FROM BOGS TO SPEAKEASY, ON THE BANKS OF PATTY’S POND

PATTY’S POND

 

Patty’s Pond, which covers nearly ten acres southeast of the crossing of Newtown and Wakeby Roads has a rich history of a Prohibition speakeasy, of a singer of fado songs, an Olympic athlete, rich cranberry bogs, and flourishing farms.

 

The pond got its name from the nickname of Martha “Patty” Fuller. Born about 1800, she lived at the north end of the pond from the time she married Stephen Jones in 1813, until her death in 1871.

 

In many deeds it’s called Jones Pond, and even sometimes,though rarely, Polly’s Pond, which may have been a typist’s error.

 

The pond is the northernmost source of Little River. It flows south into Lovell’s Pond, then two miles down to Cotuit Bay.

 

Fishermen say there are lots of bass, as well as pickerel, and Gary Childs, who lives nearvy, said he once even caught a sixteen inch long white perch.

 

Patty and Stephen Jones raised three children in the old homestead on the pond Their only son Hercules Jones was 35 when he volunteered in the Civil War, and went off with the Massachusetts 45th Infantry to fight in the North Carolina battles of Kinston, Goldsboro and Weldon Railroad. He returned, uninjured, and lived to be 88.

 

The east side of Patty’s Pond is called Carsley’s field. No one remembers who Carsley was, but the name goes back to the first settlers of the town, about whom the town historian Amos Otis can tell only about Carsley’s wicked reputation. Carsley perhaps escaped Puritan criticsm by fleeing to this remote corner of town, on the border of Mashpee and Sandwich.

 

By 1815, David Fish had a farmhouse on the Cotuit-Newtown road with a farm that included Carsley’s field, extending west from the pond to the Mashpee line. He sold the farm to yeoman William Stevens, whose son Asa went to sea to become a captain of a Falmouth ship.

 

The first Portuguese immigrant to Barnstable, Joseph Bettencourt Folger, who had come from Fayal in the Azores on an American whaling ship, bought the Stevens farm in 1853. He had originally found shelter in a cranberry shed nearby, was allowed to stay if he worked the bogs. Obviously a hard worker, Folger saved enough money to buy the bogs, and open a tavern in the Crocker House where the Regatta restaurant now stands.

 

In 1871 Captain David Crocker of Santuit sold 15 acres of bog below the pond to Benjamin Winslow of West Roxbury to grow cranberries. Known as the Winslow Bog, it was sold in 1883 to became the Curtis & Hall Bog.

 

In 1913 the Southern Mass. Telephone Co. laid a lead cable over the ravine at the south end of the pond, part of new phone line from Hyannis west to the mainland . Charles E. Hamblin, who was born in 1922 and lived nearby on Lond Pond, recalls the boyhood sport of walking over the gully on the phone line.

 

Antone Botelo Robello, of the second wave of Portuguese immigrants, bought part of the Folger farm in 1916. He was a noted singer of fado, the sad songs that sometimes reflect homesickness for the homeland, in this case the mid-Atlantic islands of the Azores. At his death at age 93 Robello was the last surviving trustee of the pioneer Holy Ghost Society which met on site of the CVS in Marstons Mills.

 

The remaining portion of the Folger farm–30 acres–became a gentleman’s farm when it was sold in 1917 to Boston banker Francis B. Sears whose lawyer son Horace summered in Cotuit. They hired “Francis” Christie Rennie to run the farm, raising vegetables that were trucked to Sears’s Weston home, as well as chickens, pigs, guinea fowl, hay, and milk from seven cows. A colonial revival style house was built for the caretaker in 1918. On Horace’s death in 1923 the farm was left to his secretary Harry Bailey. Mr. Bailey sold the house and farm in 1931 to John A. Reid, who had immigrated with Christie’s father from Scotland. ‘

 

During the twenties, under Prohibition, according to neighbors, the Folger barn became a popular speakeasy and gaming house, with valet parking in the front field, until the police shut it down.

 

The Socialist Charles L. Hamblin, a builder and also a nudist, who lived diagonally across the intersection of Newtown and Wakeby Roads, bought eight acres of the old Smith farm on the north end of Patty’s Pond–which they called Jones Pond–in 1929. Mr. Hamblin’s nephew, Charles E. Hamblin, remembers his uncle wheel-barrowing dirt out onto the ice to create an island. Little can be seen today except a dirt causeway into the shallow waters, but the spruce and pines he planted on the odl Smith farm are now tall and grand. Behind the trees, he had a fine Victory garden during the Second World War.

 

The leading mover of houses in mid-Cape Robert “Bob” Hayden, began farming on Reid’s south 24 acres of the Folger farm in 1931, growing hay, and raised chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows. He found a partner in Dr. John Baumer, English professor at Hartford University. In 1936 Hayden began demolishing and salvaging old buildings, storing the valuable parts here, with the implied consent of Selectman Chester Crocker, who said it was far enouggh off the road not to be seen. Eventually the piles became so big that Hayden had to move them to his Treasure Highland, which is now the Super Stop and Shop on Route 28.

 

The eminent Black Judge Edward Gourdin bought the Reid house on six acres in 1963. He had won the Olympic silver medal for broad jump at Paris in 1924, and was Colonel commanding the 372d Infantry division which guarded New York City during World War II. His wife Amalia (Ponce) ran the Lamaden Antique shop here in the eighties. The house was inherited by their daughter, court psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Gourdin who lived at the house..

 

The boggy woodland of pitch pines and oaks east of the pond has remained open until this day. The ancient families of Crockers, Goodspeeds, Hamblins, Hinckleys, Joneses, and Marstons used these as woodlots, carting loads down the Old Post Road that ran from the village to Sandwich, and the Fuller Road to Lovell’s Pond.

 

In 1974, the Bramblewood development made grand plans for a many homes on an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, as planned by Col. Filmore McAbee of Yarmouth in partnership with Wilbur Cushing, Cushing’s cousin Prescott Fish, and several local investors. The venture failed in the real estate recession of 1980, and the land was bought by the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Water District, where it rests in perpetual conservation.

Published in The Barnstable Enterprise 4 Feb. 2011, with revision.

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “FROM BOGS TO SPEAKEASY, ON THE BANKS OF PATTY’S POND”

  1. Noreen Says:

    Wow! So much information. This is such a great post.

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