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 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 years, many committees have been established and disbanded; nevertheless public debate over the location of the pool has prevented it from being built.
Today, Capt. 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.
For more information, read the Braintree Forum article here: