DCR Celebrates National Preservation Month by recognizing 25 years of the Historic Curatorship Program

Programs happening May, 2019

Table of Contents

maudslay house before and after

Overview

2019 marks a preservation milestone as DCR celebrates the Historic Curatorship Program’s (DCR) Twenty-Fifth year of creating public private partnerships to rescue endangered properties and ensure their long term preservation.  For 25 years DCR has sought proposals from outside parties with the unique skills, resources and vision to reverse the decline of some of the state’s most unique historic properties and bring them back to life.  The program is a national model and has leveraged over $24 million of outside investment towards the preservation of 24 historic buildings throughout the Commonwealth, for uses ranging from residential to commercial to non-profit.  May is National Preservation Month, and visitors are invited to enjoy programs that highlight DCR’s efforts to preserve the Commonwealth’s history.  Join us at some of the many Open House programs at Curatorship properties on this year’s schedule, and hear some of the dramatic and inspirational stories behind these very challenging projects - and maybe even see preservation work in action. 

Share your Preservation Month experiences on social media: @MassDCR #DCRpresmo #preservationmonth #ThisPlaceMatters.

Please find below a listing of guided programs. 

Things to know before you go:

  • Most programs are free. If admission is charged, information is in the program description.
  • Some parks charge a parking fee. If so, information is in the program description.
  • Dress for the weather by wearing sturdy spring footgear and dressing in layers for maximum comfort.
  • All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Carry drinking water and a snack.
  • Rain may cancel; please call ahead to confirm.
  • Reasonable accommodations are available; call in advance to inquire.

Boston Region

Dorothy Quincy Homestead

34 Butler Road, Quincy

1686 Quincy Homestead- Open House 

Sunday, May 19, 1pm-3:30pm

It is May, Preservation Month! How better to celebrate our colonial beginnings than with a visit to the Quincy Homestead, home of a family whose name is entwined with our country’s history. This beautiful yellow Georgian mansion tells the story of the first five generations of Quincy family members. The history of the preservation effort to save the Homestead began in 1904, when the Homestead was purchased and historically restored by the National Society of Colonial Dames in America in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This National Historic Landmark is owned and operated in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Enjoy the beautiful house with its historically unique architecture, walk in the gardens, and experience the tangible sense of history - walls talk!

Central Region

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation

198 Purgatory Road, Sutton MA 01590

Chasm Hike: Place in Time

Sunday, May 5, 3 pm – 4 pm

Meet the park interpreter at the Visitor Center and get ready to scramble around huge boulders while taking in the mystery of Purgatory Chasm. 2019 marks the park’s 100th anniversary as a Massachusetts State Park, and this hike is the perfect way to celebrate! This is a strenuous ½-mile hike on the Chasm Loop Trail, suitable for confident hikers ages 6 and above. Wear comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes/boots, and bring water. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Friendly pets are welcome on a leash. For more information please call 508-234-9610.

 

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park

287 Oak Street, Uxbridge

Brown Bag Along the Blackstone

Thursday, May 9, 12:00pm-2:15pm

As we celebrate Preservation Month, pack a lunch and join us in conference room at River Bend Farm Visitor Center, where we will watch an episode of Along the Blackstone, an award-winning series of videos by the National Park Service showing the preservation efforts along the Blackstone from the Chestnut Hill Meeting House, through Rogerson's Village in North Uxbridge to the Village of Limerock in Lincoln, RI. After the episode we will take a leisurely walk down the historic canal towpath and discuss the preservation efforts shown in the episode. All ages welcome. The walk is optional and is approximately two miles. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information.

 

Wachusett Reservoir

Clinton Dam, Route 70, Clinton

Clinton Dam Day

 Saturday, May 11, 2:00pm-5:00pm

The walkway across the top of the Dam will be open for enjoying the view of the Reservoir. DCR Rangers will answer questions about the Reservoir’s history and the importance of watershed protection.  Come learn about DCR’s role in ensuring the reservoir is a pristine drinking water source.  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. For more information or for directions please contact the Wachusett Reservoir Ranger Station at 978-365-3800. NOTE: due to increased security, backpacks, briefcases, and other large bags will not be allowed at this event. All other items brought to the event may be subject to search.

