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MATTAPOISETT

State gives town $35,000 to help buy 53-acre site

The state Office of Coastal Zone Management has awarded Mattapoisett $35,000 in federal funds to support the town’s joint efforts with the Mattapoisett Land Trust and the Buzzards Bay Coalition to acquire and preserve a 53-acre open space parcel at the corner of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett Neck roads that includes a historic quarry.

The Hammond Quarry operated from the early 1700s until the early 1900s, producing pink granite that was used to construct Mattapoisett’s town wharves, as well as curb and foundation stones, boundary markers, millstones, and cut granite used in the town and elsewhere, according to Town Administrator Michael Gagne.

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In addition to its historic value, the property -- which also includes fields and woods -- is designated by the state as habitat for rare or endangered species.

Gagne said that Mattapoisett, the land trust, and the coalition together have an agreement to buy the property, which abuts protected local, state, and private lands on Buzzards Bay. If the acquisition goes forward, the town and its partners plan to protect the land as open space and provide public walking trails on it.

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Gagne said the current owners -- descendants of the family that ran the quarry -- support the town’s plan.

The town previously authorized $37,500 from its Community Preservation Act funds for the purchase.

The town hopes to cover the remainder of the approximately $500,000 purchase price with a separate anticipated state grant and private dollars being raised by the land trust and the coalition.

John Laidler can be reached at john.laidler@globe.com.
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