The History of Fellsmere Park

by Brian DeLacey

A simple question was raised about the history of Fesllmere Park: "Who owns Fellsmere Park?"

Senaotor Jason Lewis' staff was in contact with staff from the Department of Conservation and recreation (DCR). Over the course of about a week, they were able to research a timely and definitive answer to the original historical question of "Who owns Fellsmere Park?" They've also added important and helpful details related to ongoing maintenance of Fellsmere Park:

Fellsmere Park is owned by the City of Malden, by deed from the Boston Rubber Shoe Company. In an indenture dated June 1 1904 (MPC 456) the Care & Control of Fellsmere Park was transferred from the City of Malden to the Metropolitan Park Commission. The responsibility for this park passed from MPC through MDC and now lies with the DCR, as statutory successor to both earlier agencies. In 2006 the legislature granted DCR 175k for renovations for the park, and was redone. The DCR and the city of Malden has had a universal agreement to share the upkeep since then.

National Register of Historic Places Application Form (fascinating reading from p. 38++ and 45++ covers the Middlesex Fells Reservation, see page 64++ for reference to West Border Road and Boundary Road)

"The two people primarily responsible for the creation of the Metropolitan Park System were Charles Eliot, a young landscape architect who had apprenticed at the Olmsted firm, and journalist Sylvester Baxter of Malden, who was a strong advocate for a comprehensive metropolitan approach to solving urban problems and a long-time advocate for preservation of the Middlesex Fells." (page 39 of the application PDF)

"Fellsmere Park, a small park established in 1913, occupies land that was developed on either side of Fellsway East just south of the Middlesex Fells Reservation. The focal point of this park is Fellsmere Pond, a small body of water with exceptional scenic qualities. Two border roads, West Border Road and Boundary Road, were built along the eastern and western edges of the park to take advantage of views from the hills surrounding the park. " (page 66 of the application PDF)

"Two very short parkways, West Border Road and Boundary Road, were built along the eastern and western edges of Fellsmere Park, which was established by the MPC in 1913. Both of these roads possess characteristics that are consistent with other border roads found within the larger natural and scenic reservations, such as the nearby Middlesex Fells or the Blue Hills Reservation." (page 68 of the application PDF)

Fellsmere Park Parkways is listed on National Register of Historic Places (May 30, 2003)

Detailed application for the National Register of Historic Places:

Federal Register -

Chapter 286 of the Acts of 2014



provided further, that no less than $250,000 will be expended for the cleanup and replanting of the Fellsmere Pond area in the city of Malden

National Register,_Massachusetts

The question came up on the FaceBook page recently, and Lenny mentioned it to me this morning.

Here it is listed as a DCR property -

about 7 or 8 years ago DCR gave Fellsmere Park (back) to the city and no longer provides money to help support it.

So, the good news is that the City of Malden owns Fellsmere Park.

Consequently, further good news is that IF the $250,000 earmarked for the pond area were spent it would directly benefit City of Malden property!

I'm hoping we can figure out a way to get this earmark prioritized to a point where it will actually be spent - Fellsmere Park deserves this!

See "Fellsmere Pond restoration initiative " and "Through its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) the City has funded over 450 linear feet of bank repair and stabilization at Fellsmere Pond to improve stormwater runoff characteristics and corresponding surface water quality"

Other sources: