Ayer's Sandy Pond

Ayer's Liquid Blue Gem
Ayer's Liquid  Blue Gem

A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. The fluviatile trees next the shore are the slender eyelashes which fringe it, and the wooded hills and cliffs around are its overhanging brows. (Henry David Thoreau, Walden 1850) 

At Ayer Town Meeting in June 1945 it was recorded, "The committee appointed to consider the question of a Bathing Beach and Recreation Center at Sandy Pond presented a report...Then, "Article 3, Voted unanimously: That the Town appropriate the sum of three thousand dollars ($3,000) to purchase of Nina M.H. Beverly land with buildings thereon located at Sandy Pond and for the expense connected therewith, for the purpose of a playground or recreation centre, all powers connected connected therewith to be exercised by the Board of Park Commissioners,..."

Sandy Pond was born of the epic and ancient New England glacial age; it is known as a "kettle pond".

From the 19th century up until the early 20th century Sandy Pond was a place of business enterprise; and that business was the Ice business. Great Ice Houses were built upon the shores of Sandy Pond, and the hearty ice-cutters would labor on the frozen pond. The massive Ice Houses would be filled to the brim with blocks of cut ice and packed in saw dust; the ice eventually being shipped via freight rail to Boston Harbor and then shipped to customers around the globe.  Sandy Pond was once a place of active industry.

Sandy Pond Ice House & Row Boat

By the late 19th century the affluent families of Boston and metro-Boston cities and towns discovered Ayer's lovely, cool and healthful Sandy Pond; soon after the shores of Sandy Pond were lined with the "Summer Cabins or Camps" of the wealthy, including many Ayer families who fully embraced the "Rustication Movement". Sandy Pond provided these privileged families with summertime sanctuary away from the the many unpleasant and unhealthy hot summer conditions of urbanized cities including contagious disease, foul smells, contaminated water, harsh noise, and increasingly overcrowded districts. Ayer's Sandy Pond was a vacation retreat place, much like the lake & mountain regions of New Hampshire & Maine today.

Sandy Pond Sail Boats

As cited above by the mid-1940s the people of Ayer came to the realization that all the land surrounding the shores of Sandy Pond were privately owned. The people of Ayer believed that the healthful and beautiful qualities of Sandy Pond should be accessible and open to all who might benefit from the pond. There should be a place at Sandy Pond that the people could call "their own". Thus, in 1945 the Beach at Sandy Pond was realized!

For more than 75 years the Beach at Sandy Pond has given joy, health, memories, serenity, connection with nature, romance, and fun to generations of Ayer residents and countless visitors to the Town of Ayer.

Sandy Pond, this ancient survivors of the glacial age, is today one of Ayer's most valued and beloved natural resources and heritage assets; whether swimming, fishing, boating, birding, dipping, sun-bathing, recreating, or just meeting friends and families for a beautiful summer day on the shore, Sandy Pond is Ayer at its best.

Beautiful Sandy Pond