Now best known as a scenic spot in Newton, Bullough’s Pond used to be a popular ice skating destination. In the early 20th century, Newton’s Superintendent of Playgrounds, Ernst Hermann, prioritized outdoor public skating. A German immigrant, he pioneered ice maintenance methods, cleaning and scraping the ice to maintain its quality and extend the skating season. As a result, Newton usually had more skating days than other locations in the Boston area. Hermann also designed a hockey rink that enabled easy ice cleaning. The Newton High School team regularly practiced and played games at Bullough’s Pond.
Newtonians continued skating on Bullough’s Pond into the 1970s. As the winters warmed and silt made the pond shallower, skating conditions deteriorated. Dredging brought skating back in the 1990s, but that was only temporary. Now the pond is no longer suitable for public skating and the City tore down a warming hut, the last vestige of the pond’s days as a skating spot, in 2017. To see more photos and learn more history about ice skating at the pond, visit the Bullough’s Pond Association website.