December 7, 1941.

” Yesterday, December seventh, 1941-A date which will live in Imfamy”
(President Franklin D. Roosevelt ) 12/8/1941.

Dad, Mom and I were in the living room on a cold Sunday afternoon ,  trying to listen to a program on the old Philco radio, well Dad & Mom were, it was news time and I wasn’t interested, and not happy because I couldn’t listen to my special  Sunday afternoon   program.

The telephone rang, our new telephone installed this past summer. Mom answered it because the only one that might  call was her Mom.

Bill-it’s for you, Mom came back into the living room with a shrug and stating, ” it’s some man for Dad”.  We could overhear  Dad talking on the telephone ,    Dads voice carried into the living room, and we heard “yes” pause, “Oh my God, no I haven’t heard”, “when?” , Pause, “yes sir, the earliest  will be seven, yes sir I’ll be there. ”  “Yes Earnest, yes sir” Click Click.
Well Mom and I were dumbfounded at that point.
Dad came into the room looking quite concerned, ” The Japanese just bombed Pearl Harbor”  He then went to the radio and tried to get a news station. The power tube was not cooperating, as usual
Mom & I were quite, just waiting for Dads story.
” Damn-it” I knew those bastards were up to something”  and he pounded on the radio–and wow ,  the volume came up !
There was no news until 5 o-clock, and not much detail of the event.
I was scared out of my mind, Pearl Harbor ?  Where was that?
I would be seven in three days, a naive country pumpkin that had not been further from home than a 30 mile trip to Boston or the Cape Cod Canal.

I knew the harbors near home, Plymouth,Duxbury, Green Harbor, Scituate & Cohasset Harbors and Boston Harbor, where was Pearl Harbor?  Dad showed me on the globe we had, it was half way on the other side — well that didn’t take away any of my scared feelings.

Dad went to work early as requested by his boss Mr. Earnest Hofftizer. Earnest was in charge of the Boston Record American Newspaper. Dad was not a reporter or writer, but I’m sure needed to help with the extra work load created by this travesty !  At 4 o-clock Dad called and told Mom he would be late coming home.
Late to me meant no newspapers, no funny’s, at least until he got home, and no new power tube  for the radio ! And my bedtime was 9 pm.
Dad got home at 9pm with all the papers, all the funny’s and full of photos of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, It deeply frightened me.
Mom let me stay up to run through all my favorite funny’s.

As the days, weeks and months moved along, not much was noticeably different, however, we were warned of shortages, gas, fuel, food, with more to follow.

By the end of  December much more was rationed, my mom had all her ration cards  stacked together  with a rubber band holding them.

May 1942 gas & rubber was rationed, an “A” sticker gave you four gallons a week.  Dad drove ten miles per day five days a week and might have had fumes  left in his tank. He had two riders that paid  one dollar per week and a trade of gas ration stamps.  Later his gas ration was increased  because he was a ranking newspaper employee. Newspapers were  the most important means of getting the news.
Next rationing,  sugar, butter, meat, and many more items.
Birthday’s and Christmas were pretty skinny in 1942, 3 & 4, it let up after the war ended in ’45.

For me, those four years , the thought of an invasion was always on my mind. Watching the convoys traveling past my house headed to Fourth Cliff, a heavy gun outpost.

On occasion they would fire the big gun as a practice,  this was usually done while I was at school, the North School in Marshfield Hills, where the shooting could be clearly heard .  One never knew whether  they were firing at hostile submarines off shore or practicing . Sometimes a tear would run down my face in fear!

At times during the war, a report of a submarine would be sighted off our coast, that sure didn’t help with my fear of the Germans or the Japanese.
It was a. time of uncertainty , no one knew what was going to happen.
The neighborhood seemed to be normal and carrying out their daily routine . As spring & summer arrived , the weekend traffic on Summer St. was now non-existant, no gas, no travel.  It was quite everywhere- spooky quite.

There is  so much more I remember , I will have to do a part two.

W. Ray Freden.  Sea View, Marshfield.  70 years, Now, “Down East Maine”.  The Way Life Should Be.









I have recently received  a three-page typed letter on some history of the Sea View School house.
This is in regard to the beginning of the Trinity Mission, noted by Mrs. Charles Randall of Summer St., Sea View, a member of the Episcopal Church, along with six other families.

The following  are excerpts from the letters.
When it was time for the Randall’s to have their youngest son baptized, they called on the Reverend Howard  Barton from Cohasset to perform the service in their home.
Episcopal Church services were held in each others family’s homes…usually on Sunday afternoons.
One member, Dr. Henry Nelson of Highland St., arranged to rent the former Sea View school to hold services.  In Aug. 1922, the School house and land was purchased  from the Town of Marshfield by the newly-formed Guild.


The Trinity Chapel, originally the Sea View School, corner of Summer St. & Seaview Ave. 

