November 16, 2017

Frog Pond

Frog pond is a small man-made pond in the Boston Public Commons. The pond is a perfect place for kids to cool off in the summer, and a great place for winter skating.

The pond is very shallow as it roughly a foot deep.

A description from a map near the Park Street Station:

Frog Pond, curbed 1826, is the sole survivor of three ponds on the Commons. The Frog Pond was the scene in 1848 of an extravagant "Water Celebration" inaugurating the city's public water system.

Frog Pond

Ten things I learned about Frog Pond.

  • When Boston Common was founded in 1634, the frog pond area was simply a watering hole for cows that were roaming around the Commons.
  • In 1848, the city installed a water fountain inside the pond to commemorate clean water flowing to Boston. This was a big event and hundreds of residents turned out to the opening ceremony.
  • July 7, 1859, An elephant, owned by Sam Rice, bathed in Frog Pond. Many years when the Circus came to town they let the Elephants play in the water.
  • In 1898, the pond officially became a swimming area. (This is probably when Elephants were no longer allowed into the Pond.)
  • According to the Friends of Boston Commons, this year was the earliest that the Frog Pond skating rink opened.
  • Each year there is a Frog Pond Skating Spectacular during the Boston Common Tree Lighting ceremony.
  • For many years, the Park Commission would just fill the pond with water and let it freeze. There was no enclosure
  • There was no skating on the pond during much of the 1980s. On January 5, 1989, skating returned to the Commons with a more formal skating area.
  • Cost $6 for adults to skate on the pond, and skates may be rented for $9. At Rockefeller Plaza, in New York City, it cost $25 to skate on the ice and rentals cost $12.
  • Bobby the skating Seal is available to help kids build confidence to skate. Kids simply push the Seal while they skate on the ice.

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