This May during Preservation Month, the Department of Conservation and Recreation showcases the cultural sites in the Commonwealth’s parks. All month, visitors can take a hike, see new places, and go behind the scenes to learn more about how DCR protects Massachusetts’ heritage by preserving the historic buildings, sites and landscapes in our parks. Many programs feature recent preservation projects like the Dorothy Quincy Homestead.

Boston Region

Charles River Reservation, Speedway Headquarters Building, 1440 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston
Wood Window Restoration- Information Session, Saturday, May 6th, 10am-12pm.

Please join members of the Student Conservation Association as they provide a step by step informational session about the restoration of historic wooden window sashes. Suitable for adults and older children. Event is rain or shine, street parking is available on Western Ave. Meet inside the courtyard. RSVP:

Stony Brook State Reservation, Bellevue Hill Road, West Roxbury, 617-333-7404
Bellevue Hill Standpipe, Saturday, May 20th, 11am - 2pm.  Doors Open.

The Bellevue Hill Standpipe 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 (the others are Forbes Hill and Arlington). 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 from Fisher Hill Reservoir, via a 20-inch main, to the Hyde Park Pumping Station and then up to Bellevue Hill where it was distributed, via gravity, to the surrounding communities. This program is offered in partnership with the Metropolitan Water Resources Authority. Limited parking will be available at the top of the hill during this event. All ages are welcome, but the climb to the top is steep and may not be suitable very small children. Dogs on leash allowed. Rain cancels.

Dorothy Quincy Homestead, 34 Butler Road, Quincy, 617-472-5117
Dorothy Quincy Homestead Open House, Sunday, May 21st, 3pm- 6pm

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 Homestead served as a home for five generations of Quincy's, one of the leading families of Massachusetts. Their progeny include President John Quincy Adams and Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. Leading up to the American Revolution, the residence was a meeting place for many American Patriots such as John Adams, Josiah Quincy and John Hancock. The house was also the childhood home of Dorothy Quincy Hancock, the first First Lady of Massachusetts, the wife of John Hancock, the president of the Second Continental Congress, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the first governor of the Commonwealth. Please meet at the Homestead at 3pm. Event is rain or shine.

Central Region

Upton State Forest, 205 Westboro Rd., Upton, 508-278-6486
Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Walk, Saturday, May 13th, 1:30pm-3:30pm

Get a behind the scenes look at the craftsmanship of the CCC administration building and solve the mystery of historical structures hidden in the forest as we walk along features of the Park Road system. About 2 mile hike along forest roads with inclines. Proper footwear, water and insect repellent recommended. Meet at the Upton State Forest CCC Headquarters parade grounds, 205 Westboro Road in Upton. For additional information, please contact 508-278-7604.

Wachusett Reservoir, Boylston Street, Clinton, 978-365-3800
Clinton Dam Day, Saturday, May 13th, 2pm-5pm

The Department of Conservation and Recreation announces the opening of the top of Wachusett Dam in Clinton for the public to walk across on the afternoon of May 13th, 2017. DCR is responsible for protection of the metropolitan Boston water supply, which includes the Wachusett Reservoir and watershed area. The walkway along the top of the majestic Wachusett Dam has been closed since the 1990s due to water supply security and public safety concerns. DCR Watershed Rangers and staff will be on hand to answer questions and to provide other information on DCR’s watershed protection program. For more information or for directions please contact the Wachusett Reservoir Ranger Station at 978-365-3800.

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, 508 278-7604
Stories in Stone Hike to Goat Hill Lock, Sunday, May 14th, 1pm-3pm

Walk along sections of the Blackstone Canal Towpath to discover why this place matters for Preservation Month. Find an 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.  Learn about the canal and the transformation of the agricultural landscape and discover natural wonders along the way. All ages are welcome. Rain cancels. Sturdy shoes suggested on this 2.8 mile moderate walk on dirt trail with hills, roots and rocks. Meet at Visitor Center. Please call 508-278-7604 for questions.

Canal Towpath Walk, Sunday, May 28th, 1pm-2:30pm

In celebration of Preservation Month, walk along restored sections of the Blackstone Canal and Towpath for a two mile walk from farm to factory exploring the transformation of the agricultural landscape to the industrial era to the present day. All ages welcome, easy, flat 2 mile walk. Meet at Visitor Center.

