Horn Pond - Woburn

Horn Pond

Horn Pond in Woburn was established as a resort as a result of the development of the Middlesex Canal. Its hotels were patronized by the wealthiest residents of Boston.

Parker L. Converse in his Legends of Woburn, First Series, wrote:

"Here in the summer, were numbers of boarders. Parties from Boston and elsewhere came for the day. Balls, parades, water parties, and merry makings succeeded each other in rapid succession. Here came Boston's Military, the Pulaski Guards. New England Guards, the Tigers with their peculiar yell, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co., the Charlestown Light Infantry, all crack organizations at the time, with others from a distance. These often encamped on the flat, back of the hotel [the area below Warren Street]. With them came Kendall's Boston Brass Band, and the Brigade Band of Boston, with John Bartlett, the finest cornet player our State has yet produced. Here crowds gathered and listened, spell bound, as the celebrated Ned Kendall, with his gold E-flat bugle...."

The Horn Pond House and one of the locks. The Horn Pound House stands today as an apartment house at 7 Lakeview Terrace in Woburn. (Painting by Louis Linscott)

An entry in a journal gives a vivid description of the arrival of a canal boat at Horn Pond:

"There was an air of quiet enjoyment about the passengers on a canal boat in those days when all excited bustle was absent. 'Take it easy,' and 'plenty of time to get it in,' was the motto. As the boat slid along the tranquil channel, under luxuriant trees, and by charming little nooks and corners of the country, the passengers reclining or sitting in groups about the deck, amused themselves with pleasant conversation. About noon time, the boat would arrive at Horn Pond in Woburn center. Here the horses were 'furled,' to use the nautical term, and the boat 'snuck to,' allowing the passengers to disembark and partake of a good, solid, substantial dinner, plenty of game, and milk and eggs, and an abundance of trout, which fish are abounded in the vicinity at the time. Then the locking up and locking down were always productive of interest. As the water came boiling into the lock under the boat while locking up, and as the boat oscillated and jarred with commotion, it was a grand time for the gallant traveling youth in those days to gently support the timid traveling maiden and assure her there was no danger. Sometimes little boys would accidentally tumble overboard, forward, and come up astern of the boat, where they were quickly rescued by the timely application of a boat hook to the seat of their trousers."

Additional Reading

The Great Spirit of Horn Pond
by Thomas P. Sileo (1996)
and published by
Shabark Publishing Co.
175 Littleton Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824

This book is available from BOOK ENDS of Winchester, MA


Return to previous page

e-mail comments to:
mvz@tiac.net