Posted by: norstarnewengland | April 23, 2011

Finding Brook Farm, Stained Glass, and Cemeteries

Place: Boston and Newton

A few trips are combined into one in this blog.

Nice stained glass windows in the original edifice in the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston – – Will it be around around by the next millenium?

Nice rose garden in Boston’s Back Bay Fens –

Out in the West Roxbury section, there is the site of Brook Farm, an important utopian village of transcendentalists. Only one building and a few foundations remain –

On the road to a cemetery from the Brook Farm site, there was this memorial, where Robert Gould Shaw joined with the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry before leading the 54th Colored Infantry.

At the Gardens of Gethsemane Cemetery at the end of the road, there is a cannon that was once on the U.S.S. Constitution –

Beyond the cemetery, there is a trail that leads to a park on an old landfill, called Millenium Park. It has a boad access point for the Charles, and has nice views –

In Newton, where residential, commercial, and industrial areas meet, there is a small cemetery that dates back to before the American Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, the gates are locked most of the time, and the cemetery looks out of place. Some years ago, I was part of a group that did some yard work there –

Posted by: norstarnewengland | April 22, 2011

Finding Coordinates and Shovels in West Bridgewater and Easton

On this road trip, I tracked down where N42 and W71 met, and visited North Easton where, at one time, about a quarter of the world’s shovels were produced. – I had at one time perused GoogleEarth to find out locations of the points closest to me that were not claimed in the category, yet. I found out one that was not only nearby, but it seemed to be positioned right in the center of a road. So, I finally found a day to go for it. Despite how easy it was to access, I had the usual luck of getting close, but seeming to always find the wrong road and travel in a completely different direction. Finally, I found the road and parked my car on the side of the road. It was on a residential road which connected between major roads. Actually finding the point was rather easy, and exactly were GoogleEarth and a topographic map indicated. While walking around to get the exact point, I noticed that the owner of the house where I left my car had looked down my way a couple of times. I wonder a) if he knew what I was doing, and b) how many other people stop to do the same thing!

I’ve been to North Easton a few times before. It is a beautiful little village, with several Richardsonian Romanesque style buildings and several long, stone multi-storied buildings. It is a great example of an industrial town that had a family of company owners who bestowed much of their earnings back to the town.

The factory was for the Ames Shovel shop . The waymark provides more information about this. The company, now Ames Tru-Temper, is based in Pennsylvania, and the company has long since vacated the buildings. Now they are somewhat occupied by a variety of operations, including a YMCA: .

There is a historical society museum in the old stone railroad station. . In the past, the museum has been closed, with no indication when it would be open. But, this time, it was open for visitors. In it was a person talking with a couple about things. Then they left and he turned to me. It was a great conversation that brought me up to date. In short, the museum was now open weekly. The shovel shops were not too long ago threatened with demolition or radical reconstruction. In one year, these buildings were placed on the Massachusetts Historical Society’s list of endangered buildings. In the last year (before August 2010) literally a crane was brought in to do the work, but an injunction was placed to prevent destruction. In the last few months, the property changed hands, and the new owners plan on a different kind of development. This is still in the works, but the museum curator felt that this was good news.

Other buildings and features include these waymarks.
The Ames family, which lived in town and were well liked by their employees, either gave money to have things built or hired architects and had the buildings built. They spared no expense, hiring Richard Hobbs Richardson, who brought in Fredrick Law Olmsted to do landscape design all over the village. The Rockery is a lasting example of his work.

I will be checking back in the future. I hope others will visit and keep me posted on changes in the meantime.

Posted by: norstarnewengland | April 21, 2011

Wamarking in Dover, Natick, and Norfolk

Moving along, here are waymarks in the metrowest area: – Nice former depot, which was an antique shop for some time before just recently becoming a real estate office. – This survey disk I had discovered on Pegan Hill a few years ago. I finally got around to find it again, along with a couple of the reference disks discovered by another benchmarker recently. Pegan Hill was used to define the boundary of Natick, originally the first, most populated, and longest lasting of Rev. John Eliot’s “Praying Indian” towns. I imagine at one time that the hill had a view – now it is tree-covered. – Mass Audubon has been installing these sensory trails for the blind at selected sanctuaries.

