(credit Tom Leach, 2012)

Allen Harbor, Harwich Port, Mass.

(photo credit Tom Leach, September 2012)

Allen Harbor, Harwich Port, Massachusetts

Allen Harbor, so called, named after resident John Allen who inherited the property from his Aunt Hall in 1750. His great grandson, Ebenezer and his son Edward B. Allen still owned two homes shown on maps on Lower County Road in 1857.

Before Allen it was known as Oyster pond or Gray's pond or even Gray's harbor after a nearby settler William Gray. Back then it was a shallow, muddy bottom pond, with a narrow outlet to the sea. Into it flows a narrow stream that rises in the lowland eastward of the house of the once Abiathar Doane. "It is evident That oysters were found here in the days of red men, and that indians had their wigwams near by".

Around the harbor was a tract of marsh which yielded tons of salt hay yearly. Presumably cattle were grazed here. On the west side of the "outlet" in "Nohauts" or "Nohorns" neck(presumably where Nons Road is today), where, before the early settlement of the Harwich by these Englishmen, native Americans resided. Large numbers of arrowheads have been found here from time to time, as well as other stone implements used by the aborigines in their time of quietness, when no white man had visited these parts. At one point

On the east side of Allen Harbor was the old worn out planting land of the Indians which, as early as 1692, was denominated as the "Mattacheeset field". This plant field was reported to extend from Allen Harbor to Oyster Pond or Salt Pond (original name for Wychmere Harbor). It is of interest that Allen Harbor also bore an earlier name "Oyster Pond" as did Wychmere Harbor.

Harwich had no natural harbors. Josiah Paine wrote in 1883, "the town for its entire length on its south is bounded by Nantucket Sound. With this long stretch of seashore it has no natural harbor. The only protection to small vessels that seek an anchorage here is the sandbar that lies two-thirds of a mile from shore, and parallel with it. This bar at high water has from seven to nine feet of water, and lie at anchor in the deep water on the north side of the bar for safety." "On the outside of the bar, large vessels can anchor and ride with ease when the wind is northerly and also where there are light winds from other directions. When the fishing business was carried on hear in the 19th century and a large fleet of vessels was employed, those that were unable to cross the bar on account of the draught of water, were compelled to ride at anchor "back of the bar" (south of the bar)." from Deyo's History of Barnstable County published 1890, (page 829) from Paine's History of Harwich, Mass published 1937, (pages 6,7,56,78,91,108)

This webpage developed by Tom Leach, Harwich. Mass.