Reverse side of this photo says "Reds pond Marblehead cleaned out and made into
a town reservoir in 1877"
May 7th: $10,000 was appropriated to enlarge the water source of Redd's Pond and build a reservoir. The pond had long served as the Town's freshwater supply. Adoniram Orne had called for this safety measure for years, but the Town wouldn't listen, and only now, one month before the fire that burned most of the Town to ground, did the Town heed his warnings and wisdom. Alas, it was too late; before the system could be built and put in service the First Great Fire struck six weeks later.-- June 25, 1877 the First Great Fire of Marblehead wiped out the manufacturing center of the Town (consuming 72 buildings, including the Central Fire Station) and the income of most of the inhabitants. It started in a stable at the rear of a hotel near the Lynn Shoe Factory, and burned to the ground 72 buildings.
The pond named for its owner Wilmot Redd who's home was situated near by and
directly adjacent to "Old Burial Hill" the oldest in town.
"Mammy" Redd as she was known, was hanged on September 22, 1692
in Salem as an accused witch. She would be the only Marbleheader to fall victim of the
"Witch Hysteria" of that time.
The following is from the "Legends of America"
Wilmot was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and executed for witchcraft by hanging on September 22, 1692 in Salem Towne. The wife of Samuel Redd, a fisherman inMarblehead, she had a reputation of being a crusty old woman who was not popular with the womenfolk of the area. Local fisherman knew her as “Mammy.” Her abrasive manner caused one neighbor to bring her before a magistrate for her "mis-demeanures" and she had earlier been accused of witchcraft in 1687. By the time she was in her seventies, her quarrels with a neighbor and disputes involving her butter business had inspired rumors that she was a witch. Furthering this belief was the fact that her daughter had been married to the Reverend Reverend George Burroughs, who had been identified as the "ringleader" of thewitches.
Accused by several of the "afflicted girls" of Salem Village, a warrant was issued for her arrest and she was picked up on May 28, 1692, by local constable James Smith. The warrant was signed by Magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne. The charge brought against her was one of having "committed sundry acts of witchcraft on bodies of Mary Walcott and Mercy Lewis and others in Salem Village to their great hurt."
She was taken to Salem Village for a preliminary examination in the home of Nathan Ingersoll on May 31, 1692. Upon her arrival, the "afflicted girls," which she had never met before, promptly fell into fits. When asked what she thought ailed them, Redd said, "I cannot tell." Urged to give an opinion, she stated, "My opinion is they are in a sad condition." She was the indicted as a witch and jailed. Four months later she was tried in Salem Town without benefit of defense counsel. Testifying against her were Marblehead residents Ambrose Gale, Charity Pitman and Sarah Doddy, who said that Wilmott Redd had cursed a Mrs. Syms with an enduring case of constipation.
On September 17, 1692 she was found guilty and condemned hang. Four days later, she and seven others were executed on Gallows Hill in Salem. She was the only Marblehead resident to be executed. Afterwards she was probably buried in an unmarked grave near her home because the law would not allow her to be buried in consecrated ground. Her small house once stood next to Old Burial Hill, on the southeast corner of the Redd's Pond, which bears her name today. A memorial marker now stands next to her husband's grave in Old Burial Hill. Centuries later, on October 31, 2001 Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift signed a bill pardoning Wilmot Redd along with four other victims who had been executed for witchcraft.