BEYOND THE BEACH: Marshfield’s Green Harbor has an enduring, calming appeal

08/10/2012 13:37


MARSHFIELD: Editor's note: As the Ledger celebrates its 175th anniversary, we look at some of the places that have defined the South Shore over the years.


It started as a small fishing camp settled by William Green in 1623.


Today, Green Harbor in Marshfield is a village of summer and year-round homes, a working marina, a general store, a seafood market and restaurants. Beyond the beach are winding, country roads and woods.


“It has a very laid-back feel, and that stirs in me something very calming,” said Deborah Habel, co-owner of the Green Harbor General Store.

The general store, called “The Genny” by neighborhood residents, is considered by many the heart of Green Harbor village. Currently owned by Bob and Deborah Habel, the store was opened around 1901 by Charles W. McLauthlin.


“We feel we have a sense of responsibility of being a hub around here,” Deborah Habel said.


Dorothy MacMullen, curator of the Marshfield Historical Society, said people don’t think of Green Harbor as historical, “but it’s where it all started.”


She said Edward Winslow, a Mayflower Pilgrim and governor of Plymouth Bay Colony, settled in Green Harbor. The Winslow House, a mansion built by Judge Isaac Winslow, Edward’s grandson, still stands on Careswell Street in Green Harbor and is open to the public.

On the winding streets, bikers and dog walkers pass at a leisurely pace, sometimes having to contend with a heavy flow of traffic heading to and from the beach.


Ray Joyal, 65, grew up in Green Harbor. He said his father bought a summer home there in 1938 for $500. “The area has changed greatly over the years,” Joyal said, “but it’s a nice place to raise kids.” He said kids grow up and move away, but many come back to raise their own children.


“I want to go away for a while but definitely plan to come back,” said Matt Conlon, 19, a children’s sailing instructor at the Green Harbor Yacht Club.


Becky Hayes may be reached at

Read more: