369 Report on Merricaneag Neck

    Falmouth, August 10, 1730

    Reverend Sir:

    Pursuant to yours of the 5th of June, and the inclosed vote of the Corporation, we have taken the first opportunity, of viewing Merricaneag Neck, which was the last week, when in company with Mr. Mountfort the subscriber and two others, we sailed up the N.W. side, to the Head of said Neck, and after having travelled upon the Land for some Miles, we measured across the Head of the Neck, or narrowest Place, which we found to be but 40 Poles. The next day, we designed to have sailed round to the S.E. side of the Neck, but the wind coming up against us, we could not proceed any farther, than about the Middle of the Neck, where we went on shore and travelled across the Neck, making the best observations, that we were able, of the Breadth Situation, Soil and Timber; But the Travelling being difficult and the wind not allowing us to sail any further, we were obliged to content ourselves, with the best information, we could light on concerning the Rest of the Land; And what we have been able to learn of the situation and extent of the Neck, in its several Parts, the inclosed Rough Draught,260 will in some measure inform you. As to the Quality of the Land, by the best observation we could make, and as we are informed by others, that know it, The Soil is Rich, and the greatest part of it fit for Tillage or Mowing, there is likewise above the Neck upon Mare-Brook-Creek, a very considerable Quantity of Salt Marsh, and the Land adjoyning is much of the same nature, with the Neck itself. The Neck is well stored with Timber of almost all sorts, as Oak, Pine, Beech, Ash, Maple, Spruise, &c. We find also, that there has been very considerable strip and waste made, especially in cutting staves, sparrs and ash rafters; and the Persons, that have chiefly done it, and are still doing it, are Col. Harman, who has built a House, and improves in the Right of Mr. Marston261 at Salem, who purchased a considerable part of the S.W. end of said Neck, as we are informed from one Potts, that lived there about 60 or 70 years ago, by virtue of an Indian Purchase; and Capt. William Woodside, who improves under one Moses Gatchel, that lives upon said Neck, near Cole’s Old Settlement (which see in the Draught) and is a Tenant unto Samuel Boone of Boston-Neck in Narrhaganset, which Boone together with the Heirs of one Puddington, that live the most of them at Hampton and Salisbury, lay claim to the biggest part of the Neck, their bounds beginning at the N.E. end. We are also informed that said Boone purchased of one Cole, who together with said Puddington, lived upon, and improved said Land about 60 or 70 years ago, by virtue of a Deed from Indian Sagamores, and that said Boone has possessed in said Right for these Dozen or Fourteen years past. We are further informed, that the said Boone, and Puddington’s Heirs have appointed and agreed to take a survey and make Division of their Right in said Neck, some time in October next. These, Sir, are the best observations that we have been able to make, and the best informations we can at present give to your self and the Corporation of the Lands mentioned in your Letter, and considering the Difficulties of Transporting ourselves, the change of Boats, Provisions, &c., we think it may be reasonable to charge 10s per Day for each Man, the account of which is annexed.

    To 4 Men 4 Days apiece


    To 1 Man 2 Days




    We shall rejoyce, if what we have done may be of any service to the College, and if there be any further, wherein we may be serviceable, you may at any time command.

    Your Humble Servants—

    Joshua Moody

    Edmund Mountfort

    Ammi-Ruhamah Cutter

    Merricaneag Neck Papers. RC. Ammi-Ruhamah Cutter (A.B. 1725) was minister at North Yarmouth, and Joshua Moody (A.B. 1716) resided in Falmouth.