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Letters to the Editor: Loss of green space too high

Another Letter to the Editor today in the Salem News.

"The New England trees and open areas are fast disappearing. We're throwing away a beautiful legacy....  the price is our children's heritage, land heritage. "

Stone Wall Post Card

This is a postcard created by Leslie Courtemanche in 2005,
showing a few of the stone walls found around Spring Pond in Salem and Peabody from the once old boundaries of the Trask Farm and Clifford/ Crowninshield/ Fay Estate.  There is a recent finding of stone walls in Lynn as well.

Stone walls root to stories of the past. These are artifacts from forbearers who tilled the rocky soils of the New World in an effort to survive and farm in a seldom good climate with unforgiving terrain.  Stone walls are a monument of the early settlers’ struggle to exist, and remain today a delight to onlookers who discover them in nature.

Lemon mint

The sweet aroma of Lemon mint lead a European while exploring these woods to recognize this native Mediterranean plant.  This herbal meadow plant fills the air with a citrus scent when brushing against its leaves, reminiscent of the fruit of a lemon plant.  A handful of this fresh herb's edible leaves makes a good soothing tea, salad, and fragrant flavoring, etc.

This plant was naturalized in America at some point in time.  
How it grew here in the 'wild' may be no wonder.

It's a good thing to have someone from another country walk these woods, as they await to see the blossoming of other plants that are next to turn.  There are other plants a local naturalist could not identify, which makes the hunt for nature's treasures more exciting.

Throbbing with Memory

Its no wonder why recent posts here have described this historic gem of a forest in the same manner as it was once experience by those in the past...
An article from the Daily Item 1915 about the old Estate 


'Left over' earth surface, our surrounding cities have not paved over yet.  
Trails run into streams, which run to wetlands and waterways.

Bird sounds of Spring Pond

Spring Pond is a sanctuary for many birds.  A chorus of birds are heard in many areas from morning till the next morning.  Their sounds are so beautiful to listen to.  Here is a sound collection of bird sounds from different parts of the woods.  

Council Chamber

Pow wow! 
Where is this?  

Clipping from the Daily Item, February 1951

Spring Pond Reservation

The areas around Spring Pond in Lynn, Peabody and Salem, Ma including a historic estate by the pond has significant historic and environmental importance.

It is in the interest of many to have these areas designated as Spring Pond Reservationand create a Neighborhood Conservation District for the existing developments which have encroached around the pond and on the old estate, by ending further massing of new development.

Efforts to reach this goal:
  • There is an application in process to nominate this area as a Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resource, and then continue the nomination as a National Endangered Historic Site.
  • An application is in quest to nominate the area as an Important Bird Site, with the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
  • Action letters to preserve Spring Pond:  letters 1, 2, 3  

For more historic information: 
There is more history to apply to these pages, which is in the process.

If there are other nominations to apply for, or for inquiries...

Photo of Lady's Slipper orchid plantings covering the ground in the woods by Spring Pond.

Richard S. Fay's Will

Here are two pages of Richard Sullivan Fay's will, a former historic land owner of the Fay Estate which was 500 acres partially in Lynn, Salem and Peabody.

If you would like to help transcribe his writings, please post your analysis here or email to peace@springpondwoods.com

Click on image below to open, and then again to zoom in.

Page 1

Page 2


Curious Trees

Some old trees, in different locations have each grown to look like a blossoming flower, spitting from the base.  Someone named one seen on Edgemere, a tulip tree.  It is a wonder to come across one, and then more in the same area of the forest.  

    In various other areas, newly sprouting trees, about 3 feet tall, have freakish large oak leaves. 

The forest is pleasant, growing over an old meadow, and in some places with unusual flora. Creating wonder was a plan.

Hunt for Nature's Treasure

At one point in time, between the years of 1853 to 1865, the old estate of Richard Sullivan Fay in Lynn, Peabody and Salem was a paradise of exotic trees and shrubs, where people roamed a romantic arboretum to view nature's beauty imported from all parts of the world.  The foliage remaining today would be between 157-145 years old (or younger by offspring). 

