History of Mt. Hood Park
Mount Hood Memorial Park and Golf Course is situated in the southeastern portion of Melrose next to the Saugus town line. The hilly surroundings of the park make it an attractive spot for cross-country skiing and sledding during winter months. Remnants of the old rope tow are still visible from the tenth tee, where you will find hundreds of sledding enthusiasts during the snow-covered winter months. Mount Hood features an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse with function rooms, picnic areas, a tot lot, numerous ponds, and an observation tower. A walk through the park reveals a number of small ponds and several large ponds including brooks, and streams. Long Pond is its largest body of water. Together, these ponds offer ample opportunity throughout the year for fishing, ice skating, picnics, and provides a serene environment in which to enjoy the wonders of nature.
Mount Hood was known as “Bear Hill” by the Wampanoag Indians, who used its elevation to signal native tribes as far west as Mount Wachusett. In 1907, John C. Slayton purchased 25 acres of land from Wendell P. Hood and constructed a tower at the summit and an access road. The original tower was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1934 as the Slayton Memorial Tower. From the top of the tower, Melrose is concealed beneath the tree-line in summer, while Boston and the Atlantic expand before the eye, and mountainous regions of the west excite the imagination. Appreciating the value of such an experience, Slayton willed his land parcel to the city. Melrose then purchased an additional 210 acres of land and began development of the park and golf course in 1931. The park and golf course were completed by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in 1937.