Peterson’s Sawmill Pond

595 Congress St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Owned By: Town of Duxbury

This small but picturesque pond on Route 14 in Duxbury is suitable for fishing and paddling. There is a small island in the middle. The pond is located between Congress Street, Franklin Street, and Union Bridge Road, between two sections of the 344-acre Lansing Bennett Forest. The Bay Circuit Trail passes by the pond’s western shore.


In the 1730s, Reuben Peterson (1710-1795) dammed Phillips Brook to power a sawmill, creating this pond. Look behind the Ashdod fire station to see the mill’s foundation stones. The dam is right underneath today’s Congress Street (Route 14).

In her book, Settlement and Growth of Duxbury 1628-1870, Dorothy Wentworth describes it as “the usual up and down type mill.” It ran for many years, but like Howlands Mill (upstream within Lansing Bennett Forest) suffered from insufficient water supply. According to Wentworth, an agreement in the Town Records of 1772 says, in part, “Reuben Peterson will pay Consider Smith a shilling a year for the privilege of maintaining a ditch across the Simmons land through which to bring an additional supply of water from a stream draining out of Black Friar Swamp. The ditch can be viewed at the Ashdod Triangle, around the corner.

Trail Description

No trails, but you can walk for a short distance along the water’s edge on Route 14. Extend your walk in the Lansing Bennett Forest, a short distance to the west and south of the pond.

Habitats and Wildlife

The pond is surrounded by pine and oak forest. Phillips Brook flows through the pond and continues northeast into the Camp Wing Conservation Area, where it flows into the South River. The South River is a major tributary to the North River. It remains a narrow and mostly un-navigable stream until it enters Chandler Pond in Marshfield. From there it flows through Marshfield Center, winding through salt marshes all the way to Rexhame. Turning northward, it then flows for 3 miles between Humarock and the mainland to Fourth Cliff, where it joins the North River at its outlet to the sea.

595 Congress St, Duxbury, MA 02332, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: Yes

Lifeguards: No

Hours: Dawn to dusk.

Parking: Limited roadside parking, in varying locations, for 5-6 cars

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Medium

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

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Phillips Brook (South River watershed)

Other Things to Do at This Site