Norumbega Tower, Weston
Norumbega Tower, Weston c.1942 (courtesy DCR Archives)

 

Hidden Treasures - May is Preservation Month

Did you know that DCR manages this 125-year-old tower built to mark the site of a mythic Viking city in Weston? That is just one of DCR’s Hidden Treasures featured in this year’s Preservation Month program. During May the Department of Conservation and Recreation is presenting fifty programs at more than 30 parks to showcase the agency’s preservation mission and the unique properties in the Commonwealth’s parks. The program kicks off with the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Historic Curatorship Program . During Preservation Month visitors can take a hike, climb a tower, and go behind the scenes at Doors Open events. This year people can follow the new Twitter Treasure Hunt and enter to win a 2014 MassParks Pass

 

Read program listing below or download brochure pdf format of May is Preservation Month Brochure

Familiar places, Hidden Treasures. What will you find?

Preservation Month – Boston

Castle Island — Day Boulevard, South Boston. 617-727-5290. Castle Island is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest continuously fortified site in British North America! Fort Independence, a pentagonal five-bastioned fort built between 1834 and 1851, is the site’s 8th fort and was built with Rockport granite. Free one hour tours of Fort Independence are co-sponsored by DCR and the Castle Island Association.

  • Doors Open – Fort Independence Tours, May 24th thru 26th, 12-3:30pm.

Charles River Esplanade — Storrow Drive, Boston. 617-227-0627. The Storrow Memorial Embankment – universally known as the Esplanade – first became parkland in the late 19th century, but took on its current appearance through changes in 1908, the 1920s, and when Storrow Drive was built in 1951. The Esplanade provides a variety of recreational opportunities but is best known for its concerts at the Hatch Shell. In 1929 Arthur Fiedler conducted the first concerts of the Boston Pops in a temporary shell; the current structure was completed in 1940 as a memorial to Edward Hatch.

  • Doors Open - Back Stage at the Hatch, May 22nd 4-6pm. All ages. Rain or shine.

Charles River Reservation  — Norumbega Road near River Road, Weston. For more information contact DCR’s Office of Cultural Resources at 617-626-1389

  • Doors Open – Norumbega Tower, May 4th 12:00-3:00pm, “George Washington Was Not Norwegian! Deconstructing the Norumbega Notion”. Ever wonder why there is a statue of Leif Ericson on the Commonwealth Mall in Boston? Or other purported Viking sites all over New England? Come climb the Norumbega Tower and learn how in the late 19th century the Boston Brahmins, a paternalistic violinist from Norway, and the baking powder magnate from Harvard University crusaded to discredit Christopher Columbus and his “founding” of North America. Viking costumes welcome! All ages, rain or shine. Dogs on leash.

Chestnut Hill Reservation , Brighton— In partnership with the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, 2450 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02467, 617-277-0065

  • The Landscape Legacy of Chestnut Hill Reservoir May 28th 6-8pm.  In addition to its significant role in early Boston water supply, the Chestnut Hill Reservoir was a popular public park since its inception. Designed landscapes of formal grassed banks, picturesque rock outcroppings, meadows, and woodlands and rich architectural features attracted city dwellers for leisurely walks and carriage rides. Discover the fascinating design history of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, constructed at the height of Boston’s “Golden Age.”  The one hour lecture in the Overlook Gallery of the Waterworks Museum is followed by a one hour stroll along the banks of the reservoir to look at DCR historic restoration efforts in progress. Meet at the Waterworks Museum. Parking is limited; public transit is encouraged. Please park in one of the 30 "Museum Visitor" spaces. Rain or shine.

Dorothy Quincy Homestead— Located at the intersection of Hancock & Butler Streets, Quincy. For more information call DCR Boston Region 617-333-7405

  • Doors Open - May 10th 1-4pm. A National Historic Landmark, the Quincy Homestead is significant for its role in early American history, for its architecture, and for its Quincy family association. The original 1686 rooms of the house are embedded in the 18th century Georgian colonial mansion that stands today. In addition to the architecture and furnishings, docents share stories of the Quincy family during the colonial era. The tour is free. Donations welcome. The grounds can be visited during daylight hours. All ages, rain or shine.

Neponset River Reservation — Milton and Dorchester.

