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Links about North River

Before we get chronological, let me highlight two recent "finds":

-- from 1915, a wonderful detailed map of the North River, with some downloadable high resolution sheets

-- from 1966, a study of the marine resources of the North River.


The following links are to documents after the golden years of shipbuilding on the North River, Massachusetts, 1600s-mid 1800s. You can see how improvements were proposed for this river, which I am now writing about for a likely book. Please let me know of any comments or corrections you might have. (By LN, 6/13/24 and 7/10/24.)

1852. [Maj.] Z. B. Tower , “Plan of Scituate Harbor and North River,” ([Portland [ME?]: [Army Corps of Engineers]), November 17, 1852, National Archive Catalog, NAID: 170100305, Local ID: 77-CWMF-B-314,

1854. Letter from Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, January 20, 1854, “A report of a survey of Scituate harbor and North river,” H.R. Doc. 31, 33d Cong., 1st Sess., (starting at page 583 of 624), and

1870. Fifth Annual Report of the Board of the Harbor Commissioners (1870) (Boston: Board of Harbor Commissioners, 1871) (“1870 report”), 19-27, State Library of Massachusetts,, URI Or go to (may need to copy and paste this URL) and search the repository entering title of document.

1870. O. H. Tittmann, H. L. Whiting, et al, US Coast Survey, Sketch of North River, Mass., map, scale 1:40,000 (n.p., 1870), Digital Commons at Salem State University,

1915. “1915 House Bill 1850. Report Relative To The Improvement Of Salem Harbor, North River, Wellfleet Harbor, Edgartown Harbor And Wareham River, And To Building A Breakwater In Provincetown Harbor.” (Boston: Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners, 1915), 7-15,; in collection with permanent URI, Or go to (may need to copy and paste this URL) and  search the repository entering title of document.

1915. “Plan of North River in the Towns of Scituate, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke & Hanover” (MA Harbor and Land Commission, 1915), seven sheets, copy available from North River Commission, High-resolution images of newly found originals of some of these sheets, at the Massachusetts Archives, are available here, with explanatory information --

1966. John D. Fiske, Clinton E. Watson, and Philip G. Coates, A Study of the Marine Resources of the North River, Monograph Series No. 3 (Division of Marine Fisheries, Department of Natural Resources, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1966), 52 pages, on file at State Library of Massachusetts, Scituate Historical Society (“North River” file), and other places. Here is a scanned, downloadable copy of the report, but it is not word-searchable, and it is upside-down (just click on the circular arrow).

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Aerial photos of the North River are available at my website at

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