 

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed 

Stillwater Farm, 228 Redemption Rock Road, Sterling

Old House Forensics

Saturday, May 18, 11:00am-12:00pm

Visit the former Zebedee Redding homestead, circa 1790, known as at Stillwater Farm. These walls can talk- if we learn to read the clues! The "forensic room" features exposed surfaces of 18th Century house construction techniques and workmanship.  View chimney brickwork of the shallow Count Rumford fireplace, horsehair plaster, and other details of yesteryear.  Step outside for an easy stroll to view hidden history in the landscape of a New England farm on valley rich soil. Meet at Stillwater Farm, rain or shine. All ages welcome. For more information, please call 774-261-1809.

 

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation

198 Purgatory Road, Sutton MA 01590

Time Traveler Tour

Friday, May 24, 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

There is a timeline right at our feet, and Purgatory Chasm has 100 years of history as a Massachusetts State Park to explore! Get an introduction to this unique park as we stroll to historic structures and mysterious geological features. Meet at the Visitor Center for this easy 45-minute walk, suitable for historians ages 10 and above. Wear comfortable shoes, bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent if needed. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Friendly pets welcome on a leash. For more information please call 508-234-9610.

 

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park

287 Oak Street, Uxbridge

Reading New England’s Forests

Saturday May 25, 1:00-3:00pm

In celebration of Preservation Month join us as we learn about the historic stone walls and man-made features that make up our local forests as we hike along the Blackstone Canal to Goat Hill Lock. We will be talking about why these stone features are found across Massachusetts and the importance of preserving them to tell stories of a bygone New England.  Approximately 2.5 miles on an uneven path. All ages welcome. Please contact the park at (508) 278-7604 for more information. ​

 

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation

345 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA

Wild! Life on the Mountain

Sunday, May 26, 11:00 –11:45am

Adults, kids, and families can celebrate Preservation Month together. Discover the fascinating lives of the “locals” as we talk about wildlife habitats, competition, and survival on Wachusett Mountain in this 45 minute program. We will show you skins, skulls, and tracks of some of our native animals. Drop in for a few minutes or stay for the whole program… it’s up to you! This program meets at the visitor center. This program does not involve hiking. For more information, please call 978-464-2987

North Region

Middlesex Fells State Reservation

4 Woodland Rd. Stoneham (Botume House Visitor Center)

Tours in Time: the Wyoming Estates Saturday, May 4, 4:00pm-5:00 pm

Each of these one-hour strolls will explore a different historical aspect of Middlesex Fells Reservation. This stroll will take participants back in time to explore the Wyoming Estates. Best for adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Inclement weather cancels this program. Please register by email: Stacy.Kilb@mass.gov.

 

Breakheart State Reservation

100 Hemlock Rd. Wakefield (Wakefield Entrance)

Tours in Time: The Flume

Sunday, May 5, 4:00pm-5:00 pm

Each of these one-hour strolls will explore a different historical aspect of Breakheart Reservation. This stroll will take participants back in time to explore the Flume. Best for adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Inclement weather cancels this program. Please register by email: Stacy.Kilb@mass.gov.

 

Lowell Heritage State Park

23 School Street, Lowell

Historic Curatorship Program Open House – Gatekeeper’s House

Saturday, May 11, 1pm-4pm

Come see the 1847 Gatekeeper’s House at the Pawtucket Falls in Lowell as part of Doors Open Lowell, a city-sponsored weekend long celebration of this significant city’s historic architecture and preservation legacy.  Meet the Curator who is helping to preserve and maintain this important structure that once housed the keeper of the historic Pawtucket Gatehouse.  Rain or shine.  Find out more at doorsopenlowell.org

 

Great Brook Farm State Park

437 North Road, Carlisle

Historic Curatorship Program Open House – Litchfield House

Sunday, May 12, 12pm-3pm

The mid-nineteenth century Lowell Litchfield House and barn have been preserved and maintained through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program. 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 to discuss the history of this unique preservation program and their nearly 20 years of investment into the preservation of the house, barn and gardens. 

