Like the helpful sign tells you—and the 1937 book agrees (which doesn’t always happen on these tours—this was the “first grant of land in Westwood, made to the Rev. John Allen in 1639.” I like the sign’s quote about the “rocks westward,” because I assume that’s where Westwood got its name.
Anyway, the Town Pound was built in 1700 by Lieutenant Joseph Colburn. I don’t really know what it was, honestly. The 1937 book tells us that “a low stone wall surrounds a gnarled oak, on the trunk of which is nailed the original sign, its wording almost obliterated.” The oak tree must have died in between 1937 and today, because that tree surrounded by the low stone wall is clearly not very old (and the sign is obviously very new). But I appreciate Westwood’s sense of history in replanting a tree and replacing the sign.
In 1937, there was still a “pound-keeper” in Westwood, “elected yearly, but his duties [were] those of a minister without portfolio.”