  • Historic Curatorship Anniversary Event at Baker Lofts, May 1st 11am
  • Sweet History Stroll along the Neponset River, May 10th 1 pm- 2:30 pm. What do chocolate and the Neponset River have in common? Join a DCR Park Ranger and Dorchester Historical Society President Earl Taylor on a scenic stroll in Milton and Dorchester Lower Mills to find out. We’ll explore the former Baker Chocolate Factory site and learn about the sweet history of Lower Mills. We’ll end our tour at the Baker Chocolate Artist Lofts and learn about the DCR’s Historic Curatorship program. For ages 10 and up. Meet at the public parking lot in Milton Lower Mills, beside the Milton Yacht Club at 36 Wharf Street in Milton. Parking is limited. Public transportation is encouraged via the Milton Station of the MBTA Mattapan High Speed Line.


Stony Brook Reservation — Bellevue Hill Road (off of West Roxbury Parkway), West Roxbury

  • Doors Open - Bellevue Hill Tower, May 17th 12-3pm. The Bellevue Hill Tower was built by the Metropolitan Water Board in 1914-15, one of three vertical “reservoirs” designed to increase capacity for drinking water in the Boston area. Located atop the highest point in Boston, the 114' w x 47' h granite Tower replaced a smaller 1888 tower, both of which were designed to offer scenic views. Water was pumped through a 20” main from Fisher Hill Reservoir to the Hyde Park Pumping Station, then up to Bellevue Hill where it was distributed via gravity to the surrounding communities. A third tower was built in the 1950s to support increasing demands for water. Bellevue Hill Road and the Tower are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Parking available at the top of the hill. All ages welcome, but the climb to the top is steep and may not be suitable for small children. Dogs on leash please. Rain cancels. Co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority.

 

Preservation Month - North

Bradley Palmer State Park — Asbury Street, Topsfield. This event is at the Willowdale Estate, a preservation partnership of the Historic Curatorship Program. For information contact Melissa Thunburg at 978-887-8211 or visit www.willowdaleestate.com. 

  • Artist Spotlight Series: Garden Tour with Kim Smith, Willowdale Estate, May 13th 6-8pm. Artist & garden designer Kim Smith will give a guided tour of the flowering spaces at Willowdale Estate, with detailed information about how to attract pollinators to your own outdoor spaces! Program includes a screening of Smith’s newest film "Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly" and refreshments to follow. Tickets are free but limited and can be reserved at eventbrite.com (search for “Kim Smith tour” under Topsfield, MA).
  • Doors Open - E.F. Dodge House, 550 Highland St., Hamilton. May 25th 12-2pm. Visit the E.F. Dodge House and hear about the exciting project to preserve this 19th century farmhouse through DCR's Historic Curatorship Program.  An overview of the history of the house, planned rehabilitation, and the program will start at 12pm and again at 1pm. Parking is limited, please park along the road inside DCR Highland Avenue entry gate. Adults and older children. Heavy rain cancels.
  • Doors Open - Lamson House, Asbury Street, Topsfield, May 17th 12-2pm. Visit the Lamson House and hear about the exciting project to preserve this 18th century farmhouse through DCR's Historic Curatorship Program.  An overview of the history of the house, the rehabilitation, and the program run at 12pm and 1pm. Park at the trailhead lot across from the house. Rain or shine.

Breakheart Reservation — 177 Forest Street, Saugus, 781-233-0834

  • The Flume, May 18th 1-3pm. Hosted by Dan Donovan. The Flume was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s for flood control and as a viable damming system for recreation and preservation of the lakes. For all ages. Rain or shine, heavy rain cancels. Hike is around one mile, moderate difficulty, wear appropriate hiking shoes.

Great Brook Farm State Park — 984 Lowell Street, Carlisle, MA 978 369-631

  • Doors Open - Farnum Smith’s Cabin, May 25th 1-4pm. This cabin used to house park staff and remains in the forest as an icon of days gone by. Come and view this beautiful little treasure and imagine what life was like living here! Park at the canoe launch on North Rd. ½ mile east of Interpretive Center (165 North Rd.) Adults and children over the age of 6. Dogs on leash welcome. Rain or shine.
  • Doors Open - Litchfield House, May 18th 1-3pm, 247 North Road, Carlisle. This mid-19th century residence is a reminder of the park’s agricultural past.  The house is preserved and maintained by DCR’s Curators. Rain or shine.

