Haggett’s Pond in Andover has been an outdoor attraction for well over a century. In the late 1800s, a recreational area called Bailey’s Grove offered guests the chance to boat, picnic, swim, dance and bowl at a private recreational destination on the pond. According to a story written by Elaine Clements and posted on the Andover Historical Society website, watching the fireworks at Haggett’s Pond on the Fourth of July was a tradition dating as far back as the 1860s.
Haggett’s Pond was also home to a boxing camp called Bellevue Grove in the 1890s. An 1893 headline in the Lawrence Daily Eagle reads, “Training At Haggett’s. George Dixon, the Famous Colored Pugilist, Getting in Trim.” Dixon, whose nickname was “Little Chocolate,” was the first African-American to win a world title and is credited with being the creator of shadow boxing, Clements writes.
Today, Haggett’s Pond, which gets some of its water from the Merrimack River, is used as the main water source for Andover. According to Karen Martin, the environmental compliance coordinator of the Andover Department of Public Works, boating on the pond is allowed, but only with a certified rowboat and valid fishing license. Walkers, hikers, joggers and bikers are welcome to enjoy the Rail Trail nature path, which was once was occupied by tracks for the Lowell and Lawrence Railroad.
Top photo by Andy Kim.