Upon his death in 1963, retired tugboat captain August Julius Petersen bequeathed $65,000 to the Town of Braintree for the purpose of building a pool for the youth of the town. Specifically, the will called for the site of the pool to be located at Watson Park along the Fore River.
Watson Park contains baseball fields, tennis courts, a basketball court, and a playground. In order to build the pool at this location, site preparation would require the removal of one or more of the above mentioned recreational resources. Thus, many residents have felt that this would not be a suitable location for the pool.
For that reason, in 2006 the Town of Braintree sought relief from the terms of the will from the Norfolk Probate and Family Court. On December 12, 2006, the town was granted relief from the provision requiring the pool to be built at Watson Park. Since that time, the town has reviewed numerous sights throughout town.
For the past 45 plus years, many committees have been established and disbanded; nevertheless, public debate over the location of the pool has prevented it from being built.
Today, Captain Petersen's original bequest of $65,000 has grown to its present value of $1,831,000
The Captain Petersen Splash Pad at Watson Park, East Braintree, was opened on July 28, 2013. The splash pad is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Working with our State legislative delegation, the Town was able to secure Special Legislation to enter into a public-private partnership to construct a Pool and Ice Rink complex on the campus of Braintree High School.
The Town worked to find a developer that could build this recreational facility for our Town, High School teams, youth organizations, and other private uses.
Petersen funds of $1.5 million and the developers private funding will be the underpinnings of the financial plan. No public monies will be spent on this endeavor.
Braintree residents will be able to take full advantage of the facility with public skate and swim times, and as a community, we are planning special annual events throughout the year.
Find more information, read the Braintree Forum article about the Peterson Pool.