History and Facts

Willett Pond is a man-made lake that was created in 1913 when Hawes Brook in the town of Norwood, was dammed to provide water and power for a downstream tannery. The pond is approximately 1.3 miles long and one-half mile wide, encompassing approximately 220 acres with depths up to 20 feet. It is home to a rich, vibrant, and diverse population of wildlife.   Eleven different species of fish reside in its waters.


Many dozens of bird species, including blue heron, swans and the bald eagle live along its banks, and a seemingly endless number of other forms of wildlife from turtles to toads. Today, there are approximately 85 homeowners, known as “abutters” because they adjoin Neponset’s property, which is that property encompassing the lake itself, a small strip of property extending past the high water mark and the dam and dike. Three towns actually adjoin various portions of the pond, Walpole, Westwood and Norwood.

The pond is private to the homeowners and their friends, though members and guests of  The North Walpole Fish and Game Club also have use privileges. And upon occasion, we do offer others use of the pond—for example, the Fish and Game Club recently hosted a group from the Wounded Warriors project.

Willet Pond offers many recreational activities from fishing to motor boating. The Fish and Game Club stocks the pond with trout, bass and other species of fish, and the fishing is truly excellent.  Motorboats and even water-skiers are also welcome on the pond, though our RULES and REGULATIONS sensibly limit both boat speed and size.  Kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, and the like are very popular.  In the winter season, ice hockey and ice fishing are quite popular. Willet Pond is indeed a watersport gem.

Over the long, 104 year history since the pond was first formed, much has—and has not—changed. Most notably, what was a pond with only several owners in 1913 has grown to what it is today, and the best representation of these changes is the comparison below of the 1913 map to that of today’s map.


Our Pond in 1913

ArcView Print Job

Our Pond Today

As these three towns have grown, so has the pond’s human population—representing the biggest change and challenge to our conservation efforts. But despite this growth, what has NOT changed is a singular shared community focus on responsible development and conservation efforts. With Neponset as our partner, we have an effective team providing the critical stewardship to ensure that the pond, its watershed, and its ecosystem are not compromised. We strive to continue protecting these most precious natural resources and we welcome help and assistance from any organizations and individuals who are willing to help us further our mission of proper environmental stewardship.