Holly Hill

When I was young, Holly Hill was a mountain. It was a challenge from all sides. I think my first recollection on this mountain was peering out the windshield of my Dads old Chevy, stopped on top of Upland Road, looking at smoke billowing into the sky somewhere near Boston.

My Dad used Holly Hill as a testing ground for his old Chevy. He would do a tune up on it, then pile me into the old six cylinder, and off to the hill we’d go. Dad would make a left turn on Elm Street then a right on Upland Road. If the old Chevy made it to Dwight Road in third gear, it was a good tune up. If not, he would get his screwdriver out, make an adjustment on the points, and try again. This was an exciting adventure because we seemed to be flying around that hill! Also, we would usually end up at “Stead’s” for a bottle of Ballantine Ale (35 cents), a cigar (15 cents), and a candy bar for me (5 cents). Total, 55 cents. Life was good.

There were only four roads on Holly Hill — Upland, Dwight, Emery and Holly, with just a handful of houses. There was only one house on Upland Road, at the peak facing north, with a spectacular view of the North River, all the cliffs, and way beyond. The next best viewing point was at the peak of Emery Road, facing north. There were only two houses on the right side, The Chamberlains in the first, and the Stantons at the very top — a brick house.

At the south end of Emery there were two houses on the left side, both very large and very beautiful. Dwight Road had only one house (brick) at the corner of Holly Road. This part of Holly Road no longer exists, and Holly Road off Dwight did not exist –just a cart path that went to Ferry Street. Most of the homes were on Elm Street, starting from Holly Road to Ferry Street.

Now for a stranger, Holly Road can be confusing. It starts on Elm and dead ends. It used go though to Emery, across to Dwight, then stop. Now it runs south from Dwight, almost to Ferry Street. I spent many trips down this muddy cart path collecting holly with red berries.

by Ray Freden
Originally published in the Marshfield Mariner, March 24, 2010

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