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Historically Speaking -- Town Pound

A Pound of Lunenburg History

Lunenburg’s history as an agrarian community is evident throughout Town. One only needs to ride down Lancaster Avenue, Mulpus Road, or Leominster Road and be greeted by rolling fields with grazing dairy cattle and cultivated farmland to become aware that a rich farming history is part of Lunenburg’s past.

Closer to the center of Town is a component of that history known as the Town Pound. Located on Highland Street adjacent to Marshall Pond the current Pound dates back to 1750. It is a stone walled keeping area with an iron gate and a storied history.

Back in the day, as the current saying goes, there were frequent occurrences of a horse or cow or sheep straying off from their pasture and traversing the Town. Once found they were taken to the Pound Keeper who would then put them in the stone walled enclosure and care for them with feed and water until the farmer came by to retrieve the wayward animal. The keeper would be paid a small sum by the farmer for his care.

Today, the Town annually appoints a Pound Keeper and for many years it has been the Molter and Larkin families that have maintained the title and position as well as the property itself and a vital piece of Lunenburg history.   

Marshall Pond was mentioned as being adjacent to the Town Pound and this is a resource that might be termed “endangered”. As we know, money is at a premium for Town budgets, however this a depleting resource that needs attention now before it transitions into swamp land. It is hoped that appropriate attention will be focused on maintaining this charming natural watercourse in the center of Town. With the Conservation Commission, Open Space Committees, Town Center Study Committees, et al, there are enough resources to address this concern.

Postscript: On a different note, we on the Commission have actively participated in the sale of the historic properties known as the Susan Brown House on Mass. Ave. (now owned by Mr. & Mrs. Mohiuddin) and the Jones House on Main Street (now owned by Mr. & Mrs. Matthews). Recently both have undergone extensive rework to restore an element of their history. The Susan Brown house now has a new porch and painted exterior and the Jones House restoration has been remarkable with new windows, repaired and painted siding as well as extensive interior work also affecting the barn. Both families deserve mention for their commitment to the historical qualities of their properties and maintaining the character of the New England town center. There are other notable Town center historic properties that could use some TLC or at least a coat of paint. It is hoped that the example shown by the Owners of the 2 properties mentioned will influence some attention to other properties.

Last Updated: Wed, 10/03/2018 - 10:12pm