Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Assawompsett Pearls

On July 6, 1857, eleven fresh water pearls were taken from Lake Assawompsett and the Nemasket River, varying in size from “a pinhead to a large shot.” Two of the pearls were darkly colored but the remaining nine were “light, with beautiful tints.” Unfortunately, most were “not perfectly globular” and bore “slight indentations” detracting from their value.

Such fresh water pearls were not exactly an uncommon occurrence in New England, though the pearls were rarely of value. During July, 1857, the same month that the Assawompsett pearls were discovered, a correspondent of the Boston Herald examined over fifty collections of pearls found in different parts of New England “and, with but one exception, every one was of an inferior quality, being almost valueless.”

The Gazette responded that “there are fortunes in our waters for enterprising boys. Mind not get drowned.” To this day, no one has gotten rich on Assawompsett pearls.


Bellicose Bumpkin said...

Maybe with enough effort we can fish enough pearls out of the Nemasket to cover the budget deficit.

I'm really enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work.

Suzanne G. said...

Do you think the Nemasket indians used them for personal decoration?

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