Dexter Mill/Tub Mill

Dexter Mill/Tub Mill

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a water-powered sawmill was located at Dexter Mill. It manufactured staves for tubs and barrels. The mill building burned down during a thunderstorm in 1911. Today, only the earthen dam and mill race still exist. Tub Mill Brook flows from the north under Route 6 to Eel Pond and Buzzards Bay.

This property, which covers 3.5 acres with frontage on both Route 6 and Mendell Road, went on the market for residential development in the 1990’s. It was owned by the Frank Sylvia Estate. With the cooperation and generosity of his heirs, the land trust acquired the entire piece for $50,000 only a small portion of the original asking price; the balance was a gift from the estate.

In the early days, a pond on the rear of the Dexter Mill/Tub Mill property was a popular place in the winter as ice skaters from throughout the area flocked to it for their winter sport. Unfortunately, the pond no longer exists.

Early in the 1900’s, the landmark Dexter Elm tree became a place for the town to post notices and where residents gathered to catch the trolley to New Bedford. After it succumbed to elm disease and to old age,
the tree was replaced in 1967 by the Mattapoisett Highway Department and Tree Warden John Denham.

During the Mattapoisett Land Trust’s Happy Birthday-Arbor Day Celebration in 2004 a disease-resistant Princeton Elm was planted in the field to the east and more recently a third elm was planted in memory of Barney Helfand. A Yoshimo Cherry tree, purchased by a group of people at the Shipyard Galley as a memorial to Jan Spark’s father, also finds its home here.

A parking lot for visitors is located on Mendell Road across from the Mattapoisett Highway Department barn. Visitors with children are asked to use caution as the mill race could pose a danger for the young.


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