Halibut Point State Park — Gott Avenue, Rockport, 978 546-2997

  • Doors Open - Sunset Tower Tour, May 16th 7-8pm – The Lookout Tower at Halibut Point State Park has a long and interesting military history. Join us to learn more and to enjoy a fabulous sunset over the Atlantic. Meet at the Visitors Ctr. Older children and adults (due to steep staircase). Rain or shine.
  • Doors Open - Glenledge Cottage, May 31st 1-3pm. Glenledge Cottage has been preserved and maintained through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program. This Queen Anne residence, once home to Pulitzer Prize winning poet  Peter Viereck, represents the summer cottage culture of turn-of-the-century Cape Ann. An overview of the history of the house, the rehabilitation, and the program will start at 1pm and again at 2pm. House is located past the parking lot on left (past the sharp turn). Rain or shine.

Harold Parker State Forest — 305 Middleton Road, N. Andover, Ma. 01845. 978-686-3391

  • The Blue Soapstone Quarry, May 24th 3-5 pm. Hosted by Park Interpreter Bob Anderson. The Blue Soap Stone Quarry was run by the Jenkins family in the mid-1800s, and remains one of the few blue soap stone sites in Massachusetts. This is one of the softest quarried stones in existence. The Quarry is adjacent to the former Jenkins mill, where the stone was actually worked using saw blades to cut the stone. Remains of a finishing shed and some finished stones can be seen, as well as the face of the quarry and the contact point with the granite bedrock. Along the walk is also a glacial erratic left by the Wisconsin Ice Sheet. Meet at Berry Pond on Middleton Rd. Navigate to “Berry Pond, Harold Parker State Forest, MA.” Hike is moderately difficult, about 1 mile. All ages.

Lawrence Heritage State Park — One Jackson St., Lawrence 978 794-1655. A restored brick boarding house with two floors of interactive exhibits tells the tale of Lawrence, one of the nation's first planned industrial cities. Along with stories of Lawrence's mill workers and industry, the workers' role in the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike is relived with images and sounds. Walk along the esplanade of a 19th century canal amid an industrial landscape.

  • Doors Open - Visitor Center and Exhibits are open daily 9am -4pm
  • The Great Stone Dam, May 18th 1-2:30 pm. The Great Stone Dam in Lawrence, MA (1845-1847) was constructed as part of the mill system for Lawrence, creating a head of water that powered hundreds of looms downstream in the mills. Join Visitors Services Supervisor Jim Beauchesne for an historic view of the dam construction and its role in the mill industry. Meet at the Visitors Center, One Canal St., Lawrence, MA. For all ages. Rain or shine, heavy rain cancels.  

Maudslay State Park — Curzon Mill Rd, Newburyport. 978-465-7223. The former estate of the Moseley family offers restored formal gardens, riverside trails, and extensive horticultural collections along the historic carriage roads. DCR rehabilitated the Martha Brookes Hutcheson designed Italian and Rose Gardens in 2000. The historic Farm Complex and Farmhouse have been rehabilitated for new uses through the Historic Curatorship Program, and DCR has entered into a new partnership for the preservation of the Coachman’s House complex.

  • The Tea House, May 10th 1-3pm. Hosted by Park Interpreter Donna Sudak. Come view the Tea House, originally constructed by the Moseley family for observing tennis matches on the nearby courts. The house sits atop a ridge overlooking the Merrimack River, and ideal spot for sunsets. The property is slated for rehabilitation under the Historic Curatorship program. For all ages. Rain or shine, heavy rain cancels. Meet at the Visitors Center. Walk is approximately one mile, moderate difficulty. Hot tea will be available.

