History

In the 1700’s the land that is Choate Park today belonged to Major Timothy Whiting, a member of one of Medway’s earliest families.  When a dwellinghouse first appeared around 1820, at the junction of Oak and Mechanic Streets, where the Thayer Homeplace now stands, the lot and house belonged to Timothy Mann.  Many of the deeds of West Medway of that period reference the T. Mann dwellinghouse “on an ancient road”. The house was surrounded by woodland, pasture, and a small waterway to the east, Chicken Brook, that ran north-south under the Hartford Dedham Turnpike (Rt 109), to empty into the Charles River further south.

In 1827 Cephas Thayer, a local farmer turned businessman, purchased land north and south of Rt 109 at Chicken Brook.  He built a dam on the north side, forming Choate Pond,  to power the box board mill he built there.  His son Addison, married to Lydia Sanford Partridge, and living at her family homestead at 2B Oak Street just west of this pond, would run the Stone Mill businesses starting in 1858.  At that time homes and small local businesses were appearing along Main Street from the Congregational Church on Rabbit Hill down to beyond Temple Street.

Addison P. Thayer died in 1889, and his wife Lydia sold the 8 acre Choate Pond lot to Mary Fales, who sold it 3 years later to Lillian Hodgson.  Lillian already owned the Thayer Stone Mill on the south side of Rt 109 , and her father Samuel was part of a partnership in a business at Sanford Mill.  In 1914 Lillian sold the Choate Pond lot to the Medway Park Association.  In 1916, her brother Robert J Hodgson gave the Park Association land north of the Pond that included a lane from Winthrop Street into the lot.  In 1924, Robert reorganized the Stone Mill business (woolen mill), acquiring  a mortgage of $30K for expansion.  

In 1972, the park was named Choate Park in honor of Arthur Choate, a long-serving highway superintendent  and park commissioner.

Choate Park, the Stone Mill, the Thayer Homeplace, with the homes that remain from that era, are important representatives of Medway in the 1850s.