Following the Plough Exhibit at River Bend Farm Visitor Center, 10am-5pm daily

The Visitors’ Center is open from 10am-5pm daily. Our exhibit “Following the Plough” explores the story of the Blackstone Valley and its communities from pre-European settlement through European style agricultural development, industrialization, and into today. Guided tours for groups with advance notice. Free. Accessible.

South Region

Point Allerton U.S. Lifesaving Station, 1117 Nantasket Avenue, Hull, 781-925-5433
Preservation Month presentation: DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program and the Rehabilitation of the Ft. Revere Officers’ Quarters, Thursday, May 11th, 7pm-8pm.

As part of the ongoing Nantasket Beach Lecture Series, join Historic Curatorship Program Manager Kevin Allen as he discusses DCR’s successful public private partnership-based preservation program and the turn of the century Ft. Revere Officers’ Quarters.  See the following website for directions and more information:

Blue Hills Reservation, 695 Hillside Street, Milton, 617-698-1802
Charles Eliot: Landscape Visionary, Saturday, May 20th, 1pm-3pm

Join the DCR and a Park Service Ranger from the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site on a walk to honor Charles Eliot, a founding father of the Blue Hills Reservation. We’ll walk to Eliot Observation Tower atop Great Blue Hill and share an overview of the park system. Moderately strenuous hike included. For ages 12 and up. Meet at the Trailside Museum north parking lot on route 138 in Milton.

Plymouth Rock, Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Water Street, Plymouth, 508-747-5360
Repairs to Plymouth Rock, Sunday, May 21st, 11-11:30am and 2-2:30pm.

Join park staff on a walk through Pilgrim Memorial State Park culminating at Plymouth Rock where repairs to this historic icon are planned to begin later in the month. After being moved several times between 1774 and 1880, Plymouth Rock was placed in its current location in 1921 below a classical granite portico designed by McKim, Mead and White. 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. On this 30-minute walking tour, learn about the history of Plymouth Rock and the portico and DCR’s recent preservation efforts here.  Meet at the information kiosk between Mayflower II and the restroom building. Rain or strong winds cancel; call to confirm at (508) 747-5360.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, 508-238-6566
Ames Mansion Tour, Sunday, May 21st, 1pm-3pm

Explore the history of the estate of Oakes and Blanche Ames while supporting Friends of Borderland State Park! Volunteer tour guides will tell the story of Oakes and Blanche Ames, the mansion and their love of nature. Only the Friends Mansion tours explore all three fully furnished floors, so don't miss your chance to discover the Ames Mansion. Tours run every 20 minutes, and each tour has a maximum of 15 people. For all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult. The Friends accept donations. Meet in front of mansion.

Smith Farmhouse, Saturday, May 13th, 9am-4pm. Doors Open.

Join the curator to hear about the public/private partnership to rehabilitate this 19th century farmhouse. Interior of the house is not open to the public as rehabilitation is in process. Please note that Smith Farm is hosting free Tai Chi at the site from 9-10 am and a $25 Yoga Benefit Class from 2-4 pm; please see their website for more info. Appropriate for all ages. Dogs must be on leash.

Garden Tour: Secret Treasures of the Land, Friday, May 5th at 4pm, Monday, May 8th at 2pm, and Monday, May 22nd at 2pm

In the early 1900s, rock gardens were all the rage!  Harvard botanist, Oakes Ames enjoyed spending time in this garden featuring many different types of plants, as well as interesting rock features and a fountain. DCR and the Friends of Borderland have spent the last few years working to rehabilitate the rock garden, and it looks great!  Learn all about the gardens of the Ames Mansion as well as the recent restoration efforts. For adults and older children. All Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of mansion. Rain cancels.

Mansion Tour: The Ameses and Women’s Rights, Sunday, May 14th at 1pm & 3pm and Sunday, May 19th at 4pm

Did you know that 100 years ago, when the Ames Mansion was built, women did not have the right to vote? Oakes and Blanche Ames’s involvement in the struggle for women’s rights helped pass the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution on August 18, 1920.  During this 30-minute guided tour of the first floor of the Ames Mansion, you will learn about their women’s suffrage efforts and view some of Blanche’s suffrage artwork and political cartoons. First floor only. For adults and older children. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain or shine.

Kids’ Mansion Tour, Saturday, May 20th and 28th, 3pm

Great for families with younger kids to explore the first floor of the mansion.  What would it be like to be a kid living in this mansion? Join the Park interpreter for this 20-minute tour, which will conclude with an old fashion activity behind the mansion (weather permitting). Meet in front of the mansion. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain or shine.