A number of different clergymen were invited to preach at the Chapel.  In 1923 it was voted by the members to establish a Sunday School for the area children.  A group of the ladies volunteered to teach on Sunday mornings.
After many years passed, the members deliberated over a new Church building (no reason given).

In July, a real Southern Barbecue was held at the farm of Dr. Edwin Dwight of Holly Hill. This event attracted people from all parts of the State and netted over $1000 towards the building fund.
Dr. Dwight offered land for the new building at the junction of Summer, Church, and Elm St.
Another offer was received by Luther Little to donate land on Summer St. opposite his residence.
However, the members decided to add on to the existing building….therefore not accepting either of the land offers.
On Sept. 25th, 1927, a dedication was performed for the new Chancel and kitchen.  Donations were received from the members, and many of them were “in memory of loved ones”.
Different members of the clergy preached at this little Chapel with the names noted.
Twenty-five years passed (now  1941) when a Holy Communion was held celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the mission….30 members attended.
On Nov. 1, 1945, the care of the mission was transferred from Mr. Philbrick to Archdeacon Johnson.
The building was moved from Summer St., Sea View, to 228 Highland St.  in 1948. This was the property of the Trinity Episcopal Church and the building was used as a parish house, dedicated to Archdeacon Johnson.

**Compliments of the late Mrs. Charles ( Mary) Randall, and  son, Philip, the late Mr. & Mrs. Earl Banner,  and daughter, Polly Banner.
A special thanks to Richard and Holly Dubois of Seaview.

A note of my experience at the Chapel:
I’m not sure  what age I began Sunday School at this Chapel….maybe from age 6, 1940, but  I went to Church, earlier with my Mom.
I remember when Archdeacon Johnson arrived with his wife.
I think it was the Christmas of 1945 and I was selected to play the part of Jesus in the pageant.  I remember the Chancel was decorated with the manger.  I was in the side room putting a robe on and a beard pasted on.  I was being instructed by Mrs. Johnson…. she was quite pushy and full of instructions!   She literally pushed me onto the Chancel and snapped at me for not speaking loud enough at Saturday practice before the pageant.  Well, I had enough of being pushed around!  I ripped off my beard and threw off my robe, ran out the side door, got my bike and rode home.  I arrived home, explaining in tears, that I didn’t like Mrs. Johnson and  I’ll never go back to Sunday School!!
Oh, yes, there was a telephone call. Dad answered and there was much silence by my Dad listening.  I could hear a loud voice coming from the telephone.  My Dad simply replied, “Thank you, I’ll take care of it”.  Oh, I thought I was going to really catch it!!  He said a few words that I can’t remember and let me off.  I never went back in spite of the threats from my Mother!

W. Ray Freden, Seaview/ Marshfield .  70 years.




Hatch’s Hill, Governor’s Hill aka Holly Hill Part 2.

After you have read part one of this great hill, we are ready to explore the perimeter.  Starting at the intersection of Summer, Elm, and Church Streets, heading south, there were no homes on the steep western side. The only residence was the Tilden Ames Farm at 44 Church St., built in 1855.

                                                      OAK HILL FARM

                Artist unknown. Compliments of Robert Davis to Marshfield’s Town of Villages.
Tilden came from a long line of Eame’s/ Ames’, from as far back as 1650-ish. Tilden’s Dad resided in Sea View.  Tilly and his wife, Willena, ran this farm ( Oak Hill Farm)  until their deaths.  Willena died in 1952 & Tilly in 1954 at age 84.
Their grazing land ran from Church St. to the Railroad tracks on the western side

     Left:  #520 Ferry St.  (1850).  Right:   Centre Marshfield Railroad Station.

Their farm consisted of a roomy farm-house, a three-story barn and a number of outbuildings. They raised cattle, pigs, and chickens, which were sold fresh off the farm.  In their latter years their son Robert Ames, and their daughter, Bessie Bell,  helped run the farm.  Robert left the farm to start a business that was once known as Marshfield Sand and Gravel.  Bessie married Robert Davis and downsized the farm.  Bessie became well known as a cook in Marshfield High’s Cafe.

The former (Oak Hill Farm )….44 Church St. today.


We leave Church St. at Ferry St. and head east with Holly Hill on our left, north- side.  Then another long stretch being void of houses or farms.  However, the right side was a different story.  That was/is Telegraph Hill…..another story.
The intersection of Ferry St. and South River St., on the south side of Ferry St, & east side of South River St.,  was the Ferry School , serving mostly Centre Marshfield’s children. It closed in 1917 due to a small attendance. The building was moved to Ocean St. and finally razed.

Traveling over the hill on the left was the R. Lewis farm, (the Sojberg’s Antique Shop)  # 891.  I have found little information of this operation.

Looking north,    WILLIAMSON’S BARN in center.

