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
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.
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?
I didn’t see any outside.
wow. thanks for sharing
Very good pictures Tom. It looks ripe for development into riverside condos. What is the factory used for now?
Thanks Win–it looked empty. Bats and raccoons?