488 Middle St, East Weymouth, MA 02189, USA
Owned By: Town of Weymouth
Whitman’s Pond is a headwater to the Weymouth Back River and a spawning area for herring. This small park offers pond access for anglers, paddlers and boaters. It also serves as the town’s back-up drinking water supply.
This property is comprised of two small paved areas along Middle Street, with direct access to Whitman’s Pond. To the south is the Lorraine Larrabee Boat Launch, featuring a paved ramp suitable for small motorboats. To the north is a somewhat larger parking area, suitable for fishing. Canoes and kayaks can be launched at either location.
Whitman’s Pond pond is a headwater to the Weymouth Back River and a spawning area for herring. It consists of three basins: the Main Basin, South Cove, and West Cove, with a total shoreline of about 6 miles. It is relatively shallow, with an average depth of 8 feet. Its two primary tributaries are the Mill River and the Old Swamp River.
The South Cove of Whitman’s Pond is a drinking water supply for the Town of Weymouth. There is a pump station on Washington Street which moves water through a distribution pipe to Great Pond, the primary town reservoir.
In 1635, John Whitman was allotted a large tract of land in Weymouth, including most of the pond, which was known at the time as Fresh Pond. His son, John Whitman Jr. settled on the pond, and from then on, it was known as Whitman’s Pond. The Bates Mill was established on the pond in 1640.
Before the advent of electricity, ice harvesting was a major industry here, with ice houses on Lake Street, and on Lake Shore Drive and Middle Street. There were apple orchards in what is now the West Cove, and in the northwestern portion of the Main Basin. The South Cove area was a marsh.
After natural bog iron was discovered within the pond, a dam was erected at the junction of the pond and the herring run. This increased the area and depth of the pond significantly, but also severely impeded fish passage. In 1837, the Weymouth Iron Company set up shop on the pond, eventually expanding to 30 different buildings. Employing hundreds of people, it transformed iron ore, quartz, and coal into anchors, shovels, chains and nails. (Learn more at Iron Hill Park, across the pond.) Also known as the Weymouth Iron Works, the company continued to operate into the late 1880s, but closed after a flood broke the dam and destroyed many of the buildings. In 1917, the Town of Weymouth repurchased the rights to the herring run.
This land is within the region of the Massachusett (or Massachuseuk). To learn more about our local Native American 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.
Follow the Back River Watershed Association for more information about the Weymouth Back River.
No trails, but there is a small section of shoreline suitable for fishing. The pond used to be popular with swimmers, but weed growth has — at least temporarily — stopped such activities.
Habitats and Wildlife
This 100-acre pond has an average depth of 8 feet and a watershed of 13 square miles. Please do not feed the waterfowl!
The Weymouth Back River rises from several ponds and swamps, including Whitman’s Pond in Weymouth. It flows for about 10 miles and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Hingham Bay, downstream of the park, and just south of Grape Island and Slate Island.
River herring swim upstream from the ocean to Whitman Pond every year to spawn. You may be able to catch a glimpse of them in April, at Herring Run Pool Park and Stephen Rennie Herring Run Park in Jackson Square, Weymouth. Other fish commonly found in the pond include bass, bluegill, crappie, pickerel, and lake trout.
Historic Site: No
Boat Launch: Yes
Size: 200 acres
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Limited on-site parking on Middle Street.
Trash receptacle, bike racks, gazebo, informational kiosk, and benches with views of the pond.
Dogs: Dogs must remain on a leash of 6 feet or less. Scoop the poop!
Boat Ramp: Yes
ADA Access: No
Scenic Views: Yes
Waterbody/Watershed: Weymouth Back River watershed