Next, was the Walnut Grove Farm. which had a huge barn, along with a large farm house.  The Williamson name goes back to 1642 when Timothy Williamson settled on the South River near the Otter Bridge (the Willow St. Bridge), and built the Ordinary at 2000 Ocean St. consisting of an Inn and store.  Charles Williamson ran the Walnut Grove Farm and it’s 120 acres of crop land, mostly on the river-side of Ferry St.  He grew strawberries and raspberries, along with many other fruit trees.

Williamsons Farm House,    Ferry St.   next to #891.

The farm commanded the southeast side of Holly Hill.  Much of the Williamson land was bought up by Gov. Emery and followed by Edwin Dwight.  A great deal of spring water ran off this side of the hill providing  water for cattle and to irrigate the crops. The Bayberry Shore consisted of cultivated crops to the now Ridge Rd.  Salt hay was  harvested throughout the area also.
                          A pencil sketch of the Williamson Barn, c. 1912.
After over one hundred and fifty years, two of the original farm residences still stand on Holly Hill in spite of the bulldozer.
In Gov. Emery’s time, there were no formal roads through the hill.  Cart paths were established to serve the needs of farming. The driveway to the Governor’s farm remains today as Christmas Tree Lane.  Another early driveway, now the east-leg of Holly Rd.,  served an 1852 farm house… possibly one of the four residences noted as being part of the Emery Estate.

No doubt the oldest house on the hill is 165 Elm St.,  just north of Holly Rd….. a Cape Cod style home built in 1728.  There was another old home up the hill and behind #165, but I find no record of it.    Across from Ferry Hill Rd, on the northeast corner, was  Littletown’s Town Pound…a stone-walled impoundment for wayward farm animals.

Painting by W. R. Freden
The north and northwest side of the hill was void of structures due to it’s steepness and lack of a long-day of sunlight.  Most of the early homes were built with their front bedrooms toward the long eastern and southeastern sunlight to warm those rooms.
After the ownership of Dr. Edwin Dwight and his residential building quest, access roads were needed. The first  through roads were Upland, on the north side from Elm to Elm….Dwight, from Upland , over the hill to Elm & Sea Sts… Emery, from Upland south to Dwight.  The two oldest homes on Upland Rd. were built in 1922 and 1929 during the Dwight era. These two hold a view of the South River marshes, Islands, Fourth Cliff, the Lawson Tower in Scituate and, on a good day,  Boston’s City outline. Two houses on Dwight were built in 1930, and on Emery in 1931, 1940 & 1941.
Other observations are during the Emery holdings.  He built a large barn   directly behind the mansion about 1/4 mile, where 151 Dwight Rd. is today.

One has to look close to see the barn as well as the mansion.  Just right of top center is the Gov. Emery mansion….to the far right is his barn for cattle. This was located at the now 151 Dwight Rd.    Other information in this photo, bottom left, is the original Littletown/Sea View Railroad Station The new 1883-84 Station is behind the trees on the right.  Station & Summer Sts. run through the center.

The owner of 151 Dwight Rd. reports that he continues to unveil rusty nails, spikes and other hardware while digging in his garden.
There was a rumor that a hotel was once built on the Hill, but no evidence of that has ever been found.
Between the mansion and barn, there was a wide-open grazing field, and on occasion a small plane would land there.
The Boston Globe published a news report that a small craft crash-landed without serious injuries or serious damage.
On the northeast corner of the hill was a pond where Elm St. meets Ferry St. This was a spring-fed low corner of land that collected water from springs in the upland.  It was only two or three feet deep, but provided wintertime ice skating. In my time we called it Polly’s Pond.
I did skate there with my school friend who lived across Elm St.

                                    Photo, compliments of Lisa Allen

Holly Hill did it’s part serving in WW ll.  A water tower was built on about #151 Dwight Rd. The Tower was contained by a chain-link fence ten feet high.  A personal building and a large generator was also within the enclosure.  During the war, Dwight Rd. was barricaded to traffic at Upland & Dwight on the north side. On the south side at Emery & Dwight, there were no residences within that close-off.  This made the “water” tower a very important structure.

Fire Tower, Radar, Dwight Rd. Holly Hill.

Well, that was no water tower!  It contained radar equipment that sent information to the heavy gun emplacement on Fourth Cliff.  A multi-wired cable was used to send that information. The cable ran across Dwight to the upper Holly Rd., down to Elm St, over to Ireland Rd. and then north along the river to the Military Base.  On occasion, during road-work, a section of cable will be found  causing amazement and wonderment.
Oh yes, what 12 year-old country boy would not climb that tower?  My Holly Hill friend and I made three trips to the top!  A bit scary because it was a long way up, but the view was something I had never seen in my young life.   Fourth Cliff’s Military History: <>

Holly Hill, Seaview, Marshfield, Massachusetts.  A special place in the Village of Seaview’s history.
W Ray Freden, Seaview, Marshfield, Ma. 70 years.