Dunseith Gardens

Dunseith Gardens

Home of the seahorse “Salty”, a Mattapoisett landmark to generations of South Coast visitors, here you’ll find children’s playground, picnic tables, a gazebo, flower gardens, and a nature walk built by our local Boy Scouts.

This 3 ½ acre site was willed to the trust in 1988. It was the site of Henry Dunseith’s home, adjacent gift shop, and the landmark icon now known as Salty the Seahorse. The home and gift shop were razed once it was realized the cost of rehabbing was far more than the trust could afford. Over time, the condition of the buildings had deteriorated to such a degree that rehabilitation was impossible.

When Salty was restored and dedicated in the year 2000, then Selectman Barry Denham noted that “Henry loved this piece of property. He wanted it to stay as it was.” Selectman Denham said that Mr. Dunseith could not envision the site housing a McDonald’s or any other business, even though the location was superb. As a matter of fact, individuals informally approached the land trust following the acquisition to acquire the property for business purposes. Those inquiries were never considered by the trust in keeping with its purposes.

Dunseith Gardens is at the busiest intersection in town. It is being maintained now as a park. The floral plantings represent the work of the Garden Group of the Mattapoisett Women’s Club and other volunteers. An arborist has been engaged to care for the specimen trees Henry planted.

The Mattapoisett Land Trust  enjoys a special relationship with our local Boy Scouts Troop who built a small building here to store equipment and conduct an annual cleanup of the property.  One Scout earned his Eagle Award by constructing a trail along the east side of the property while another made benches of split logs and placed them alongside the trail.  The Land Trust is thankful for the support the Scouts and their leaders have given the community.

Unknown to most people is that the southeast corner, across the street from Salty, is also owned by the Land Trust. Here, a popular community bulletin board was erected by the Lions Club in cooperation with the trust.  When Route 6 was established through Mattapoisett to Marion, the property was split in two. A small piece remained to the south. It runs from North Street east to the brook that flows to Mattapoisett Harbor near the town beach. North of Route 6, the brook courses through Dunseith Gardens near the trail made by the Boy Scouts.

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