The Gulf River
Lying between Scituate and Cohasset, fed by tributaries extending many miles inland and washed by the daily ebb and flow of the sea under the Mill Bridge at Cohasset Harbor, the Gulf (or Gulph or Gulph River, as it is sometimes referred to on old documents) is one of a vanishing number of relatively pristine and unspoiled tidal estuaries along the East Coast.
It is remarkable in its beauty, its distinctive characteristics, and its rich history. The Gulf formed a portion of the original boundary between the Plymouth Bay and Massachusetts Bay colonies in the early European settlement of this country. It is alleged that the first skirmish between white settlers may have been fought over grazing rights to the valuable salt marshes of the Gulf. Grist mills thrived along Bound Brook and at the entrance to Cohasset Harbor for several centuries. Shipbuilding and commerce were active on the Gulf. It was and remains a rich ecosystem supporting a diverse population of fish and wildlife, and it has always been a valuable resource for a variety of recreational activities. The surging tidal flow through the rocky ledges along Government Island in Cohasset Harbor provides a renowned haven for kayakers challenged by the twice-daily turn of the tide into the Gulf. Paddlers, rowers, swimmers, and those who enjoy the quiet pleasures of the outdoors share the landscape with waterfowl and the sea in this scenic haven treasured by many.
The Gulf Association was founded through the efforts of Al Hunt and others to save the Gulf River from excessive pollution. The river is a beautiful resource that requires constant vigilance and effort to remain in its current state.
The Gulf River has a rich and interesting history which has been beautifully captured in John Hartshorne's A History of the Gulf River.