Posted by: norstarnewengland | April 26, 2009

My Top 50 Waymarks

At 500, it’s a good time to reflect on some of my favorite waymarks.  This list, of course, is highly subjective and has personal bias, and, I’m sure other people would have picked different ones.  Factors included:  being personally moved by the location; bringing back memories; appeals to history/significance to society (local or national); uniqueness/rarity; story behind waymarking it; the fact that a change or an event has happened at the location; and how much I know or learned at that location.  If a location has more than one waymark, then I chose one.

So, here is my Top 50, with links (in roughly chronological order):

Ron’s Ice Cream, Dedham, MA – Good ice cream and my 500th wm.

Perk’s Coffee House, Norwood, MA – Good coffee, music, and a long time Friday night hangout spot.

Neponset River Mouth Into Boston Harbor, Boston-Quincy, MA – A very special place, where one of the rivers that I have come to know well over the last 15 years is located.

Memorial Lift Bridge, Portsmouth, NH – A rare working vertical lift bridge and a fun adventure to walk across to Maine (though there was a stiff wind!).

Walter Baker Chocolate Factory, Boston-Milton, MA – The Baker Chocolate Factory was once the largest chocolate factory in the world and the building complex is still mostly intact, but remodeled and used for other purposes.

Baker Dam, Boston-Milton, MA – One of the oldest dam locations in the country, the Baker Dam provides a focal point for residents in the area and is threatened with being removed.

Hyde Park-Boston Boundary Marker, Boston, MA – This is a visible example of how city borders change over time, though this one was the last border change for Boston.

Fairbanks House, Dedham, MA – The Fairbanks House is the oldest wood-framed house in America and it an icon for the town of Dedham.

Former NECCO Factory, Cambridge, MA – I worked near this factory when it was active.

Hand Painted Direction Signs, Mason, NH – This was a total surprise encounter and it shows a dedicated effort by the creator.  There are direction signs, random signs and birdhouses.

Boston and Maine Abandoned Train Tunnel, Clinton, MA – When I climbed the hill to see the tunnel, I was stunned at what I saw. Together with the footings for the trestle over the river, it made for a wonderful railroad artifact.

Cheshire Mills, Harrisville, NH – It is an intact New England mill village tucked away in the hills behind Mt. Monadnock.

Sudbury Aqueduct-Echo Bridge, Newton-Needham, MA – Echo Bridge is a beautiful structure over the Charles River that I passed by many, many times.  Hemlock Gorge, which it spans, is impressive as well.

MassDPW Traverse Disk “DRIVE”, Cambridge, MA – I have known about this disk for many years, but I couldn’t log it as a benchmark since it was not listed on the NGS/Geocaching databases. however, is a different story.  There is a nice view of Boston and the Charles River from here, too.

Hart Nautical Gallery, MIT, Cambridge, MA – It is a nice ship display that is hidden in the MIT campus.

Marseilles Welcome Mural [Small Town Big Name], Marseilles, IL – Marseilles, IL, is a place where relatives live and smile at how the name is pronounced “Mar-sails” instead of the French “Mar-say.”

Caterpillar World HQ, Peoria, IL – I worked for Caterpillar in college.

Saugus Iron Works, Saugus, MA – This is one of the great exhibits of the National Park Service, and the site is one of the oldest of its type in the country.

Gurleyville Mill, Mansfield, CT – It’s a pretty mill made of stone.  I had the opportunity to take a tour of the place

Blue Hill Observatory, Milton-Canton, MA – It is where the oldest continuous record of weather observation is held and I have been there for several open houses and events there.

Bussey Bridge Collapse, Boston, MA – This was an incredible disaster that I found out about on a web site about local history.  It was fun to trace the present day landscape and imagine the situation then.

Shriner’s Burns Hospital, Boston, MA – This institution has the noble mission to provide the best burns care to children – free of charge.  I toured the facility once.

Lars Anderson Automobile Collection, Brookline, MA – OK, it may not be the largest collection around, but it is the first.

First Baptist Church, Needham, MA – This church has a prominent steeple and town clock.  Near service time, the chimes ring out, too.

Christian Science Monitor HQ, Boston, MA – This paper just recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary and, in April, changed its format and way of delivering information.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, MA – I have loved the contrast between the granite stone ‘original’ church and the sandstone ‘addition’ to the church.

Prudential Tower, Boston, MA – My father once worked in this building.  I always look for this building when I see the city skyline.

Edgar Allan Poe Birthplace, Boston, MA – Poe is a famous author, and I have read many of his works.

Chalmette Plantations, New Orleans, LA – This is where the Battle of New Orleans took place.  At this sign, there were ruins in the median area between road lanes.

La Salle’s Landing, Kenner, LA – Since relatives live in Illinois, LaSalle is known there (for instance, there is a LaSalle County).

Lucky 7 – Boylston Station, Boston, MA – This is my first ‘Lucky 7’ (a category in  The three ‘Lucky 7’ waymarks caused me to look more deeply into this section of Boston.

Christmas Tree Display on Boston Common, Boston, MA – The story behind this annual gift from Halifax, Nova Scotia, still affects me.

Edaville Railroad, Carver, MA – Childhood memories of going to see the lights and riding a train at night.

South Station, Boston, MA – An icon that the city almost lost due to its ‘urban renewal’ practices.

Boston Subway, Boston, MA – The Boston Subway, the first in this country, is a great part of Boston history, as well.

Scaffolds Fall, Boston, MA – You can still see evidence of the accident, and there is a memorial plaque at the base of the building.

New Orleans and Crescent City Bridge, New Orleans, LA – It was a beautiful scene of a beautiful city.

Former Grand Lodge of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA – I stayed at this hotel once and arranged a tour of the event halls and auditorium that still bear some evidence of the old Grand Lodge.

B&M No. 410 Locomotive, Lowell, MA – This locomotive has been on display in Lowell for many years.

Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Seattle, WA – This is one of the more unusual museums – and it’s well done.

Safeco Field [Seattle Mariners], Seattle, WA – I had a tour of the field while I was in Seattle.  Maybe on the next trip I’ll go to a game.

Gassy Jack Statue, Vancouver, BC, Canada – I love this story!

Vancouver Sky Line, Vancouver, BC, Canada – I love the view from One Canada Place!

The First World Series, Boston, MA – Another little piece of history, on the campus of Northeastern University.

Canton Viaduct, Canton, MA – This is another engineering feat for its day that is still used and is beautiful to behold today.

First Aero Meet in New England, Squantum Air Field, Quincy, MA – Aviation in New England really ‘took off’ when this meet occured, which was attended by many aviation people including at least one of the Wright Brothers.

Next Stop Natick, Natick, MA – This is a nice mural that provides a nice cross section of the history of the town of Natick.

Indian Meetinghouse, Natick, MA – A historic sign here describes the oldest and best of the ‘Praying Indian Towns’ Natick.

Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, Boston, MA – This is the headquarters of the oldest Grand Lodge in the United States and third in the world.

Oldest Mill Site Along Mother Brook – Dedham, MA – This is my first waymark, and I have been interested in the history of this brook, which included a early dug canal.



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