stasiluk Conservation Area.
Also, look for two trailheads near the basketball court. The red-blazed trail leads for about 0.24 miles to Samoset Drive. Along the way, there is a link to the Hanover Senior Center trail network. The green-blazed trail extends along the old railroad bed for about .75 miles, connecting with both the Nava-Stasiluk Conservation Area trails, as well as those at Tindale Bog. Altogether these 4 properties offer about 3 miles of interconnected trails.
Habitats and Wildlife
The woods here are primarily pine, with oak, beech, birch and maple and lots of fern. Torrey Brook, a tributary to the Drinkwater River, flows through the property. According to Martha Campbell’s Remembering Old Abington, the name “Drinkwater River” is said to be an Anglicized version of the original Native American name for the stream, Nannumackeuitt, “which meant that a hollow stem had to be used as a straw when sucking up water from this shallow, sluggish stream.”
The Drinkwater River flows into the Indian Head River, which forms the boundary between Hanover and Hanson. It 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: No
Boat Launch: No
Size: 75 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Large on-site parking lot.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Baseball and soccer/lacrosse fields, basketball court. Geocache location.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: No
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Torrey Brook (Drinkwater River/North River watershed)