This is a serialization of the new book written by Carl Flowers, owner of Silveus Plantation, the subject of "Groton's Anonymous Mistress." This 300-year-old house is accessed by Kemp Street near the boundary of Groton and Dunstable.
By Carl Flowers
In 1930, a large portion of what is known as Martin's Pond Road was renamed Baddacook Pond Road. The ongoing muddled confusion about Groton's roads can be seen on the Groton Tercentenary Map. Once again, the map's publisher didn't verify the new name with any of the Groton Assessors for accuracy. If they did, they would have known Baddacook Pond Road didn't appear on any assessors street list.
The Tercentenary map was the first map to use the name, Baddacook Pond Road. Additionally, the 1930 map leaves it up to the map's viewer to decide where Baddacook Pond Road ended. More than one choice could be made.
The 1930 map shows the road to the Mistress as a road without a name. As usual, the Groton selectmen gave no input in changing the road's name from Shattuck to Baddacook Pond Road. The current assessor's map has a Baddacook Road on the south side of Baddacook Pond classified as a private way. One more time, in the 1920s and 1930s, Martin's Pond Road just slithered away to whereever it wanted to be adding to the mystery of the Mistress' location.
Confusion over the location of Martin's Pond Road doesn't end with Baddacook Pond Road. Groton's 1948 Zoning Map has Martin's Pond Road ending at its junction with Dunstable Road, or old Dunstable Road, as it is now known. The 1948 zoning map not only eliminated Baddacook Pond Road, it eliminated Rocky Hill Road. The 1948 zoning map was in complete conflict with Groton's 1940 Assessors Map F which shows Martin's Pond Road ending at its junction with Rocky Hill Road and the road running northerly to the Mistress.
The result of all this is the fifth different termination for Martin's Pond Road and the fifth time the selectmen's input was absent, but then, the selectmen's minutes are missing for the years 1930 to 1956. These conveniently missing minutes should have been permanently kept.
It is clear, in the 1920s and 1930s, no one knew exactly where Martin's Pond Road ended. Anyone with the slightest authority could rename a road as well as determine the road's location without being challenged. Everyone just accepted the changes.
Furthermore, there was a complete absence of corner street signs. You couldn't tell the difference between a town road and a common cart path because many of the town's roads remained unpaved.
In 1932, a new road by the name of Dan Parker Road comes into the Mistress' drama of anonymity. At the February 1 annual town meeting, Groton voted to abandon Dan Parker Road from Martin's Pond Road to the Dunstable Road. Of course we don't know where Martin's Pond Road really ended in 1932. The only way this could be accomplished is for Dan Parker Road to exist south or east of Martin's Pond Road. Prior to 1932 there is no record of a road being laid out by the name of Dan Parker Road. The name doesn't exist on any assessor's street list, resident list or poll tax list. A title search of all the parcels abutting the road now claimed to be Dan Parker Road fail to use the name as a boundary.
This all raises the question, where exactly was Dan Parker Road? Important to the abandonment is the fact Everett Gerrish, Clarence Thompson, and Steven Sabine were Groton's selectmen and assessors. As assessors, these three men were responsible for making street and resident lists by making house to house visitations. As selectmen, the three men were responsible for the town meeting warrant and the proceedings.
One other person significant to Dan Parker Road is William P. Wharton. He was one of the selectmen in 1923 responsible for the 1923 Groton Precinct Map. All four men had to know the road to the Mistress was none other than Shattuck Road/Shattuck Street.