Middlesex Fells Reservation , Wright’s Tower— South Border Road (Bellevue Pond entrance), Medford, 617-727-5380

  • The Peopling of the Place We Now Call the Middlesex Fells Reservation, May 8th 7-9pm. At the Milano Senior Center at the Beebe Estate, Melrose, MA. Hosted by Ellen Berkland, DCR Archaeologist and the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Massachusetts has been peopled for over 12,000 years. Come enjoy an illustrated preservation based on the archaeological record, of what we know of the communities that have called the area now know as Middlesex Fells Reservation “home.” Rain or shine. All ages.
  • Tudor Barn, May 3rd 12-3pm. Visit this stone barn that has recently been restored by DCR. It was the barn that served the Italianate villa known as the Botume House.  Please park at the Botume House or at the Spot Pond Boating Lot and walk from there. Follow the signs provided. Easy walking distance, can be accessed by trail wheelchair. All ages, but no dogs allowed. Sturdy footwear, sunscreen and bug spray recommended.
  • Doors Open - Wright’s Tower is open weekends in May 10am-5pm. Wright’s Tower was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1937 and named in memory of Elizur Wright, who owned an estate in the vicinity of Pine Hill in the late 1800s and was an early advocate for the preservation of the Fells. DCR completed a restoration of the tower in 2008 and installed a bronze plaque honoring Wright inside. Park at Bellevue Pond on South Border Road off Roosevelt Circle (Exit 33) on Rt. 93. Round trip hike is less than a mile.

Lowell Heritage State Park is part of  Doors Open Lowell 

  • Doors Open – Gatekeepers House May 17th 1-4pm, 23 School Street. Available for lease through the Historic Curatorship program. Join us to learn more.

 

Preservation Month – South


Borderland State Park — 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, 508-238-6566. The historic estate of Oakes and Blanche Ames features farmlands, ponds, and a stone Mansion and designed gardens. The Mansion and Rock Garden have been recently preserved. There is a $2.00 per car parking fee.

  • The Secret Garden, May 10th 10-11am. Take an easy walk around the Ames Mansion looking for its hidden treasures. We’ll learn about features such as the Trout Pool, the root cellar, and the cave! Come look at the grounds around the Ames Mansion in a different way, and learn about the ways DCR and the Friends of Borderland are working to preserve this treasure. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Program is best suited for adults and older children. Rain cancels. Dogs on leash are welcome.
  • Doors Open - Wilbur Farmhouse, 251 Massapoag Ave., Borderland State Park, Easton May 4th 12-2pm. Visit the Wilbur Farmhouse and hear about the exciting project to preserve this 18th century farmhouse through DCR's Historic Curatorship Program.  An overview of the history of the house, planned rehabilitation and the Historic Curatorship program will start at 12pm and again at 1pm. See the timber frame reconstruction of the former addition in action! Adults and older children. Heavy rain cancels.
  • Doors Open - Ames Mansion Tour, May 18th 1-3pm.  Explore the history of the Ames Mansion while supporting the Friends of Borderland State Park!  Join volunteer guides as they conduct tours of the stately home of Oakes and Blanche Ames. See the ornate two-story library, the dining room, and the family room, and more! Tours run about every 20 minutes. Sponsored by Friends of Borderland and DCR. Meet in front of the mansion. For adults and older children.  The Friends request a $3 donation per person. Rain or shine.
  • Movies at the Mansion: "The Great Gatsby" (1974) May 18th 6-8:30pm in the Ames Mansion Library. This May, the ornate, two-story library of the Ames Mansion once again transforms into a classic movie theater, complete with refreshments and snacks, for a showing of the 1974 film “The Great Gatsby." Admission and refreshments for this event are free; the Friends gratefully accept donations. Free parking in front of the Ames Mansion. Seating is limited; RSVP required; please call Ellenor at (508) 238-6566 to reserve seats. Sponsored by Friends of Borderland and DCR. Rain or shine.

Boston Harbor Islands State Park — DCR Islands District Headquarters, 30 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, 781-740-1605 x 202. No dogs. Former Mayor Tom Menino has called the Boston Harbor Islands “Boston’s Best Kept Secret”.

