A Brief Overview
Dudley Pond covers 84 acres, having a maximum depth of over 30 feet. It is thought that the Pond resulted from a detached ice block during the last glaciation of New England during the Pleistocene Epoch, which upon melting, left behind a topographic depression. The pond is fed by rainfall and by an inlet on the southeastern shore. There are many theories that the pond is spring fed, but there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. There could be a slow flowing aquifer originating from the Rice Road/Woodridge area that feeds water to the pond, but it remains only in theory with some biological evidence pointing towards the possibility.
Once connected by underground pipe to Lake Cochituate, Dudley Pond served as a standby drinking water supply for Boston from 1847 to the turn of the century. At that time an algae taste in the water eliminated the Pond from the system.
Owned by the Commonwealth and designated a "Great Pond" (because it covers more than 10 acres), its management and administration were transferred to the Town of Wayland in 1916 under a long-term lease of ninety-nine years.
In the early 1900's the area surrounding the Pond was extremely popular as a summer resort and fishing camp. Until the 1940's much of the land underwent intensive development and subdivision; during the 1920's some lots were even sold through lotteries at movie theatres in the Boston area! More recently there has been an effort by the Town to consolidate parcels and encourage homeowners to upgrade their septic systems.
Dudley Pond is an important recreational and environmental asset, and its maintenance and improvement contribute to the quality of life of all townspeople. It is located in Cochituate which, interestingly, carries an Indian meaning of "clear rushing water." Perhaps this heritage from the past should be the goal for the future.
See "Old Meets New: Dudley Pond" by Andrew Ogletree and Ben Peterson, part of Wayland High School's History Project.