What is it like to live in Pembroke?

Location, Location, Location
Clockwise from top: Samantha Mamaty pets Vail at Herring Brook Farm as Q looks on; the historic bee sits atop the Council on Aging; librarian Heather Hall searches for a book at the public library; seagulls rest on the ice on Furnace Pond; at The Candy Jar, owner Kim Baldner arranges stuffed animals for sale.
Samantha Mamaty pets Vail at Herring Brook Farm as Q looks on. Photos by John Tlumacki / Globe staff

Karan Little moved to Pembroke in 1999, reluctant to leave Quincy. At the time, Pembroke was rural and somewhat isolated, mainly populated by farms and forests — a far cry from the bustle of Boston.

That lack of enthusiasm changed quickly.

“My husband said if I don’t like Pembroke after six months, we can move back to Quincy,’’ Little said. “After two months I told him I never want to live anywhere else.’’

It’s easy to see why Little would want to stay. Pembroke is known for its quality schools, recreational opportunities, and dining options. The picturesque town is easily accessible from Route 3 and contains numerous natural and historical landmarks. There are strip malls and supermarket plazas, but Pembroke retains a sleepy feel, especially in its small-but-charming center and numerous parks and farms.

The Littles have embedded themselves in the community over these 18 years. Little’s husband owns an HVAC company in town, and the family is involved in the First Church in Pembroke. Karan also takes a leadership role with the town’s extensive youth sports program, having coached both of her daughters (Amanda, 14, and Madeline, 12) in soccer and supported their involvement in swim, lacrosse, basketball, and cheerleading. “Everyone stands behind each other,’’ Little said. “They do a lot with the kids like carpooling, and everyone’s helpful and generous.’’

There has been a building boom since Little moved to town (Pembroke has had its own high school since 2004), but she remembers its rural past. “When we first moved here it was almost farm country, people would ride by our house on horses,’’ Little said, but “the neighborhoods have really been built up since then.’’

Karan Little of Pembroke. —Handout


8 to 9

The typical weight, in ounces, of an alewife, a species of herring. Each year, thousands of alewives need to make the journey to freshwater to spawn, which takes them through Herring Run Historical Park in Pembroke, creating quite a spectacle.


The number of Pembroke residents listed in the “died in service’’ section of the town’s towering Civil War Memorial on Center Street. The memorial is accompanied by a smaller tribute to other major wars, including World War II and Vietnam.


The year the town’s public library opened in its present location. The facility hosts author talks, concerts, and youth and adult programming.


The number of consecutive league titles Pembroke High School’s boys cross country team has won since 2009. They also won state divisional titles six years in a row (2008-2013) and four all-state championships. The boys were ranked among the top 15 programs in the country from 2010 to 2013.



Near the beach without the prices

Pembroke is home to lakes, ponds, and rivers. It has oceanfront, but it shares borders with Marshfield and Duxbury — towns with wonderful beaches. From most parts of town, summer fun in the Atlantic is about a 15-minute drive away.



While Pembroke has plenty of nature trails and scenic walks, the downtown area is spread out and not very accommodating to pedestrians. In general, there aren’t many sidewalks in town, especially off the main roads. has labeled the town “car-dependent.’’

Jon Mael is a freelance writer based in Sharon. He can be reached at Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at