  • Spectacle Island-An Emerald Gem, May 24th 11am-12:30pm. Spectacle Island once housed a quarantine hospital, a horse rendering facility, and a grease reclamation plant.  For more than 50 years the island was used a dumping ground for the city of Boston's trash.  Now, it is a shining emerald isle.  So what happened? Come learn more about the islands and their transformation. Moderately difficult 2.5 mile, 90 minute hike. Older children and adults. Wear sturdy footwear, bring water, sunscreen and bug spray. Rain cancels. Boats depart from Long Wharf North (66 Long Wharf, Boston)
  • George’s Island Fort Warren, Boston Harbor’s Hidden Treasure, May 17th 11am-12:30pm. Fort Warren, on George’s Island, was built to defend Boston Harbor.  A military stronghold, this massive fort protected the city of Boston for over 100 years. Thousands of soldiers lived and trained on the island but at the close of World War Two, the fort was abandoned and the island was forgotten.  Today, thousands of visitors explore the fort’s granite walls and graceful archways every summer.  So what happened? Join us to learn more about Fort Warren and George’s Island. Moderately difficult 1mile, 75 minutes. Bring water, sunscreen and bug spray. Older children and adults. Boats depart from Long Wharf North (66 Long Wharf, Boston, 02110).

Dighton Rock State Park — Bay View Avenue, Berkley (call Freetown Fall River State Forest at 508-644-5522)

  • Doors Open - The Mystery of Dighton Rock, May 11th 1-3pm Dighton Rock is a large rock that once sat in the middle of the Taunton River. But, unlike other rocks, it is covered in mysterious carvings. If you have never seen Dighton Rock and its inscriptions, come visit the Dighton Rock Museum where you can view Dighton Rock and learn about the four theories of who carved the inscriptions on the rock. Docents from the Friends of Dighton Rock Museum will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.  Additionally, the park will be hosting a Wildflower Walk from 1pm to 2pm, for anyone interested. Adults and children over 6. Rain or shine. Dogs on leash welcome.

Ellisville Harbor State Park , Rte 3A, Plymouth 508-866-2580

  • Doors Open - Harlow Farmhouse, May 31st 12-2pm. This Colonial Revival residence is built on the foundation of a 17th century tavern, and is the last reminder of Ellisville's active farming and harbor community.  The house is now preserved and maintained through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program. Curators will be on site to answer questions about the history of this unique preservation partnership project. All ages. Rain or shine.

Horseneck Beach State Reservation , 241 East Beach Road, (intersection of East and West Horseneck State Reservation, Westport 508-636-8816. www.westportriver.org

  • Doors Open - Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station, Saturday May 31, 12-4pm. Humane Society Life Saving Station #69 was built in 1888 and moved to its current location in 1894. The Massachusetts Humane Society was founded in 1786 by a group of Boston citizens who wanted to prevent needless deaths from shipwrecks and drowning. By the early 20th century the society operated more than 50 support stations like this one in Westport. The Westport Fisherman’s Association has restored the lifesaving station as a museum through DCR’s Historic Curatorship program. All ages. Rain or shine. Parking across East Beach Road.  

Myles Standish Monument State Reservation — Crescent St., Duxbury (call Pilgrim Memorial State Park 508-747-5360). High atop Captain’s Hill, 200 feet above sea level, stands the Myles Standish Monument. This 116-foot granite shaft is crowned by a 14-foot statue of Captain Myles Standish, military leader of Plymouth Colony. Myles Standish Monument will be open and staff will be on hand to share information about Captain Myles Standish and the monument. Take the 125 step journey to the top and enjoy a panoramic scenic vista of the Cape and Southeastern Massachusetts. All ages, but best for children over 6. Rain or shine; lightning will cancel.

  • Doors Open - Myles Standish Monument, May 31st from 10am-2pm.

Myles Standish State Forest — 194 Cranberry Road, South Carver

  • Pine Fest – A Pine Barrens Multicultural Celebration, May 17th 10am-8pm. Pine Fest promises to be an exciting day of playful environmental learning and community building in the beautiful Myles Standish State Forest (MSSF). All learning activities, entertainment and demonstrations will engage both children and adults in explorations into Local Culture, Local Ecology, Sustainable Recreation, and Healthy Living. The event is free for all ages, and accessible. Please visit www.pinebarrensalliance.org for more information.

