History at Moxie Cove
By Kathy Leeman
“Snake Alley”— the name of the path that runs through the strip of land in Round Pond recently donated to PWA and now known as Moxie Cove Preserve — has a story to tell.*
Prior to the end of World War II, the local fishermen still depended on nearby coves to keep their fishing boats. Cars were few, and thus the main means of transportation was by foot. By the time he was eight in 1944, Wallace Leeman was walking up over “Creek Hill” (now the Moxie Cove Road) and down Snake Alley with his father, Floyd Leeman, his grandfather, Will Leeman, and his uncle, Kenneth Leeman, to go lobstering. Others using this path were Linwood Carter and Ralph Foster.
There were a couple of fish shanties on the shore, including one used by Will Leeman. Remnants of the tar used to protect the cotton heads (the woven entrance to the trap) from rotting can still be found on the rocks. As Moxie Cove became popular as a summer resort, this strip of land remained important to provide the fishermen access to the water, their moorings, and their livelihood.
Moxie Cove also has a history with the fishing industry. Early on it was the site of a “Pogy Plant” where oil was extracted from the fish for use in paint. The dock probably dates to this plant, although it was later adopted by the summer folk coming to the Moxie Cove camps. As lobster boats were equipped with better motors, the nucleus of the fishing industry concentrated into the harbors. The patterns of the summer folk changed. In the 1970s, a shrimp processing plant was built at the site, and the dock served incoming shrimp boats. This endeavor lasted only a few years and was replaced by a business raising oyster spat. By the 1980s, conversion was made to the condominiums that exist today.
* The origin of the term “Snake Alley” is unknown but may be a descriptor of the winding nature of the path.