Posted by: norstarnewengland | April 5, 2011

Waymarks in Westwood, Walpole, and Norwood

Am I ever in catch-up mode! This one combines two days worth of searches in these towns. Go Rams! When walking around the front of the church, I found that this peace pole was part of a several items in a Sunday School project about peace. It was also installed only a few months before I found it. A nice stone railroad bridge in Norwood. There is another bridge to the southwest, but it is harder to get to, and a river passes through. Nice town hall [Westwood].

Posted by: norstarnewengland | December 26, 2010

Walking on an Old Nike Site

Place: Hingham-Cohasset

The Turkey Hill Reservation, part of a cluster of land owned by the Trustees of Reservations, has a great view of the area, including parts of Boston Harbor. The other reservations are Whitney-Thayer Woods and Weir River Farm. I had been here several years before doing benchmarking and geocaching. I managed to do a tri-fecta on this trip.

At the top of Turkey Hill is a concrete bunker that was part of the Nike site that was there. The Nike sites are relics of the “Cold War” era. These were ground to air missile launching facilities that were installed on hills to protect against air invasion.

Near the concrete structure, by the parking lot at the top of the hill, is a boundary marker for the Hingham-Cohasset line. I had missed this marker as a benchmark (MY4146) the first time I was up here. It was hard finding it this time, so I don’t know how I missed it before.

The Weir River Farm was not open to visitors while we were there. However, we did walk around on the trails. One of the trails was lined by fences on both sides and went through the pasture. At one point, there was a set of gates where we had to pass through and crossed the pasture. Just prior to reaching the gate, the horses in the pasture came down the hill and passed by, heading toward the barn. They must have heard the dinner bell. It was interesting to see the horses interact with each other on the way. We then walked along the edge of the farm in the woods, where a pig stye was. We paused and saw the farm family come out with food for the pig. We conversed briefly before traveling our separate ways.

We will have to return soon.

Posted by: norstarnewengland | December 26, 2010

Waymarking in Canton

I paused to waymark this building for Blue Hill Lodge, A.F.&A.M. From research, I found that the building was previously used by the Baptist Church, which would make sense, since the building looks like it once supported a steeple or bell tower.

Posted by: norstarnewengland | December 26, 2010

Rich History in Attleborough

Attleborough has a ‘rich’ history, in the jewelry industry, as well as buttons, textiles, and other products. One of the most recognized names in ring and pendant jewelry, Balfour, was based here. It left the area about a decade ago, and with it, a lot of industries that supported it.

The Attleborough Area Industrial Museum, located in an old foundry building, exists to tell the story. I had a personal tour with the person running the museum.

Within the museum itself is the “Fire Queen,” a beautiful horse-drawn fire truck, worth the price of admission by itself.

Posted by: norstarnewengland | December 26, 2010

Walking through a Garden

Place: Framingham

The Garden in the Woods is awonderful place to walk around, get educated about local flora and fauna, and maybe get ideas for landscape gardens at home…if you can find the place.

Posted by: norstarnewengland | December 23, 2010

Walking in Wickford

Place: North Kingstown, RI

I found myself in Wickford, RI, on hearing that there was a plaque that marked the height of the bay water during the hurricane of 1938. There is so much more in this village, however, which the waymarks here highlight.

The high water mark plaque in the center of the village is on a brick building. Much of the village is on higher ground, but much of it is not. The hurricane of 1938 is the most destructive storm in the Narraganset Bay region and southern New England. Further up, hurricane barriers were built to protect Providence from a similar storm.

This is the “new” Episcopal church. It is located on the main road in the village. The old church still stands and is still used occasionally for church services and special events. This is one of the oldest structures still used as an Episcopal church. It was originally at another location a few miles south. There are a couple stories that attempt to explain how it was moved to the present location, one more colorful than the other.

This WWI memorial obelisk in a small green is easy to spot. While we were there, we came across a Rhode Island icon – a Dell’s stand!

Posted by: norstarnewengland | December 23, 2010

Waymarking around Alewife and Kendall Stations

Place: Cambridge

One morning, I went to the end of the Red Line and explored a bit around Alewife Station. Here are a couple waymarks:

For ‘Zippy the Pinhead’ fans, here is the statue of a fisherman featured in one of the comics. This statue was the reason why I made the trip there. He is such a whimsical object that the comic would feature!

The mural on the station complex features a long, beautiful mural about Alewife Brook, which trickles nearby.

On another stop along the Red Line, I came across this fountain which is representative of a galaxy – but it reminds me of Earth with GPS satellites in a constellation around it.

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