National Monument to the Forefathers— Allerton Street, Plymouth 508-747-5360

  • Forefathers History Walk, May 17th 2-3pm. DCR's monumental sculpture, the National Monument to the Forefathers, is a monumental hidden treasure high atop a hill overlooking Plymouth Harbor. The 81-foot tall granite work was designed by Boston architect Hammatt Billings and constructed between 1859 and 1889. The central figure of Faith is surrounded by Liberty, Law, Morality and Education, which represent the ideals of the Founding Fathers. Learn about the history of this hidden treasure on a hill.

Plymouth Rock, Pilgrim Memorial State Park — Water Street, Plymouth 508-747-5360

  • Plymouth Rock Preserved, May 24th 11-11:30am. The Massachusetts landscape is dotted with symbolic stones, but none are as famous as Plymouth Rock.  Nearly a million people a year come from all over the world to visit the town where in 1620 Europeans first made a home in New England and to see Plymouth Rock.  This simple glacial erratic boulder on the shore of Plymouth Harbor has become a world famous symbol of the courage and faith of the men and women who founded the first New England colony. Join us at the Plymouth Waterfront to learn about the fascinating history of Plymouth Rock, Pilgrim Memorial State Park, and the Pilgrims as well as learn about DCR’s preservation efforts. Meet at the kiosk between the restroom building and the Mayflower II. For all ages. Rain or shine.

Wompatuck State Park — 204 Union Street, Hingham. Contact the DCR Islands District Headquarters, 30 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, 781-740-1605 x 202

  • The Wonders of Wompatuck, May 31st 11am-12:30pm. Wompatuck’s woods extend far and wide, over hill, dale, and swamp.  Taking a stroll through this nearly primeval wilderness, you would never know that you are just 15 short miles away from the bustling city of Boston. Long meandering trails lead to historic stone walls, the remains of colonial mills, and glacial erratics…if you know where to look. Join us for a 90 minute, 3 mile walk to explore some of the hidden treasures of this 3500 acre park. Moderately difficult. Adults and older children, no dogs. Rain cancels. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, sunscreen and bug spray.

 

Preservation Month – Central


Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, River Bend Farm — 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge 508-278-7604.
The Blackstone Canal was used from 1828-1848 to transport agricultural products and manufactured goods between emerging industrial centers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Walk along restored sections of the Blackstone River Canal and Towpath.

  • Visitor Center, Following the Plough self-guided exhibits are open daily 10am-4pm.
  • Canal and Towpath Walk, May 11th 1:00-2:15pm - Meet at the Visitors Center for a two mile long walk along the historic towpath, learning about the canal and the transformation of the agricultural landscape featuring control gates set in stone dam, two stone arch bridges, some stone walls, early stone quarry site and remnants of a stone lock, one of 48 such structures used to lift and lower canal barges along their 45 mile route. All ages are welcome on this easy walk. Rain cancels.

Moore State Park — One Sawmill Road, Paxton, 508-792-3969. Moore was the site of grist and saw mills from 1747 through the early part of the 20th century when it was adapted into a private estate. What remains today is the best of both: stone mill foundations, a restored sawmill amid rhododendron, azalea and mountain laurel. Enjoy a self guided stroll anytime during regular park hours (dawn to dusk).

  • Moore’s 18th Century Mill Village, May 18th 3-4:30pm. Now known for its flowering rhododendrons and azaleas, Moore State Park began its existence as the center of commerce in Paxton, a flourishing mill village that operated for over 180 years. The idle land was then transformed into a country estate, and later a park. Stroll through the landscape and “time-travel” to the mid18th century in search of hidden treasures. All ages welcome, moderate walking on trails with varying elevations, 1.5-hour program. Wear comfortable walking shoes, dress for the weather and bring water and insect repellant if desired. Contact number for the guided walk: 508-769-7011.        

DCR’s Division of Water Supply Protection

For information on DCR’s Water Supply Protection properties check out the DCR Water Supply Protection webpage

Wachusett Reservoir — 978-365-3800. The 4,135-acre reservoir was built between 1897-1908 by damming the South Branch of the Nashua River. Water was sent via an aqueduct to the Weston reservoir. It now receives some of its water from Quabbin Reservoir and still supplies the Boston area. DCR’s management of the watershed has included the preservation of many historic properties.

