Friday, December 6, 2013


By John Nye Cullity

The Sandwich Conservation Trust will hold its monthly walk this coming Sunday at 2 p.m., with a visit to the Upper Shawme Dam, located on the town-owned Cook Farm Conservation Lands.  The trail entrance is on Route 130, across from the old part of the Henry T. Wing School, where we can park.  The walk will take about 45 minutes, and is free of charge.
The 40.6 acre Cook Farm Conservation Lands were purchased with Land Bank funds in 2003 from members of the Cook family, who have owned Quail Hollow Farm since the early 1940s.  This acquisition allowed the town and Commonwealth to rebuild the deteriorated 1812 dam which Samuel Wing and his brothers built for their cotton spinning mill – the first factory on Cape Cod.  When I lead this walk I confess that my narrative might have more industrial archaeology in it than nature.  It’s an interesting story.

We will pass through some very nice mature forest, and have a look at spring-fed Upper Shawme Pond.  The walk will not be held if it is raining.

The Sandwich Conservation Trust has been engaged in land preservation since 1985, and has 240 acres in preservation.  Please visit our website at  If you have questions about the trust or the walk, call me at (508) 888-7629.

Upper Shawme Dam, Fall 2012.  Photo by Sam White.
This pre-1883 photograph shows the 17th century Stephan R. Wing farm, lying between Upper and Lower Shawme Ponds.  Much of the land in the foreground is now part of Heritage Gardens – Sandwich Village makes a beautiful backdrop.  The house was taken down in 1971.  In the distance to the right can be seen the buildings of the Sandwich Tack Co., formerly the 1813 cotton mill built by Samuel Wing and his brothers.  The site of this factory, which burned in 1883, is now part of the Cook Farm Conservation Lands.  The original of this valuable photo is owned by Old Sturbridge Village.

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