Mansion Tour: A Portrait of an Artist, Sunday, May 14th and 28th, 4pm

Let’s go beyond the framed paintings and discover the lasting impressions of artist Blanche Ames.  Join the Park Interpreter for a 30-minute tour to gain an understanding of Blanche’s contributions to the art world and science community alike.  For adults and older children. Children must be accompanied by an adult.   Meet in front of the Mansion. Rain or Shine.

Mansion Tour: Of Governors and Generals, Friday, May 6th at 4pm and Monday, May 29th at 3pm

Did you know that Blanche and Oakes Ames are related to many politicians and military war heroes? To understand a family, one must look back at previous generations.  The Ames Family and their relatives played an intrinsic role in shaping the state of Massachusetts and the Nation. Join the Park Interpreter for a 30-minute guided tour learning about the Ames family involvement in war and in politics. For adults and older children. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Meet in front of the Mansion. Rain or Shine.

Architecture Tour: A Story in Stone, Monday, May 15th and 29th, 2pm

The Ames Mansion was built over 100 years ago.  Designed by Blanche Ames herself, the Mansion features many modern conveniences for its time. Explore the exterior of the Ames Mansion and learn about its construction on this 30-minute outdoor tour. For adults and older children. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Rain cancels.

Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station and Visitor’s Center, 241 East Beach Road, Westport, 774-264-9200
Visitor’s Center Open to the Public, Wednesdays, 12pm-4pm.  

Visit one of the few remaining lifesaving stations in the Commonwealth, built in 1888 by the Humane Society of Massachusetts to assist in the rescue of shipwreck survivors.  Learn about this building’s significant history, and the story of its preservation by the Westport Fisherman’s Association.

North Region

Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden St., Concord, 978 369-3254
Walden Tours, Sundays, May 7th, 14th, 21st, & 28th, 11am-12:30pm

Join a park interpreter for a tour of Walden Pond, starting at the Thoreau House Replica, walking along the beautiful shoreline, and ending at the original house site where Thoreau built his dwelling and lived for two years, two months, and two days. Learn about, in Henry’s words, “Where I Lived, and What I lived For.” Dress for the weather. This is a half-mile walk, with an option of continuing the rest of the way around the pond on your own (another mile), or returning to the starting place with the park interpreter.

Revere Beach Reservation, Revere Beach Boulevard, Revere, 781-289-3020
Vision of the Founder- Charles Eliot the Mastermind and creator of the Massachusetts Park System, Fridays, May 5th & 26th, 3pm- 4:30pm

Walk or stroll alongside America’s first public beach and one of DCR’s healthy heart trails.  This walk includes brief stops for entertaining history lessons about the views of Charles Eliot, the landscape designer and founder of the Metropolitan Parks in Massachusetts, including Revere Beach. Charles Eliot’s mission was to preserve opportunities for beholding natural beauty for successive generations while meeting the economic needs of nearby communities. This program is wheel chair accessible. Meet outside at One Eliot Circle, Revere MA (The tan DCR building at the corner of Dolphin Avenue).  Accessible by Public Transportation: MBTA Blue line Revere Beach Station, turn right on Revere Beach Boulevard and walk or stroll to Eliot Circle, Revere, MA; Visit  Free Parking available along Revere Beach Boulevard.  

Lawrence Heritage State Park, One Jackson Street, Lawrence, 978-794-1655
“Monuments and Martyrs: A Historic Walking Tour of the Campagnone Common in Lawrence”, Sunday May 7th, 21st, 28th, and 29th, at 1:00 PM

The “Monuments and Martyrs” tour explores war memorials and other historical markers on Lawrence’s North Common. The Common itself is named for the Campagnone brothers, three Italian-Americans from Lawrence who were killed in World War II.  The Common also has monuments to the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912, and to the great poet Robert Frost. Walk is about a mile on mostly level ground, approximately one and a half hours.  No reservations necessary. Weather permitting. Meet at the Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitors Center at 1 Jackson Street. For more information, please call the Park at 978-794-1655.  

Lowell Heritage State Park, 23 School Street, Lowell, 978-458-8750
Gatekeepers House, Saturday, May 20th, 1pm-4pm, Doors Open

The following program is also part of Doors Open Lowell
This wood-frame Greek Revival/Italianate house was built in 1847 by the Locks and Canals Company as a residence for the gatekeeper of the adjacent Pawtucket Gatehouse.  Meet the new Curator and learn about efforts to preserve the property through the DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program.