Richard Sullivan Fay, Esq., a Harvard graduate, was one of Lynn's noblest men, eminent agriculturist, merchant and manufacturer, who changed the use of the former Mineral Spring Hotel to a mansion, and filled the prairies and meadows of the former Clifford and Crowninshield farm with trees.  The estate was 500 acres located partially in Lynn and Salem near Spring Pond.  Today the areas of the old estate include the Neighborhood of the Fay Estate in Lynn, which carries it's name and the land of Camp Lion in Salem (including other parcels which were taken or bought off the camp in the past).  These areas combined are nearly half of 500 acres.  The estate also extended to Danvers Road.

From the clippings of old newspaper articles written in the 50's in the Daily Item, here is a list of some of the trees Mr. Richard S. Fay set into the New World.  Let it be noted that he may of been responsible for bringing many of the foriegn foliage here first, in North America.

To renew this historic gem is one of our missions, and recreate an arboretum again.  To help identify rare trees or report findings, email peace@springpondwoods.com


Nature Trails

Secrets were kept well by those who knew of the unfolding endless trails of old-country side tranquility under the trees of Spring Pond.  A few pics within the deep springtime trails, will lead to interesting trees, flora, wildlife, streams, vernal pools, historic stone walls, phenomenal glacial formations, erratic rocks, sounds of nature and peace.   More of what is discovered - coming soon.

Hope you enjoy, and hope you can help say 'This Place Matters"

Wild cats

Someone reported a Fisher cat was seen in these woods last year.   Yesterday bones resembling a Bobcat were found.  Both circumstances could be true.  Until the bones of time are confirmed, the previous post about a wildcat remains a 'draft'.


There is such a thing as native Northern American Bamboo... but the species still stems from East Asia.  Botanist don't know how long ago, how or who brought the species over to the US.  Maybe we'll never know, but we do know one thing... before Olmstead began his career in the 1850's and then began his magestic creation of nature with the Emerald Necklace of Boston in 1878...  before this time, in 1847 there was Richard Sullivan Fay of the Fay Estate on the border of Lynn and Salem who filled the prairies and meadows of the old Clifford and Crowninshield farm, into an exotic paradise of rare flora and trees imported from around the world.  

In a section of this enchanted arboretum we call a forest today, this tropical plant is found crawling off the beaten path.  Bamboo is a good material for birds to create their nests.  In this historic gem of paradise,  there is a wildlife, a chorus of birds, toads and crickets to experience morning till evening, where the sounds of cars disappear...

The Clifford/ Crowninshield/ Fay Estate was once 500 acres located partially in Lynn and Salem near Spring Pond.  Today the areas of the historic estate include the Neighborhood of the Fay Estate in Lynn and the Land of Camp Lion in Salem (including Walmart and other pieces which were taken or bought off Camp Lion).

Ghost Flower of the Woods

 Monotropa uniflora, also known as the Ghost Plant, Ghost Flower, Indian Pipe, Ice-plant or Corpse Plant.  This unusual flora can be found glowing in very dark environments, as in the understory of dense woods.  It blooms for a week only after a good rain fall.

Unlike most plants, it is ghostly white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic. Its hosts are certain fungi from photosynthetic trees. The plant may provide an essential balance in nature to other shrubs or trees.  The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.  It may be illegal to pick this flower.

In the early 19th Century, a New England writer Alice Morse Earle once said, "It is the weirdest flower that grows, so palpably ghastly that we feel almost a cheerful satisfaction in the perfection of its performance & our own responsive thrill, just as we do in a good ghost story." And ghost stories it indeed inspired, in the writings: Stories of Enchantment: or The Ghost Flower.

The Indians used the Ice-plant for relieving affections of the eyes.  This plant is one of value in herbal medicine.

Photo of Monotropa uniflora, found on Camp Lion, tangled within other green shrubbery.

Don't Destroy Nature!

Here are a few recent Letters to the Editor regarding the Lowe's brochure: "A GOOD NEIGHBOR FOR SALEM AND LYNN", which was mailed to Salem and Lynn residents.

"The brochure shows children with a Lowe’s associate lovingly planting a tree in front of Lowe’s, yet there is no need for children or associates to plant trees at the proposed site because there are already naturally growing and varied trees that have been here for decades. It is already an environmental gem." ~ Leslie Courtemanche

This letter appeared in the Daily Lynn Item and Salem News

SAY NO to Super Wal-Mart and Lowe's

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