Originally owned by the Cole family, the 200 acre property has been passed down through many generations spanning over 100 years. George Freeman, who inherited the land from his mother Francis Cole Freeman, used the property as a gunning stand to shelter duck hunters. The land was then passed through the Freeman family to Albert Freeman Saunders, the son of Louise Otis Freeman and Albert Ames Saunders. Albert Freeman Saunders and his wife, Corinne Paine Saunders then made Pinewood their summer home.
Destructive hurricanes in 1938 and 1944 caused over 2000 pine trees to fall on the property. Using hand-milled lumber from the knotty pines that fell during the hurricanes, Albert and his father constructed what is now Pinewood Lodge. Although construction was difficult during the tumultuous war years and without electricity, the project proved to be extremely fulfilling.
In 1952 the first function was held at Pinewood Lodge, marking its “Grand Opening”. The success of the first party led to many more, including weddings and wedding receptions. The increasing popularity of the function hall prompted an enlargement of the kitchen and the addition of a cocktail lounge to the lodge. As the business grew, so too did the Saunders family. Albert and Connie welcomed two children, Albert Edward Saunders and Jean Louise Saunders.
In 1960 Albert Ames Saunders passed away. Activities slowed at the function hall and the family considered plans to open a campground. In July of 1962 those plans became a reality as Pinewood Lodge Campground welcomed its first campers to its original 9 campsites. During the winter of 1962 more land was cleared and Pinewood opened its second season with 17 available campsites.In January 1963 Albert Edward Saunders wed Linda Crocker. They welcomed three sons, Albert Robert Saunders (Jack) born September 1963, James Edward Saunders born November 1964, and Jeffrey Crocker Saunders, born March 1967. While both held outside jobs, Al as a New England Telephone Company manager and Linda as an elementary school teacher, they remained involved in the growing family business.
In 1982 Al Sr. and Connie made the decision to retire and do a little camping themselves. Al and Linda then took over full operation of the campground. In 1985 Al and Linda became proud grandparents of James Freeman Saunders, who commenced the 5th generation at Pinewood. The births of Meghan, Brian, Jessica, Christina, Mary, Ashley and Albert the 6th then followed.
In 1986 Jim Saunders graduated from college and began working full time at Pinewood. By 1989 Jack and Jeff had also moved their families to Pinewood to share in the hard work and good times of running a campground. As the years passed the family continued to develop the campground, adding three full service restrooms and campsites with available electricity, water, and sewage hookups. These continuing projects brought the campground to its present day capacity of over 300 sites.
Today, Jack, Jim and Jeff operate the campground and manage day to day activities with their wives Jody, Kim and Shirley and their families. Al and Linda remain involved in the operation and are often seen around the grounds lending a hand. Jean Saunders now resides in Maine. The Saunders family continues to grow. Meghan Saunders married Robert Block in 2011. They have two young children, William and Benjamin – the 6th generation to enjoy Pinewood. James Saunders married Amy Saunders in 2014 and his brother Brian Saunders married Nicole Saunders in 2015.
All 8 of Al and Linda’s grandchildren have worked at Pinewood, assisting in the office, store, restaurant and with maintenance. Many are still involved with daily operations and return to help with the family business as needed.
As the years flash by, the tall slender pines continue to tilt their boughs to thousands of people who have and will enjoy Pinewood. The Saunders family says the reward from their hard work comes in sharing their place, meeting wonderful people, and making lasting friendships. So, if you have a notion to camp and share a smile, join us here in the “Land of Pinewood” where friendships glow as warm as the campfires.
Pinewood Lodge Campground
190 Pinewood Road - Plymouth, MA 02360
Phone: (508) 746-3548 - Fax: (508) 747-8310
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