Conant Hill Preserve

Horseshoe Pond

Old Stone Structure

Conant Hill Preserve - Wareham, MA


Location:

End of Station Street, 1/2 mile south of Main Street

Area:

23.4 acres

Gift of:

Dr. James R. and Helen P. Lincoln, 1976

Directions:

Head southwest on MA-58 S. Continue until road intersects with Rt. 28 S. Follow Rt. 28 S. 2.2 miles. Take right onto Tobey Road, follow to end, left at stop sign onto Main Street. Take 1st right onto Station Street. Google Map Directions here.

Parking:

Station Street at town coservation area

 

Tucked into a curve of the meandering Weweantic River, Conant Hill rises 40 feet above the riverbed. A wealth of historic associations and natural features make this an intriguing place. The marsh and riverbed are a birder’s delight, while anglers find attractive spots on the banks of the Weweantic River to fish for smelt and white perch.

Conant Hill itself has changed since the days when it was an open field. Common pasture trees such as white pine and red-cedar have grown up to produce a fine, open woodland. Several species of fern, including wood fern, sensitive fern, and polypody fern, are prominent on the forest floor.

The first dam at the site is believed to have been built during the 18th century. In more recent times, Conant Hill overlooked a thriving and well-known factory known as the Standard Horseshoe Works. This large mill, located just north of the preserve, consisted of several buildings, the dam, and a system of power spillways. The operation continued to produce mule shoes through World War II; it was then replaced by a fish-rendering plant. River water still races by this former mill site. The ruins of a carpenter shop are prominent at the northern boundary of the preserve.

The donors acquired this land in 1957. Their plans to preserve a large area of open space were disrupted by construction of Interstate 195 through the heart of the property. Seeking assistance to preserve the remaining charm of Conant Hill, the Lincolns turned to The Trust.