- Cedarcrest -

Green Harbor was originally known as "Green's Harbor." The name derives from William Green. The Pilgrim government granted William Green rights to conduct commercial fishing there in about 1627. The dyke road was built in 1872 after much disagreement between the fishermen and the farmers. There were dykers and anti-dykers, and there was even one episode involving a late night shipment of dynamite. The building of the dyke road created a large area suitable for farming but changed the nature of the harbor forever. The old mouth of the Green Harbor River , further south than at present, was closed by a storm circa. 1806. For several years there was no outlet to the sea except through the marshes toward Duxbury making the river stagnant. The present entrance was opened by another storm in 1810 and further widened by local fishermen. Bluefish Cove, then, was formerly not located near the entrance to Green Harbor.  

The Cut River was dug in the early 1600s and again in the first decade of the 1800s after the mouth of the river closed up. It provided an inland waterway from Green Harbor to Duxbury Bay and on to Plymouth Harbor and was safer than being on the open sea during storms.   

 Careswell Street was named after the Winslow family's estate in England known as Kerswell. 

The original name for Cedar Crest was Gotham Hill. In the 1920s three seasonal children's camps were created on the west end of the hill. The Immaculate Conception Boys Brigade, under the direction of Monsignor Edward M. Hartigan from the Immaculate Conception Church in Everett, MA, bought out the other two camps and created one camp. At the time, the hill did not have any trees since it had been farmland for a number of years. There was a growth of small cedar trees on the top of the hill. This inspired Monsignor Hartigan to name the combined camps "Cedar Crest" and the name was emblazoned on the side of the hill in white painted stones. Ever since, the entire hill has been called Cedar Crest.


Photo Contributed by Steve Cooper


Sluiceway and Gate on Green Harbor River
 Location and Description

The sluiceway and tide gate structure is located on Route 139 (Dyke Road) at Green Harbor in

the Town of Marshfield, MA. The dyke, originally constructed in 1872 for agricultural proposes,

was modified in the 1920’s with the addition of the present sluiceway structure. In the 1960’s,

the sluiceway was repaired and modified resulting in its current configuration today. The basic

structure is comprised of a double-barrel concrete culvert with each barrel being approximately

6’-0” wide by 16’-6” high separated by a full height center wall. Within the inlets on each end of

the structure, the barrels split into two chambers resulting in four openings at each inlet. On the

estuary inlet, keyways in the concrete walls were provided for the installation stop logs

(flashboards). On the ocean side inlet the four 3’-6” wide by 6’-0” high openings are each fitted

with wooden tide gates. The tide gates close during the in coming tide cycle, preventing the

influx of ocean water into the estuary.

The first record of a white man working in this locale was the spring of 1623, when William Green started a small fishing station along the beach near the mouth of the river. There were fishing weirs set up in the river (Autobiography 3). It is believed that the river was named after William Green (Autobiography 21), and in the earliest records and maps the river is named Greene's Harbour River. 

    In 1632 Edward Winslow was granted 200 acres of land in Marshfield. This land was called Greens Harbor and abutted the river. His family took up residence on his "Green Harbor farm" in 1636 (Krussell 3-5). A General Court order in 1633 made travel easier between Plymouth and Green Harbor by permitting construction of a water passage to connect the Green Harbor River estuary and Duxbury Bay. In 1636 another court order required that the canal be eighteen feet wide and six feet deep (Autobiography 22). The channel was to make possible boat passage from Plymouth Harbor to Green Harbor River (Report of the Joint Board upon the Restoration of Green Harbor 6).
From a survey of the Green Harbor River - by Laurie Bianchi
for more information click here

Burke's Beach by Jack and Linda - CLICK HERE for more of their photos

click for six "zoomable", aerial - GREEN HARBOR VIEWS

Whatever happened to the Ranch House?