  • Poutwater Pond at Stillwater Farm, May 3rd 1-3pm. Join the Watershed Rangers for an interpretive hike into Poutwater Pond, one of the most unique habitats in the Wachusett Watershed. The walk will highlight some rare and protected plant species. This site was designated a National Natural Landmark to be preserved and protected for future generations. All ages. Easy 1 mile, 1 hour walk. No dogs allowed. Call in case of inclement weather.
  • Doors Open - Stillwater Farm, May 17th 10am-2pm 228 Redemption Rock Road, Sterling, MA. The Wachusett Watershed Rangers will be at Stillwater Farm for an open house and tour of this 1790 farmhouse and yard.  The house was originally built by Zebedee Redding, a Revolutionary War officer, and was one of the largest dairy farms in Sterling until 1970.  Construction details will be revealed during the tour along with many other interesting building features. All ages, rain or shine. No dogs allowed.

Quabbin Reservoir — Quabbin Visitor Center, 485 Ware Road (Rte. 9) Belchertown. 413-323-7221. Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. It was created in the 1930s by the construction of two huge earthen dams on the Swift River, flooding the four towns Enfield, Dana, Greenwich and Prescott. In 1933 burials from 34 cemeteries in the four abandoned towns were moved to the Quabbin Park Cemetery.

  • Dana Common History Walk, May 4th 2-4:30pm. The Dana Common Historic District was added to the National Register in 2013.  As the only remaining town center of the former Quabbin towns which is accessible to the public, Dana Common is perhaps the area’s most important historic resource.  DCR staff will offer a narrated interpretive walk of the Dana area, sharing photographs and stories of the town, as well as describing the process of nominating this site to the National Register. While the buildings are gone and the residents relocated, the site still carries special significance that reminds us of the sacrifices made by its residents. Easy ½ mile 1 hr walk. Older children and adults, no dogs. Call in case of inclement weather. Meet at Gate 40 in Petersham, just off Route 32A, 3.1 miles south of the Route 32A/Route 122 intersection. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by calling the Quabbin Visitor Center at (413) 323-7221.
  • Quabbin Park Cemetery History Walk, May 25th 2-3:30pm. The Quabbin Park Cemetery was established in 1931-32 as the site to receive a majority of the remains from the 34 cemeteries which were relocated as part of the Quabbin Reservoir Project.  The tour will include information about some of the significant, colorful and interesting individuals and headstones reinterred in this cemetery from the former towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott.  Additionally information about the styles of headstone, types of rock and preservation efforts will be shared, as well as historical information about the development of the Quabbin Park Cemetery. Older children and adults, no dogs. Call in case of inclement weather. Meet at the Quabbin Park Cemetery Building, located just inside the Cemetery entrance on Route 9 (556 Belchertown Road in Ware).

 

Preservation Month – West

Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest — Meet at the Student Conservation Corps camp at K. Dubuque Memorial State Forest, Route 8A/466 West Hawley Road, Hawley MA

  • Hallockville Mill Complex Hike, May 10th 10am – 12pm. For a 50-year period in the 1800s a series of mill complexes thrived in the hills of Hawley. A village grew up around the complex and then by the early 1900s it had all vanished. Discover the remains of these mills, their function, reasons for their ultimate demise and the re-growth of the forest. Trail along Hallockville Pond and King Brook. Easy to moderate, 1.2-mile, 2-hours in duration. Older children and adults, rain or shine. Dogs on leash welcome.

Monroe State Forest , Intersection of Main Road and Raycroft Road, Monroe. For more information call Mount Greylock 413-499-4262.

  • Raycroft Lookout and the CCC Legacy, Saturday May 24th 10am-2pm. Raycroft Lookout, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1941, provides a commanding view of the Deerfield River Valley. Discover evidence of the former agricultural landscape use, highlighted by the work of the CCC and the conservation-recreation legacy it fostered. This is a moderate 4.5 mile round-trip hike. Wear sturdy footwear, and bring an umbrella/outerwear, water, snack/lunch, sunscreen and bug spray. Rain or shine. Older children and adults. Meeting place: From Route 2 in Florida, MA take Tilda Hill Road for 4.1 miles to intersection with Raycroft Road. Park at dirt pull-off.

