As early as 1866, Fresh Pond was described as “one of the loveliest lakes on the Cape.”
Throughout the 1800s and into the 1900s, the pond was primarily used for fishing, skating, and iceboating. A private landowner bordering the pond stocked it with black bass in 1875. In the late 1800s, it was the site of an ice-house until it burned down on Christmas Eve in 1910.
A 1911 survey of Fresh Pond reported that the area surrounding the pond had whitecedars that were larger than any seen on the Cape below South Dennis. At that time, the pond had bass, eels, red perch (yellow perch), pickerel, and hornpout (brown bullhead) and had been stocked with white perch in 1910 and catfish in 1916. Chain pickerel were noted in a 1952 survey but as early as 1966, a report noted the lack of pickerel, most likely due to the low Ph level.
In 1912, about 40 acres of swamp surrounding the pond were purchased to be utilized as a cranberry bog.
In 1966, the town purchased the pond with 83 acres of surrounding land, described as being one third upland and two thirds cedar swamp, for $59,000. It was the first major land acquisition by the Dennis Conservation Commission which had been established a few years earlier.
At the time of the purchase, it was reported that the pond had perch and pickerel and that there were a total of 146 bird species utilizing the area.
In the early 1970s, the Conservation Commission requested assistance from the MA Department of Fisheries and Game to develop Fresh Pond for the establishment of a recreational fishery. The plan was to eliminate the existing fish population and introduce pickerel and yellow perch. The town applied lime to neutralize the acid conditions but there is no evidence that any further action was taken to establish the recreational fishery.
The Dennis Conservation Commission held an event in 1974 to celebrate the completion of its efforts to assemble a total of 82 separate tracts, on both sides on Route 134, which now makes up the Fresh Pond Conservation Area.