Norum purchase adds land to Punkhorn Parlands

Squantum Road

If you have ever stuck your hand in the pocket of an old coat and found a nice surprise, something you had been looking for, then you know how we feel about or latest land acquisition.

For years, the Brewster Conservation Trust has been “prospecting” around the edges of the Town’s magnificent 875-acre Punkhorn Parklands, seeking to cobble together some of the old woodlots to add to the large forest habitat. In March we purchased a 1.4-acre woodland parcel from Robert L. Norum of Harwich for $10,000 back in the forest. Several years ago, we contacted the Norums about their land and were pleased when we finally heard back from them in December.

Ethel Norum purchased this lot in 1957 when she was still Ethel Hollywood Hill, a young woman whose family summered on the shore of nearby Seymour Pond. She let the land be for many years, thinking maybe her and Robert’s sons might want to camp on it sometime, but they never did. Ethel died in 2009 and her sons live away.

The BCT was interested because this parcel fits nicely into the Punkhorn puzzle. The Town is buying the adjoining Bates’ land, 36 acres between Punkhorn Road and Squantum Path, this spring. A foot trail connects the Norum parcel and the Bates land. It is all the same forest habitat of pitch pines, oaks, red maple and beech.

Our title research indicates that this land changed hands five times in the century leading up to Ethel’s purchase, to and from old Cape Cod families including Berry, Small, and Cahoon. One of the past owners was a man named Emulous Cahoon (owner 1891-1937), “Emulous” meaning “ambitious.” BCT is emulous too, striving to help the Town create this terrific conservation area of woods and waters in the Punkhorn.

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