Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 29
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM


WAGENKNECHT, Ekatherina K.1, GONTZ, Allen M.2, DUBOIS, Pine3 and MANSFIELD, Alex3, (1)Environmental, Earth & Ocean Sciences, Univeristy of Massachusetts-Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125, (2)Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Massachusetts - Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125, (3)Jones River Watershed Association, PO Box 73, Kingston, MA 02364,

The Triphammer privilege is a 2000 square meter parcel of property on the southwest bank of the Jones River, below Wapping Rd (Rt. 106) in Kingston, MA. This site is one of the most active in recorded early American history of Kingston, with documented Native American fishing weirs in pre-colonial times and colonial dams and mills as early as 1644. Sawmills and gristmills were built at this site so as to take advantage of the water power generated by the Jones River throughout the late 1600’s and into the 1700’s. In the late 1700’s, homes for the mill owners were built on the site, and a foundation of one such house remains today. Industries such as the Reed Dye (Die) Works, where nail cutting was revolutionized, began developing on the Triphammer property in 1810; the last recorded operation on the site was that of the Mayflower Worsted Company beginning in 1919.

Today, the Triphammer privilege is a tree-covered, vacant lot and is slated to become protected by the Kingston Conservation Commission. At this location, several dams have been built on the river; many of these former dams were built just upstream of the property. The current dam, the Wapping Road Dam, is directly adjacent to the Triphammer privilege on the downstream edge of the property. The dam is scheduled for removal in the summer of 2010, after which the Triphammer privilege will be developed into the new Triphammer Park conservation area.

To better understand the historical layout of the land for the development of an educational exhibit at the new Triphammer Park, the team will use ground-penetrating radar coupled with RTK-GPS to locate and identify traces of anthropogenic uses of the property. Our investigation will seek to link together the anthropogenic uses and modifications of the property with the natural processes related to the Jones River. As a part of the educational display, we intend to reconstruct the landscape to several time periods, including the immediate pre-colonial period.