Photos: Industrial Neponset

If you lived here, would you be home by now?

For all the years I’ve been prowling the Neponset, there is plenty I haven’t seen, particularly in the upper watershed. Here’s the river skirting an old linoleum factory upstream of Morse St. in Norwood:

This is about as beat-up and uninviting as the river gets. Here’s the same reach just a bit downstream:

If you consider that a river, like a person, can be abused, then this is a crime scene of sorts, except that the crime happened long ago, and everyone has forgotten about it. Here’s Kerry, our Advocacy Director, at a siding just up the hill, where trains no longer stop:

The only thing moving, in fact, was the river, and the water looked surprisingly clean, as if it had just come off of Moose Hill:

But the nastiness wasn’t quite done with; here’s a rivulet of gray stuff I found seeping into the channel:

It was coming from this suspicious culvert just up the bank:

The size of the scour pit indicates it sometimes flows a lot stronger.

I wanted to go further, but the factory was closing in on me:

I didn’t feel comfortable following the channel through here:

So I walked around the building, and saw this:

Believe it or not, this is a picture of the river:  I believe it’s enclosed by the white guardrails on the left and flows left to right under the road, as you might guess from this view through the gate:

But I’d had enough ugly for one day, and I left.

April 2018  —  Tom Palmer, Willett Pond Manager


6 responses to “Photos: Industrial Neponset”

  1. Mike sanders says:

    The first 12 years of my life from 1948 to 1960, we lived in Norwood. I still remember the horrid stench of the linoleum factory that everyone had to endure. I never knew what fresh air was until we moved away to the country in a rural state. Hope someday the Neponset can get cleaned up. Loved the little beach on Willet Pond! Was told a church was built there later.

  2. Robert Mussey says:

    I’m not sure what chemicals it takes to produce linoleum, but presumably a lot organic solvents and synthetic resins, like vinyl modified acrylics. Any evidence of underground storage tanks, 55 gal barrels, and the like?

  3. Mike O'Hanlon says:

    wow. thanks for sharing

  4. Win Burr says:

    Very good pictures Tom. It looks ripe for development into riverside condos. What is the factory used for now?

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