Eel Pond and St Joseph’s Bell Tower

A tranquil, reflective spot

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The harborlike Eel Pond in Woods Hole has a drawbridge that grants access to Great Harbor for fishing boats, yachts, and research vessels moored here. (The walk around the shore is lovely.) The little bridge goes up and down on demand; in summer boats line up to pass through.

Walk around Eel Pond to St. Joseph’s Bell Tower (on Millfield Street, on the north shore of the pond). To encourage his colleagues not to become too caught up in the earthly details of their work and lose their faith in the divine, an MBL student designed this pink granite Romanesque bell tower in 1929. He arranged for its two bells to ring twice a day to remind the scientists and townspeople of a higher power. (One bell is named for Gregor Mendel, the 19th century botanist, the other for Louis Pasteur.)

Nowadays the bells ring three times, at 7 AM, noon, and 6 PM. Do we need that much more reminding these days … maybe.

The meticulously maintained St. Mary’s Garden surrounds the tower with flowers, herbs, a bench, and a few chairs. Right on the harbor, this is one of the most restful places in the entire area.

At A Glance

Eel Pond
Woods Hole

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