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.  The historic Coachman’s House and Bell House are currently being rehabilitated for new uses through the Historic Curatorship Program, joining the Maudslay Farmhouse as the park’s three properties preserved through the Program, with another (the Gatehouse) coming soon.

Bell House, Sunday, May 21st, 10am-1pm. Doors Open

This 19th century farmhouse has been preserved and maintained through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program, where some of the DCR’s unused but significant historic buildings are rehabilitated, reused and maintained by an outside party in return for a long term lease. The Curators will be available for questions about the history of this unique preservation project. House is located near the open fields at the bend in Pine Hill Road. Rain or shine. RSVP:

Coachman’s House, Sunday, May 21st, 10am-1pm. Doors Open

This home was one of several shingle-style houses built by the Moseley family for their staff. Designed by William Rantoul, the building features decorative shingles and trim, and a distinctive front gable. The property is being rehabilitated DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program. Join the Curator to hear about plans for this unique property. The house is located near the end of Curzon Mill Road, on the right. Please park at the main lot and walk along the road. Rain or shine. RSVP:

Farmhouse, Sunday, May 21st, 10am-1pm.  Doors Open

This mid-nineteenth farmhouse sits at the entrance of Maudslay State Park and one of the first properties preserved through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program.  The Curators have completely restored the property and maintain this important reminder of the park’s history before it was converted into an estate in at the turn of the 19th century. Rain or shine. RSVP:

Great Brook Farm State Park, 247 North Road, Carlisle, 978-369-6312
Litchfield House, Sunday, May 21st, 1pm-4pm, Doors Open

This mid-19th century residence is a reminder of the park’s agricultural past.  The house is preserved and maintained through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program where parties rehabilitate, reuse & maintain some of DCR’s threatened historic properties in return for a long term lease. The Curators will be on site to answer questions about this unique preservation partnership project. Rain or shine.

Bradley Palmer State Park, Asbury Street, Topsfield, 978 887-5931
Dodge House, Tuesday, May 23rd, 12pm-4pm, Wednesday May 24th, 12pm-4 pm. Doors Open.

This intact example of an early 19th-century farmhouse was acquired by Bradley Palmer in the early 19th century and incorporated into his estate.  The house is preserved and maintained through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program where parties rehabilitate, reuse & maintain some of DCR’s threatened historic properties in return for a long term lease. The Curators will be on site to answer questions about this unique preservation partnership project. Rain or shine. RSVP:

Willowdale Estate, Tuesday, May 23rd, 4:30pm or 6pm.  Doors Open

The historic tour of Willowdale Estate covers historic background, context and conversation about the Arts & Crafts style mansion – a property saved through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program. Discover the hidden details decorating each room and hear the fascinating stories of our wonderful and unique estate as lead by a member of Willowdale’s educated staff. Join them for light refreshments and conversation after the tour.  Registration required:, 978-887-8211,

West Region

Mount Greylock State Reservation, Visitor Center, 30 Rockwell Rd, Lanesboro, 413-499-4262
For information call 413-499-4262. Visitors can drive or hike to the summit of Mount Greylock, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Summit includes the Commonwealth’s official War Memorial Tower, Bascom Lodge, Thunderbolt Shelter and a recreational landscape, all fine examples of the rustic design and craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The 90 foot tall tower is topped with a beacon that shines in remembrance of the state’s fallen soldiers. Visitors can snack, stay or dine at Bascom Lodge ( 

Bascom Lodge Saturday, May 27th, 12pm-6pm. Doors Open

Celebrate the season’s opening weekend with events and programs including live performances and demonstrations. Visit for more information. Parking fees apply.

Visitor Center at 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough. Open Daily 9am – 4pm

Most Excellent Majesty exhibits and orientation film. Before driving to the Summit, stop at the Visitor Center to enjoy interactive exhibits and a short film highlighting the splendors of Greylock.  

War Memorial Tower Sunday, May 28th, 1pm-2pm.

Join DCR staff for a walk around the Greylock Summit to learn about the history of the War Memorial Tower, the Commonwealth’s tribute to veterans of war. A two-year rehabilitation of the Tower will be nearing completion at the end of May--a major effort to preserve its unique architectural character and protect it from the elements. The program will include the reading of excerpts from the original 1933 dedication, and details on some of the innovative aspects of the recent construction work. Meet at the summit. The walk is a 60 minute, easy stroll along paved pathways with frequent stops. Bring water and sunscreen.