Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oliver Mills Park - Middleborough Massachusetts

Oliver Mills Park in Middleborough Massachusetts, is a beautiful area to visit in any season both for its historical value and natural beauty. I have included information about the Park that is included in the kiosk located on the site.untitled Oliver Mills Park pano D7K_2586 August 08, 2011 NIKON D7000
"Oliver Mill Park" "The Muttock area has a history of occupation and use that dates to the early Archaic Period, attracting Native Americans who came to fish in the Nemasket River and who probably established a small village nearby. In 1734 a dam was built across the Nemasket River here, replacing an old native fish weir. "Between 1744 and 1776, Peter Oliver, an important provincial Tory official and judge, as well as an industrial entrepreneur, operated an ironworks that included one of the earliest rolling and splitting mills in New England. Oliver's works dominated Middleborough's early economy and were significant for the degree to which they exploited the power of the Nemasket River, using as many as eight water wheels to run an integrated cluster of iron works, grist, saw, and other water powered mills. "After 1800 the site was converted into a shovel shop under the ownership of General Abel Washburn and operated into the 1840s." "Following the abandonment of the site in the 1870s the area was largely ignored until the 1960s and 1970s when it was partially restored for recreational purposes. Oliver Mill Park survives as one of the most significant industrial archaeological sites in Middleborough and in the southeastern Massachusetts region." The park is located just past the intersection of Plymouth Street and US 44 on Nemasket Street.
After parking and reading the sign, walk along the paths to the stone mills ruins,untitled D7K_2596 August 08, 2011 NIKON D7000untitled Old Mill D7K_2591 August 08, 2011 NIKON D7000 literally a building shell with partial walls and no roof. There are several channels to look at, including one that allows herring to swim upstream to Assawomset pond.untitled Water over the Dam_HDR2 August 08, 2011 NIKON D7000 I have previously written about the Herring run on my blog http://photobee1.blogspot.com/2011/03/river-herring-run-in-costal.html
There is also an ample picnic area with picnic tables provided so you could have a meal or a snack in comfort.
I have observed various species of ducks and geese including common mergansers and a barnacle goose plus the usual more common species such as Canada geese untitled _ROT9710 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3Sand mallards. Various songbirds are present depending on the season. In the spring at the time of the Herring run great blue herons and gulls feeding on the Heron. Reptiles that have been observed in the area have included musk and painted turtles and common water snakes.

The morning that I was there, which is just after a rain, the webs of the funnel weaving spiders were present. untitled _ROT9593 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3Suntitled Spider_ROT9598 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3SSome other insects that were present were a least skipperuntitled least Skaipper_ROT9585 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3Suntitled Least Skipper_ROT9719 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3S and an Ebony Jewelwing. untitled Ebony Jewelwing - male_ROT9626 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3Suntitled Ebony Jewelwing fenale looking at you_ROT9705 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3S
untitled Ebony Jewelwing  female_ROT9704 August 08, 2011 NIKON D3S
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The amount of water running in the Nemasket River of course is dependent on the rainfall. The recent year when we had the spring floods almost the whole area of the mills park was covered under water. So when you are looking for a new place to visit think of Oliver Mills Park. Of course, bring you binocular's and cameras and let me know what you find.
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