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Your Lawn and the Pond

Storm Drains


"Ice Harvesting on Spy Pond"

Did you know that Spy Pond was once used to supply ice for much of Boston? That's right, the cutting of ice on Spy Pond was a major business with Spy Pond ice exported to all parts of the world! With the shipping of ice to as far away as India, Spy Pond needed infrastructure and equipment.  This led to the development of the local railroad and large-scale manufacture of ice tools.

But the story of Spy Pond started long ago back during the official ice age (no cutting and shipping then). 

Fifty thousand years ago when Arlington was covered by glaciers almost a mile deep Spy Pond did not exist. As the glaciers receded, starting about 15,000 years ago, they left "kettle holes", depressions that filled with water. Spy Pond is thus a classic kettlehole pond which was first filled with water from the Wisconsin Glacier which also formed it.  Spy Pond is now fed partly by groundwater and partly by surface runoff from the surrounding area.  Spy Pond has an average depth of 12 feet and a maximum depth of 36 feet. 

Real time history buffs may want to take a deeper dip into recent Spy Pond history. During the Revolutionary War, six Redcoats fleeing their captured supply train were corralled thanks to Mother Batherick, an elderly woman gathering dandelions by the pond.  A few years later, in 1850 to be exact, the Spy Pond Water Company pipes water to West Cambridge. Then, in 1867, West  Cambridge is renamed Arlington and the Spy Pond Water Company is renamed the Arlington Lake Company.

Finally, the Wetland Protection Act Regulations were passed classifying Spy Pond as a Great Pond under Massachusetts law. We certainly think the legislators are right and hope that you visit the pond for yourself to find out!

Various photos copyright and courtesy of I for Images
Please click on a picture to visit their website.