TOWNSEND — Vinton Pond residents are not taking lightly to a possible subdivision on the pristine land, so much so that one family drove two hours to attend Monday’s hearing.
Only summer residents of Vinton Pond, William and Gloria Ludlam live in Marblehead during the winter. They did not want to miss the Planning Board’s meeting at any cost.
“It took us two hours to get here, and we got a motel room overnight instead of driving back to Marblehead tonight,” said Gloria Ludlam.
The Ludlam’s bought their summer home in 1972.
“We are there every summer. The pond is just beautiful and we don’t want to see it ruined,” said Gloria Ludlam. “We wrote letters to the Planning Board and have come for every meeting they have had on this development.”
Other Vinton Pond residents echoed Ludlam’s concerns. Joanne Buck was also there to see what the planners had to say.
“We are not pleased with this. We grew up here as kids, (and) our family has been on Vinton Pond (for) over 60 years. It is beautiful, and I have to say … the land was not turned over to be a summer camp,” Buck said.
The Vinton Pond and Sauna Row Road residents have taken care of the fragile pond for many years and don’t want to see it harmed by construction, said Buck.
“You could say we are afraid of the unknown. Vinton Pond is a very special place to all of us,” she said.
Deborah Prince-Smith lives with her family on Sauna Row Road, and also stands against the development.
Many of the original saunas are still sitting right on the shore of the pond, she said, and residents still use them.
“This is unique having saunas right there. It is part of what makes Vinton Pond special,” she said.
The saunas are a Finnish custom to have, said Prince-Smith. Vinton Pond was originally settled by Finnish people when they came to the area.
If need be, Gloria Ludlam and her husband plan to make more trips back to Townsend for issues related to the pond, she said.
“We don’t want any new development on the pond. It is only a kettle pond, and it cannot handle what they are talking about doing there,” she said.