 

This event has been canceled: Halibut Point State Park

16 Gott Ave., Rockport

Babson Farm Quarry Tour​

Saturday, May 18, 10:00-11:30am

Starting in the 1840s, granite began to be quarried from the area around Halibut Point, first primarily along the coast on a small scale and then on a much larger scale when the Rockport Granite Company acquired the Babson Farm Quarry and expanded its operation. Interpreter will utilize various locations on the trail and around quarry to explain how granite was quarried.  Specific lessons include the splitting of granite with traditional quarry tools. For all ages. Meet at the parking lot kiosk. About one mile of walking. Good shoes and hydration recommended. Pouring rain cancels. Call 978-546-3120 for more information.

 

Maudslay State Park

74 Curzon Mill Road, Newburyport

History Rises From Ruins
Saturday, May 18, 2:00 - 3:30 pm

Join the park interpreter on a tour of the former Moseley Family estate to view the house sites, gardens and farm complex area and talk about their historical significance.  This program starts at Park Headquarters, 74 Curzon Mill Road in Newburyport, MA.  Appropriate for ages 8 and up.  For more information please call 978-465-7223.

 

Middlesex Fells State Reservation

4 Woodland Rd. Stoneham (Botume House Visitor Center)

Tours in Time: the Wyoming Estates

Saturday, May 18, 4:00pm-5:00 pm

Each of these one-hour strolls will explore a different historical aspect of Middlesex Fells Reservation. This stroll will take participants back in time to explore the Wyoming Estates. Best for adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Inclement weather cancels this program. Please register by email: Stacy.Kilb@mass.gov.

 

Maudslay State Park

50 Pine Hill Rd., Newburyport

Historic Curatorship Open House – Bell Farmhouse

Sunday, May 19, 1pm-3pm

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.

 

Bradley Palmer State Park

40 Asbury St., Topsfield

The Dodge House

Friday May 24th and Saturday May 25th, 1pm-4pm

The E.F. Dodge House, an early-nineteenth century Federal-style farmhouse has been preserved and maintained through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program. The house predates Bradley Palmer’s Estate, but was retained and reused by Palmer and his staff.  Through the Historic Curatorship Program, 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 to discuss the history of this unique preservation program and their years of sweat equity and investment into the preservation of this important local landmark. 

 

Bradley Palmer State Park

40 Asbury St., Topsfield

The Lamson Farm, 1680-Present

Saturday, May 25, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meet at Parking Lot Bulletin Board, 40 Asbury St.

Before Bradley Webster Palmer occupied the property that became Bradley Palmer State Park, it was a farm owned by the Lamson Family for nearly 230 years (1680-1910).  Take a walk around the landscape remnants of the farm. This is a rare opportunity to see the first floor interior of the Lamson Farm House (ca, 1750-Present), which was modified many times by the Lamsons and Bradley Palmer. The house is now a private home in the care of its resident Curators, through the Department of Conservation’s Historic Curatorship Program. The historic house is not accessible to wheelchairs.  Appropriate for ages 5 and up, but especially adults.

 

Maudslay State Park

76 Curzon Mill Rd., Newburyport

Historic Curatorship Open House – Coachman’s House

Sunday, May 26, 2pm-4pm

Meet the Curator and see rehabilitation in progress at the 1901 Coachman’s House which provided housing for staff at the Moseley Estate.  Designed by Architect William Rantoul, the house was built in the Shingle Style, to match the rustic design of the estate.  This significant property is currently being rehabilitated under a long term lease through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program, where outside parties invest in the rehab, maintenance and management of some of DCR’s threatened but significant historic structures.  All ages. Rain or shine.

 

Breakheart State Reservation

100 Hemlock Rd. Wakefield (Wakefield Entrance)

Tours in Time: The Flume

Sunday, May 26, 4:00pm-5:00 pm

Each of these one-hour strolls will explore a different historical aspect of Breakheart Reservation. This stroll will take participants back in time to explore the Flume. Best for adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Inclement weather cancels this program. Please register by email: Stacy.Kilb@mass.gov.

 

Lawrence Heritage State Park

1 Jackson St., Lawrence

“Monuments and Martyrs: a Historic Walking Tour of the Campagnone Common in Lawrence”

Monday, May 27, 1:30pm to 3:00pm

This Memorial Day “Monuments and Martyrs” tour will explore several war memorials on Lawrence’s North Common, as well as other historical markers.  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 events of 1912, when the famous Bread and Roses Strike took place.  Walk is about a mile on mostly level ground, approximately one and a half hours.  No reservations are necessary.  Weather permitting.  The program begins at Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitors Center at 1 Jackson Street.  

