The "Shawsheen Grove" at Pole Hill
from the BallardVale Dam was the "Shawsheen Grove" at Pole Hill.
This was a favorite place to picnic during the summer months. There
were two swimming holes, a cook house, a dance pavilion and all the
families along the river were happy to rent boats and canoes for the
noted previously, the Boston and Maine Railroad promoted day
excursions from Boston to BallardVale at the turn of the century.
Residents remembered visitors disembarking for the day. They bought
souvenirs from Shattuck's Drug Store and then crossed the tracks to
The Grove of pines. They could buy lunch at Maynard Clemens' Camp
run by Charles Ormsby, swim in the Shawsheen River, and in the
evening they would dance on Pole Hill (from Andover: A Century of
September 1, 1893, however the Townsman called the Shawsheen Grove
"an expensive nuisance" and commented that the people from the west
end of Boston (those who presumably rode the train up) were a "tough
crowd." The paper reported that police officers had a hard time and
that "Officer Shattuck is pretty well used up." The question was
asked, "are the taxes coming to the town sufficient to cover the
expenses in policing it?" It seemed that the good times in the
Shawsheen Grove were in danger of coming to an end.
the turn of the century, however, the Shawsheen Grove still boasted
a picnic area and a dance hall, and people from out of town were
still streaming in. There were three camps along the Shawsheen
River, one of which served as a refreshment stand. When the river
was higher, canoes could be rented in BallardValle for a romantic
paddle upstream to The Grove.
continued, next edition, Aug. 2, 2008