-The Green Harbor Dyke -
The History of Marshfield - by
Lysander Salmon Richards - 1901

 Not only will this description of the Dike give some idea of its purpose and development, but it will also make future generations better acquainted with the present conditions and extent of the salt marshes in the region of Green Harbor river.   Nothing has occurred in any town in Plymouth County for the past century that has probably created more contention, opposition, and bad feeling, than the building and continuation of the dike across Green Harbor river in Marshfield.   Year after year it has been a bone of contention in our town meetings.   It has entered our politics, and the question was obliged to be solved whether a man up for office was a Diker, or an Anti-Diker.   The feeling became so intense against the dike that about a decade ago the dike was blown up and severely damaged.   It finally became necessary to keep a watchman there night and day to guard it, lest it be blown up again.   The reason of such intense opposition was that the fishermen in the vicinity of Green Harbor river claimed that the diking of the river nearly ruined the fishery business, as the lack of a sufficiently strong current to carry off the sand accumulating there year after year resulted in the filling up of the river.   Most of the residents at Green Harbor and Brant Rock are Anti-Dikers.   Some others, who owned a portion of the salt marsh affected by the diking of the river, claimed that they preferred their salt meadows without a dike, desiring the crop of salt hay therefrom, rather than bearing their portion of the expense in the construction of the dike. The Dikers claimed it was for the public good, that the meadows diked would produce good, fresh hay, garden and fruit crops in abundance without a particle of manure of any description.   What it has done will be mentioned further on.  After several ineffectual attempts to get the Massachusetts Legislature to open the dike, this body in 1896 appointed a joint commission, consisting of the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners and State Board of Health, for the purpose of considering the proposition of the Anti-Dikers of opening the dike and restoring Green Harbor to its former condition.   After a thorough investigaion they reported that it was inexpedient to open or remove the dike, but recommended the building of jetties at the mouth of Green Harbor to direct the current and prevent the waves from driving the sand and shingle into the channel, and this has been done, at an estimated expense of $66,880, by the state. "The first mention of Green Harbor that is of interest in the Acts and Resolves of the State, is in 1807, when an act was passed to establish a corporation for the purpose of draining Green's Harbor marsh, so called, in the town of Marshfield.   The petition for this act appears to have been presented to the House of Representatives on May 29, 1806, and is as follows:    " 'The subscribers, owners and occupants of certain meadows, lying in the town of Marshfield in the County of Plymouth humbly represent, that whereas a certain River, called Green's Harbor River in said town of Marshfield has in times passed afforded an outlet to the waters, which have overflowed about two thousand acres of said Marsh, & whereas lately the mouth of said River has been closed, by beach sand, confining a great body of water on said Marsh, which may prove entirely destructive of said meadows and it has become absolutely necessary that said water should be drawn off in the most convenient manner possible, and Whereas, we the subscribers, owners and occupants of the said Marsh aforesaid, for the preservation of the same, have associated for the purpose of draining said waters from said Marsh into Duxboro Bay, by digging a canal for said water and having in said enterprise expended about the sum of three thousand dollars for the purpose aforesaid, pray the Honorable Court, that we & our associates may be incorporated into a Body Politic, to manage the above undertaking and be possessed of all the powers and priveleges, usually granted to similar incorporations and as in duty bound will ever pray—    " '(Signed)    Isaac Winslow, and others.'    "In response to this petition, Chapter 39 of the Acts of 1807 was passed on Feb. 11, 1807, incorporating the Green's Harbor Canal Co., for the purpose of draining Green's Harbor Marsh in the town of Marshfield."    "An act was passed in 1831 by the General Court, on petition of the Green's Harbor Canal Co., dissolving that company for the reason, as claimed by the company, that the purposes for which the corporation was created had been effected so far as the same was practicable.   "The dike was completed in the year 1872, at a cost of $32,090.79, and subsequently, in 1879, was widened to carry the road from Green Harbor to Brant Rock.   The Acts of 1871 authorized the construction of a dam and dike across Green Harbor river for the purpose of 'improving the Green Harbor Marsh in the town of Marshfield and for other purposes.'   Following the building of the dam and dike came certain changes in the small harbor at the mouth of the river.   The effect of these changes was a
serious one for the fishermen of the village, causing much contention."     

read more here - The Green Harbor Dyke

Camp Cedarcrest was a popular place on Gotham Hill that still evokes many fond memories of Green Harbor for former campers. See lots of comments from campers in the photo gallery or add your comments at

......more Cedarcrest memories.....

by Richard Michalski and Larry Doucette
under construction

Tom Pezzi was on a ship that ran aground off Brant Rock. He was adopted and raised by a local family and ran a Fish Market, Ice House and Saloon in Green Harbor.

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