Spring flowers
autumn moon
summer breezes
winter snow:

With mind uncluttered
·  this is  ·
the finest season!

-Wúmén Huìkāi



Farrar Pond is a former wet meadow, whose damming allowed existing streams to flood about 88 acres. (More at History.) Its sloping shallows therefore contrast with sharply dropping kettle ponds like Walden, long held to be bottomless.


The pond is situated about a mile west of the divide between the Charles River watershed, which drains most of Lincoln, and the SuAsCo (Sudbury-Assabet-Concord) watershed, fed by the town’s western edge. Two maps of the pond’s sub-basin, courtesy of MassGIS:


Farrar Pond Watershed (topo)

Many more USGS maps, from 1894 to the present, are available at this page. (Follow directions to select a center point and open a list of maps available for download or print purchase.)

Farrar Pond empties westward into the Sudbury River, which merges with the Assabet at Egg Rock to become the Concord River, running north to join the Merrimack at Lowell and thence to the Atlantic at Newburyport. The pond is bordered to the east by a glacial outwash plain, and the area includes kettle holes and other post-glacial features.


 To the north are Mount Misery, Fairhaven Bay and Walden Pond; south are the broads of Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge with its headquarters at Weir Hill.  Drumlin Farm, home of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, is slightly to the east. It is an area of exceptional scenic beauty and ecological diversity.

Glacial Lakes Concord and Sudbury (see p. C142), with Farrar Pond overlaid:


Underlying and maintaining these features is a likewise rich geology and hydrology, as revealed in a variety of publications including:

Surficial Geologic Map of the Clinton-Concord-Grafton-Medfield 12-Quadrangle Area in East Central Massachusetts, with maps (shown here in part) like this


(see key on the full map and accompanying text); this,


available here and here, this variant printing


available here, and this version;


with soil types and processes nicely explained in this report, with special reference to glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial features. This area has also been mapped in detail as part of the comprehensive USDA national soil resources survey,


with a clickable key and discussion of some local soil types, properties and uses here. Of special note is OLIVER, the Massachusetts geographic information system’s online mapping tool. Those who have exhausted the pleasures of Google Earth or Bing bird’s-eye aerial photography are invited to explore the staggering amount of fascinating and useful information available in the many layers of OLIVER.

And on the human side…

Wherever people live, they give names to locations and features of functional or social importance. Sometimes these names are imposed from without. Thus, our Great Blue Hill was so named by European sailors. Native Americans living around it took their name from this prominence: “[people who live] by the big hill,” massa-adchu-es-et in Algonquian, from which it came to describe the new colony and now-old Commonwealth.

The land surrounding what became Farrar Pond was certainly known to pre-colonial natives hereabouts; relics of their hunting and fishing are still found in the fields around Nashawtuc (“between the rivers”—in Greek, Mesopotamia). But we do not know what they called its various features. In this post, then, are some modern names, most from the family that protected and put to public benefit much of the land along the pond’s southwest side. (“Great Island” is older, and describes the frequent isolation of that knoll before the Great Road to Fitchburg—now Rt. 117—causeway was built.) If someday a public trail is completed around the north side, perhaps equally congenial names will emerge.

FP-Bing_base2_places_c(Note: the header image for this journal shows the view toward Pine Point from behind the beaver dam.)