For more information, please call the Park at 978-794-1655. 

 

Halibut Point State Park

Open House – Visitor Center

Wednesday, May 29, 10-11:30am

This program is cancelled.

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South Region

Nickerson State Park

163 Crosby Lane, Brewster

Historic Curatorship Program Open House – Crosby Mansion

Saturday, May 4, 10pm-2pm

Tour the grand 1888 Crosby Mansion at Nickerson State Park and meet the Friends of Crosby Mansion, who have helped to preserve this eclectic invaluable historic resource for future generations to enjoy.  See crosbymansion.com for more information. 

 

DCR Fall River Heritage State Park

200 Davol Street, Fall River

The Fabric of Fall River: Self-Portrait of a City Video Premiere

Friday, May 10, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

The DCR Fall River Heritage State Park, Fall River Community Media and the Creative Arts Network invite you to a special premiere of a newly restored classic video, The Fabric of Fall River, Self-Portrait of a City, highlighting the rich ethnic heritage of Fall River. Join us for a showing of the 40 minute classic video in the park auditorium. Visitors may also enjoy light refreshments while exploring the Tracing the Threads, Fall River and Its People heritage exhibits in the large hall overlooking Battleship Cove. Meet at DCR Fall River Heritage State Park Visitor Center Auditorium at 200 Davol Street in Fall River, Massachusetts. Free and open to the public. RSVP to jayne@frmedia.org

 

Borderland State Park

251 Massapoag Ave.

Historic Curatorship Program Open House – Wilbur Farmhouse, Easton

Saturday, May 11, 12pm -2pm.

Meet the Curator who has preserved the Wilbur Farmhouse to hear about the public/private partnership to rehabilitate this 1785 residence.  This significant property has been rehabilitated under a long term lease through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program, where outside parties invest in the rehab, maintenance and management of some of DCR’s threatened but significant historic structures.  Park at the house (driveway accessed off Massapoag Ave, just south of the park entrance.  All ages. Dogs on leash. Rain or shine.

 

Borderland State Park

251 Massapoag Ave.

Historic Curatorship Program Open House Smith Farmhouse

Saturday, May 11, 10am-1pm.

Join DCR’s Curator Smith Farm at Borderland 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.  Please see their website for more directions and more info. All ages. Dogs on leash. Rain or shine.http://www.smithfarmheals.org/upcoming-events.html

 

Pilgrim Memorial State Park

Water Street, Plymouth

Memories & Monuments Park Tour

Saturday, May 11, 2:00PM – 3:00PM

Join park staff on a walk through Pilgrim Memorial State Park culminating at Plymouth Rock where major repairs to this historic icon were done in 2017. After being moved several times in the 1700s and 1800s, 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, the many monuments in the park, and DCR’s recent preservation efforts here.  Program is free; there are nearby free and metered parking options. Meet at the information kiosk in front of the restroom building. The park is located on Water Street in Plymouth. Rain or strong winds cancel; call to confirm at (508) 747-5360.

 

Nickerson State Park

3488 Main Street (Route 6A), Brewster

Take a Walk on the Cultural Side of Nickerson State Park

Wednesday, May 15, 10:00 – 11:30AM

Return to the late 1800’s and learn all about the Crosby family homesteads and their connection to the Nickerson family. We will learn about the different land uses of this property from Camp Monomoy to the Cape Rep Theater today and see the Albert Crosby Mansion as well. Meet at the parking lot at the entrance to the Cape Rep Theater off Route 6A just west of Crosby Lane. Rain cancels. Program is free; no parking fee. For more information, call (508) 896-3491.