Mount Tom State Reservation — 125 Reservation Road, Holyoke, 413-534-1186. Use Route 5 entrance, 125 Reservation Road, Holyoke. Or use Route 141 entrance, across from the Tavern on the Hill Restaurant, Holyoke. Call in case of inclement weather 413/584-6788. $2 vehicle entrance fee.

  • Tour the Eyrie House Hotel Site, May 4th 3-5pm. Meet at the Stone House Visitor Center, 77 Christopher Clark Road (at jct. Reservation Road). Many people notice the stone arches on Mt. Nonotuck, but few know their story. The Eyrie House Hotel stood atop the mountain from 1861 until 1901.  In recent years park staff and volunteers removed the tangling overgrowth and researched the site to reveal the outline of the hotel, its observation decks, picnic grove, walking paths, pavilion and zoo! Get a glimpse into one way that families vacationed in 19th Century New England, a fashion that has all but vanished from today’s landscape. Mt. Tom boasts an unparalleled view of the Connecticut Valley north and south, the Berkshire mountains to the west and the Pelham hills to the east. 2-hour, 3-mile, moderately difficult hike. Wear sturdy footwear, bring umbrella, water, sunscreen and bug spray. Adults only, no dogs.

Mount Greylock State Reservation — Visitor Center, 30 Rockwell Rd, Lanesboro. For information call 413-499-4262. Visitors can drive or hike to the summit of Mount Greylock, site of the Commonwealth’s official War Memorial Tower. The 90 foot tall tower is topped with a beacon that shines in remembrance of the state’s fallen soldiers. The lower level Memorial Chamber is open to the public 9am-4pm starting Memorial Day weekend. The Observation level is closed for repairs. Snack, stay or dine at Bascom Lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

  • Most Excellent Majesty exhibits and orientation film. Stop at the Visitor Center to enjoy new interactive exhibits and a short film highlighting the splendors of Greylock.  The Visitor Center at 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough is open 9am – 4pm.

Robinson State Park — 428 North Street, Agawam, MA For information call 413-584-6788. Meet at the pull-off area on Route 187, across from 1157 North Westfield Street in the Feeding Hills section of Agawam. Call in case of inclement weather.   

  • The Boys Who Built the Park: The CCC’s Life and Legacy, May 3rd 9am-11:30am. The “boys” of the Civilian Conservation Corps transformed the land from a road-less area of forest, stream and swamp into the park that we enjoy today.  Not only did they work here, they lived here from 1935 until 1942.  See what remains of their camp, the now-abandoned picnic area they built, and the park infrastructure that’s still in place.  Maps and historic photos will supplement the walk and talk. 3 miles, 2.5 hours over easy terrain. Adults and older children, no dogs allowed. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, sunscreen and bug spray.

Swann State Forest— 169 Brett Road, Monterey, MA. For information call Beartown State Forest at 413-528-0904. Meet at the Swann Lodge at the end of Brett Rd in Monterey. Please travel north from Blue Hill Rd, parking is limited so please car pool.

  • Doors Open - Swann Lodge Open House and Experimental Forest Hike, May 4th 1:30pm-4pm. Please join us for an Open House visit to Swann Lodge where Boston based Youth Enrichment Services (YES) in cooperation with DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program have worked to preserve this beautiful space. After a brief tour of the facility, learning about YES and their mission. Then, join DCR’s Conrad Ohman and Beartown’s Adam Morris for a walk through the early experimental State Forest and learn about some very curious planting choices from overseas found right here in Massachusetts now almost 100years old. Hike is 1.5 miles, 90-120 minutes over easy terrain. All ages, rain or shine. Dogs on leash welcome.

Western Gateway Heritage State Park — Visitor Museum, 115 State Street Building #4, North Adams. For information call 413-663-6312. A former railroad yard, this urban park uses historical artifacts and exhibits to bring to life the controversial and danger-filled construction of the Hoosac Tunnel, one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century.

  • The Long and Winding Road … Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Mohawk Trail. Explore a 15-foot map with historic highlights of the Trail and a visual cornucopia of vintage Penny Postcard images and artwork. See old photographs of the Trail and learn about the ongoing Mahican Mohawk Recreational Trail project. Museum Hours: Through May 16th Open Thurs.-Mon.10am-4pm. Call in advance to verify hours. May 17th - October 18th Open daily 10am-5pm. All ages.