Hopkinton, MA
Hopkinton, US
10:03 am, Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Tales from a Townie: A swim at Sandy ISLAND

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Featured, Featured: Features

Before I start my latest tale, you’ll notice the word Island in the title is emphasized. Back in my time and before, it was called Sandy Island. I don’t know when the title was changed to Sandy Beach or who did it, but that is one of my four pet peeves. (I’ll tell you the other three some other time.)

I went to Grove Street and met my pal Eddie, and we headed for Sandy Island around 10 a.m. We went to the corner of Wood Street and West Main Street and thumbed a ride down West Main. The lady who picked us up was going up Lumber Street. She took a left at Four Corners up Lumber Street over the “roller coaster” part and left us off at Hayward Street. (Hayward Street went all the way to Lumber Street before Interstate 495 was built and cut it off at South Street.)

We walked down Hayward Street to Sandy. We swam until 12:30 p.m. or so. I always got hungry for potato chips when I swam a lot, so we went over to “Max’s Cabin,” which was located at 141 Hayward Street. It was a small variety store. In the summer on most Saturday nights, they had either a country dance or showed movies on a big screen.

So, after potato chips and cakes, we poked around the little pond on Sandy trying to catch frogs. We then continued our swim until about 4 p.m. We walked up Hayward Street and across Downey Street to West Main. I had a little money in my pocket, so we went to First Bridge, where Bridges Grove was located. Bridges was near where the sewer pump station now is located on the east side of First Bridge. They sold the best fried clams anywhere. We got a small order of clams and fries and enjoyed them.

We thumbed a ride back uptown and got home from a totally enjoyable day of swimming at Sandy Island.

OK, I know you are waiting with bated breath for my other three pet peeves, so here they are:

1) Hayden Rowe — On all the old maps I have seen from the 1700s and 1800s, it is either Hayden Row or Hayden Rowe. Saying Hayden Rowe Street is like saying Marshall Avenue Street.

2) Ice House Pond — It has always been Ice House Pond, not Golden Pond.

3) Hopkinton High School green and white — When I played sports at HHS and long before, it was always, “Fight, fight, fight for the green and white.” Where did the orange come from?


  1. Stephen D Small

    Sandy Island. Correctomundo!
    We thumbed everywhere!

  2. Cathy Petrelli

    I agree with all of your pet peeves !

  3. robert l colella

    agree with pet peeves

  4. Mary Terry

    You’re right. There are undoubtedly more peeves waiting to be uncovered!

  5. Stephen D Small

    Mac’s Cabin

  6. Stephen D Small

    Hayden Rowe?
    I have always wondered about the identification on old maps of a geographic place named “Hayden Rowe”. Can anyone explain that? A little circle down past Chamberlain St labeled “Hayden Rowe”?
    Somplace in that mystery is a reason for “Hayden Rowe Street”