 

Borderland State Park

259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton

Friends of Borderland 3-Floor Ames Mansion Tours

Sunday, May 19, 12:00PM to 3:00PM

Explore the history of the Ames Mansion while supporting Friends of Borderland State Park! Volunteer guides conduct tours of all three floors of the stately home of Oakes and Blanche Ames. Learn about the Ames family and the mansion itself on this great tour. Tours begin every 30 minutes, and 15 people maximum per tour. For all ages. Tours are $10.00 per person or $15.00 for 2 people, Friends of Borderland members and children 10 and under are free. Meet in front of mansion. Sponsored by Friends of Borderland and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Rain or shine. Parking fees apply: $5 per MA-plate vehicle and $10 per out-of-state-plate vehicle. For more information, call (508) 238-6566.

 

Ft. Revere State Park

58 Farina Rd., Hull

Historic Curatorship Program Open House - Officers’ Quarters

Saturday, May 25, 11am-1pm

Meet the Curator and see rehabilitation in progress at the 1901 Officers Quarters, which is one of the last remnants of Ft. Revere, a coastal fort that once protected Boston Harbor.  This significant property has been rehabilitated under a long term lease through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program, where outside parties invest in the rehab, maintenance and management of some of DCR’s threatened but significant historic structures.  All ages. Rain or shine.

 

Pilgrim Memorial State Park

Water Street, Plymouth

Memories & Monuments Park Tour

Saturday, May 25, 2:00PM – 3:00PM

Join park staff on a walk through Pilgrim Memorial State Park culminating at Plymouth Rock where major repairs to this historic icon were done in 2017. After being moved several times in the 1700s and 1800s, 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, the many monuments in the park, and DCR’s recent preservation efforts here.  Program is free; there are nearby free and metered parking options. Meet at the information kiosk in front of the restroom building. The park is located on Water Street in Plymouth. Rain or strong winds cancel; call to confirm at (508) 747-5360.

 

Waquoit Bay Reserve Visitor Center

131 Waquoit Highway (Route 28), East Falmouth           

Waterfront Estate Tour

Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, 1:00PM – 2:00PM

Join a Park Interpreter for a tour of this historic summer estate at the head of Waquoit Bay. You’ll hear stories of former residents; view original wallpaper samples and experience the great hearth and amazing views from the boathouse. Discover how a Victorian style summer cottage became a center for research and education, as well as a public resource for recreation. You’ll learn how the area has evolved over time from a seasonal retreat to a secret World War II training camp, and finally, a cutting edge science research facility.  Meet at the Visitor Center. Rain or shine. Program is free; no parking fee. For more information, call (508) 457-0495.

 

Nickerson State Park

3488 Main Street (Route 6A), Brewster

Take a Walk on the Cultural Side of Nickerson State Park

Wednesday, May 29, 10:00AM – 11:30AM

Return to the late 1800’s and learn all about the Crosby family homesteads and their connection to the Nickerson family. We will learn about the different land uses of this property from Camp Monomoy to the Cape Rep Theater today and see the Albert Crosby Mansion as well. Meet at the parking lot at the entrance to the Cape Rep Theater off Route 6A just west of Crosby Lane. Rain cancels. Program is free; no parking fee. For more information, call (508) 896-3491.

West Region

Mount Greylock State Reservation

30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA

Parkitecture, Building into the Landscape

Sunday, May 26, 1:00pm and 2:00pm

Come discover the planned “Parkitecture” of historic Bascom Lodge. This charming structure, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, was designed to fit within the landscape on the highest point in Massachusetts. Bascom Lodge offers a superior example of this rustic architectural style from the golden age of public park development. Today, the lodge is a demonstration of preservation success through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program, enabling future generations to enjoy mountain-top amenities. All ages are welcome. Tour route is wheelchair accessible. Estimated tour duration 30 minutes. Meet at the summit. Children must be accompanied by an adult. A parking fee applies. For more information call (413) 499-4262.

 

Mount Greylock State Reservation

30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA

A Tower of Remembrance

Monday, May 27, 1:00pm and 2:00pm

This Memorial Day Weekend come explore the story of Mount Greylock’s historic Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower, the Commonwealth’s tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in the service of their country. Discover the story behind this 93-foot tall majestic monument, crowned with a beacon light that can be seen for miles! The tour also highlights recently completed $2 million restoration efforts, featuring upgrades, energy conservation and new visitor amenities. Estimated tour duration is 20 minutes. Meet at the summit by the War Memorial Tower. Wheelchair accessible. Children must be accompanied by an adult. A parking fee applies. For more information call (413) 499-4262.

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