The Pine Street Dump

As long as I can remember, Sunday mornings were the dump run. Dad would get the trash barrel up onto the front bumper of his old Chevy, tie it down, then off to the Pine Street dump.

This was exciting to me. First, unload the trash. Then find as many of gallon jugs and wine bottles as I could. We would stand at the edge of the trash and Dad would throw a jug up into the air and I would throw a wine bottle at it. With luck, I would make contact and crash the jug to bits! Oh yes, there were many misses. I often wonder how dangerous this could have been.

Next, there was looking for treasures to take home. Sometimes I would find a usable toy car or truck, a table and chair for use in my tent, which was set up in our back yard. Dad’s great finds were old lamps that he would fix up to use in our house. The dump attendant was usually not there on Sundays, so “pickin” was uninterrupted.

One day, we arrived and unloaded. There was a desk upended, the drawers were out, and alongside, all empty. Dad uprighted the desk; a small drawer was still in it, the knob was gone and the drawer was stuck. I got a screwdriver from Dad’s toolbox and pried it open. Oh-my-word, it was full of watches and chains, rings, tie clips, cuff links and other gold stuff. Out came a watch, and as I was winding it to see if it worked, in came the dump attendant. He jumped out of his truck and shooed us out of there!

I slipped the Waltham watch into my pocket and we left. When we arrived home, Dad inspected the watch. It was running. What a find! Dad took it to a jeweler in Boston near his work. He had it cleaned and timed. The jeweler said it was a nice watch but very common and not worth a whole lot — that was in the 40s. Dad wore that watch to work for many years. I have no idea where it ever went. I often wondered what that drawer full of gold was worth!

Sometime after 1946, and under new ownership, the Seaview Garage’s attic was being cleaned out to create an apartment for the new owners. That attic was used for storage of auto parts from the 1920s. First the Maxwell auto car, then Ford model Ts, then the A’s. In 1932, the Ford B, the first Ford V-8s. Over 30 years of auto parts stored in that attic, all new and some parts still with paper wrapping.

One day after school, I arrived at the garage. Jimmy, a garage employee, had a dump truck under the trap door from the attic, and he was pushing parts into the truck. He was cleaning out the attic and taking the parts to the Pine Street Dump. Load after load! I so wanted all those parts dumped into my yard. My Dad would have no part of that.

I think how I could have become an antique auto parts supplier. I did salvage four Maxwell hubcaps, (new old stock). I somehow have lost them. Today, they would bring any price you asked!
All of those collectable auto parts, buried in the Pine Street dump. Maybe someone should excavate the dump to salvage those parts.

My dump “pickin” continued through the 60s. After getting married in 1962, much of the furniture in our first home came from the dump. I repaired and refinished it, and it served us well. Most of it was returned later.

3 Replies to “The Pine Street Dump”

  1. I so remember going to that dump with my dad as well….He was always looking for a treasure…I remember planting all the pine trees when the dump finally closed…we planted hundreds of trees…. that was when a dump was called a dump!!!

  2. Pine St dump was a frequent weekend “chore” on Saturdays. I acquired a usable bike from there that I rode for many years. It was also a great source of wheels & axles which were the basics required for cart construction. I rode these with neighborhood friends on our driveway off Summer St, Marshfield Hills. We learned a lot about how to add brakes of course! Later on we discovered that the pine woods adjacent to the dump were a rich source of blueberries in mid summer. One could pick a quart in only a few minutes. No doubt this was aided by the frequent burns that occurred when fires on the dump propagated into the nearby brush. Fortunately, the fire department was very proficient at containing the the flames….

  3. I grew up on Ruthven Farm off Pleasant street and when I was 7 or 8 I sold peaches from our orchard on that little island as you’d drive up Pine street to the dump. I had a little scale and paper bags and a cigar box to keep the money in. It was a small piece of land at the intersection of the main road and Pine and plenty busy on Sundays as people were driving home from church. Daddy would come by every half hour or so and drop off a new basket of peaches to sell (2 lb for 35 cents!) and check to see how I was doing. He gave me 10% to put in my savings account in the bank in Scituate, I loved the experience, even on those hot days. One day I made almost $50.00, used up all the paper bags and had to go home
    People were so nice and interesting and it was a fun experience looking back. I can’t imagine it today. Things and people have changed so much sadly.

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