EARLY DAYS OF CENTER POND
Center Pond is a small spring-fed lake located in western Massachusetts in the town of Becket. It is a natural lake whose perimeter was enlarged in the early 1900's when a nearby paper mill, long since gone, built a dam and lock valve at one end of the pond to control runoff. This helped in the mill's manufacturing process. Over the years the character of the lake developed into recreational use as two summer camps, many seasonal cottages and several permanent Becket residents' homes have direct access to Center Pond.
Center Pond is not a typical second home community built according to a developer's plan. Beginning in the 1940's families built fishing cottages on the waterfront, and the camps gave youngsters a taste of country living during school break. Today Center Pond's history can be recited by second- and third-generation property owners who enjoy swimming, fishing, boating and hiking as activities they did with their grandparents, and many a camper from Greylock and Watitoh can recall fond summertime memories of their childhood days spent on Center Pond.
As years passed and cottages have been enlarged, watershed areas such as those on Center Pond face issues never imagined by the people who started these communities. In 2000 an informal group was formed to explore these issues. By the summer of 2005 it became obvious to property owners that a duly authorized organization was necessary to go forward in finding solutions for problems.