The Pakachoag Golf Course is the site of Dr. Robert Goddard's launch of the first successful liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926. The actual launch site of Goddard's rocket is located at the midpoint between the tee and the green on the ninth fairway. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Dr. Goddard's launch site can still be seen today and is memorialized by a stone monument set on the ninth fairway.
At the time, the property was the Asa Ward Farm. In 1939, the Ward family converted the land into a golf course and managed it under the name Pakachoag Golf Corporation. With the use of a federally funded grant, the Town of Auburn purchased the 54-acre property from the Pakachoag Golf Corporation in 1981.
Since its acquisition by the Town in 1981 until December 31st, 2015, the course was maintained and operated by private contractors. As of January 1, 2016 the golf course will be operated, managed and maintained by the Town of Auburn.
Robert Hutchings Goddard (October 5, 1882 - August 10, 1945), U.S. professor of physics and scientist, was a pioneer of controlled, liquid-fueled rocketry. He launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926. From 1930 to 1935, he launched rockets that attained speeds of up to 885 km/h (550 mph). Though his work in the field was revolutionary, he was sometimes ridiculed for his theories.
Robert Goddard Timeline
The Goddard Rocket Launching Site National Historic Landmark commemorates the site of the world's first successful liquid-fueled rocket. It is located on Upland Street in Auburn, Massachusetts within the boundaries of the town-owned Pakachoag Golf Course. The actual launch site is indicated by a granite marker adjacent to the ninth fairway of the golf course. Dr. Robert H. Goddard launched his historic rocket on March 16, 1926, from what was then the Asa Ward Farm. Its 10-foot cylinder reached an altitude of 41 feet, flew for two-and-a-half seconds, and fell to the ground 184 feet from the launching frame. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and is one of only six National Historic Landmarks in Worcester County.