History of Marshfield. 193

[Thanks to Linda Smith for transcribing this chapter]

orated since the building of the dike, and we believe that the dike is responsible for a portion of the mischief done, but, as will be seen by the brief statement of the history of this river, it is not clear that the harbor has been at any time safe from a calamity similar to that which befell it in the earlier years of the century.   That such catastrophes in harbors of this character are not uncommon may be learned from the history of the North river, only a few miles distant from this place."
   "The removal of the dike would not by any means restore a condition of things existing before the construction of this barrier.   An amount of water far in excess of anything before known would tear through the light sands which form the margins of the harbor, and produce effects which cannot easily be measured, but which we have every reason to suppose would be disastrous."
   "The builders of the dike were sanguine in their expressions of belief in the value of the reclaimed marshes for agricultural purposes; but we find many residents of Green Harbor who have serious doubts as to the real value of these fields.   We were fortunately able to draw to our assistance Edmund Hersey, Esq., of Hingham, whose wide experience and ample knowledge in the science and art of agriculture have made him a much valued authority in this department.
   From his report we make the following extracts:
   " 'In my investigation of the Marshfield Dike meadow, to estimate its value for agricultural purposes, it seems to me to be necessary to ascertain, as near as possible, what has been produced on that portion which has been under cultivation the greatest number of years since the dam was built.   Fortunately, for this information I do not have to depend on interested parties nor the statements of enthusiastic men.   Soon after the dam was built, I was employed as editor of a prominent agricultural paper of New England.   In this position it became my duty to thoroughly investigate every


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