(credit Tom Leach, 2013)

Saquatucket Harbor, Harwich Port, Massachusetts

Saquatucket Harbor was named after the native Americans who inhabited this shore from Harwich Port to Brewster on the lands familiar to local historians as the Quason purchase.The photograph taken by harbormaster Tom Leach shows clear evidence of a an existing marsh. In fact, after the aborigine the marshes in this area from Black's Pond to the northeast and Grassy Pond on the northwest to the waters of Nantucket Sound were owned by Andrew Clarke then a local farmer and shepard who utilized the salt hay of this marsh to keep his herd fed.The river which meyandered through the marsh was locally known as Andrews River in his name. This tributary is fed by two brooks. The first on the the northwest known as Carding Machine Brook and the second from the northeast which was called Cold Brook. Evidence of an undershot mill built there in 1820 exists on Carding Machine Brook just north of Route 28 where a stone foundation stands on either side.Saquatucket harbor was dredged from the broad marshes beginning in 1968, and was completed as the Town's municipal marina in 1969 to open in 1970.The building of the man-made harbor was truly a cooperative project between the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, Commonwealth and Town each contributing shares. Harwich invested $250,000 in the project which has returned millions of dollars over the years. Tom Leach took over as harbormaster from Rev. Sherrill Smith in May of 1973 and retired on June 21st, 2012. He is followed by Harwich's 5th Harbormaster John Redon.

In 1976, the Bourne House which was owned by the Snow Inn was relocated on the property and remodeled as a restaurant by the Brackett Family and has been called Brax Landing ever since, a popular place for family dining. When Thompson's Clam Bar restaurant on Wychmere Harbor closed its doors in 1999, Brax Landing became the only waterview restaurant in the Village. It is very popular for family dining today.

Long before the marsh was dredged for a harbor a neat little wooden bridge jumped the Andrews river where it dumped into the Sound over stoney flats. The little span was known to locals as the Maymar Bridge. (Grandmother's? bridge)

This from From Dr.Peter Sylvester, "When I was a kid, there wasnít a buoyed harbor because the hole hadnít even been dug were your marina is now. It was just a little runlet we called Jonathanís Creek".

Some Saquatucket Bluffs History

(NEEL Road and WALTHER Road)
written by Karin Larson (7/31/05)

The Andrews River flowing into Saquatucket Harbor (built in 1968-69) was the boundary between Harwich Port and South Harwich. The SHSA being founded in 1961 was at that time considered to be in South Harwich. The US postal zips changed the boundary.

The three oldest houses in the neighborhood all had their oldest portions moved here. The oldest at 6 Neel Rd. was built in 1757 and was moved from the corner of Uncle Venies Rd. and Rte. 28 when the NEILS sold that land to Howard Lang in 1913. Second oldest is the half Cape northern section at 93 Neel Rd that faced the road that became Rte. 28. (Neel Rd. didnít exist, but a Proprietorís Lane did come south from rte. 28 along the boundary between 93 and 0 Neel Rd!) The Cape is circa 1790 and was moved from Harwiůh. The third oldest is a mid1850ís Cape portion at 9 Walther Rd. that was moved to that location in the early 1900ís. The oldest house built on site is at 20 Neel Rd. The Neils owned extensive property, including Miramar, but the 1857 Sunnywoods was Mrs. Neilís favorite. It must have been a street sign-maker who changed Neil to Neel. Neel Road was sandy lane until after World War II.

Alos, 0 Neel Rd. with 6 acres has a narrow frontage between 85 and 75 Neel Rd with a southeast boundary along Captainís Watch and a northern boundary along Bonnie Lane off Julian Rd. There used to be a cranberry bog there, and much of the land is wet. Supposedly, if approved, there could be four house lots.Another house history is at 49 and 51 Saquatucket Bluffs, which used to be one house when the parents of the Pettengill brothers owned the house.

With regard to family longevity in the neighborhood: Bink Garrisonís parents became summer residents at 44 Saquatucket Bluffs in 1927 when that road was dirt. The Pettengills have had ties since that period, as have Jeff Westís family. Karin Larsonís mother, Rose Blom bought 93 Neel Rd. in 1941. Maureen and Joe Connellyís parents bought #97 soon after. On Walther Rd. Linda Wisemanís father, John White, bought theirs in 1955. His name with nine others is on the 1961 certificate of incorporation of SHSA signed in 1961 by Kevin White, Secretary of State.

Other news from the 1960ís: sailors from the Garrison family were rescued by Secret Service on JFKís ďHoney FitzĒ off our shores.When Saquatucket Bluffs Assoc. was formed in the late 60ís the SHSA covered the cost of their landscaped entrance to avoid traffic accidents on Neel Rd. from curiosity seekers wanting to scout the harbor perimeter.To give a sense of tree growth: the pine grove in front of the Athy home at 67 Neel Rd. is 60 years old. It replaces the same type grove that was totally destroyed by the Sept. 1944 hurricane (no names then.)

Bridge may be constructed over Andrews creek in the town of Harwich, etc.

Chap.244: An Act To Authorize The Construction Of A Bridge OVER ANDREWS CREEK IN THE TOWN OF HARWICH.

Be it enacted, etc., as follows:

Section 1. The persons known as the Wychmere Trustees, consisting of William Gilfillan, Stewart Church and Alexis A. Julian, with their associates and successors, are hereby authorized to construct a bridge for foot passengers and vehicles over Andrews creek in the town of Harwich at a place not more than five hundred feet distant from the point where the said creek flows into Vineyard Sound, and at a place where the abutting land on both sides of the said creek is owned by the said trustees. The said bridge shall be constructed and used subject to the laws regulating the construction and use of bridges over tide waters and to any regulations made by the harbor and land commissioners in respect to such bridges.

Section 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved March 25, 1907.

Important Documents construction of the Harbor

Army Corps letter of Consideration of Contract (7/06/65)

Board of Selectmen letter of agreement with Army Corps (5/06/66)

The first Plan 1965

Tom Leach memo to Wayne Melville (01/05/2001)

Grass Pond Eel Ramp Summary 2008