New England blog postings

New England Postings - Page 4

Earliest: March 14, 2003Latest: September 23, 2020Total: 89
June 27, 2018

Concord Cheese Shop

If your visiting Downtown Concord, make sure to stop by the Famous Concord Cheese Shop for delicious cheese and sandwiches.

Local Tip: Pick up a sandwich here and enjoy your sandwich at the Old North Bridge or at Walden Pond (One of America's Best Parks for Picnicking). They have some of the best sandwiches in the area and worth the stop! (Local Favorite!)

If your entertaining special guests, stop by the Concord Cheese Shop and pick up some unique Cheese and Crackers.

Concord Cheese Shop

Five Fun Facts about the Concord Cheese Shop

  • An important part of downtown Concord, Massachusetts since 1967. Current owner is Peter Lovis.
  • At any given time there are 150 to 200 types of Cheese available in the store. Try this: Talk to the people behind the counter on the type of cheese you like and say you're looking to try something different. They will give you a sample treat and will let you know the best wine to go with your treat.
  • Since 2009, the Concord Cheese Shop has celebrated Crucolo Cheese Parade, check out the YouTube video. It's a great place to witness a 400-pound wheel cheese from Italy.
  • This year's Crucolo Cheese Parade will be on December 6th (First Thursday of December) The parade starts at 3:30 pm.
  • The Famous Concord Shop, a place to get fun kitchen accessories, was next door. The store name was changed to "Concord Cookware" in the fall of 2003. The store moved to 13 Walden Street and finally closed its doors on the last weekend of May, 2018.

Types of Cheese Available

According to their website, here are all the different types of cheese available:

Abbaye de Belloc, Beaufort, Bleu, Asiago, Bitto, Camembert, Chimay, Comté, Crottin de Chavignol, Butterkäse, Explorateur, Formaggio, La Serena, Livarot, Manchego, Ossau-Iraty, Pecorino di Filiano, Robiola di Roccaverano, Raclette, Reblochon, Taleggio, Tomme de Savoie, Valle d?Aosta Fromadzo, AND MANY MANY MORE, including Cheddar, Jack and Swiss.

June 20, 2018

Longfellow Wayside Inn Grist Mills

Just off of Boston Post Road (Route 20), in Sudbury, Massachusetts, is historic Wayside Inn Grist Mill. This is a perfect place to have an afternoon picnic or for family photos.

This is the Longfellow's Wayside Inn Grist Mill, a reproduction of an 18th Century grist mill:

Longfellow Mill

Interesting Facts about the Mill and Area

  • Mill area was built in 1929 by John Blake Campbell (1890 - 1987).
  • The Mill was funded by Henry Ford and Associates.
  • The first ground corn was produced on Thanksgiving Day in 1929.
  • During it's peak, the Mill produced 5-tons of flour per year.
  • The flour was used by Pepperidge Farm from 1952 to 1967. The Logo for Pepperidge Farm is based on the Wayside Inn Grist Mill.
  • The mill produced flour for King Arthur Flour Company from 1967 to 1969.
  • In 1969, the Wayside Inn assumed full control of all the flour produced by the Mill.
  • Water from Josephine Brook powers the Mill
  • Added to the National Historical District in 1973
  • Today, the mill is only used to demonstrate how the 18th Century mill worked.
  • You can buy four produced by the Mill in the Wayside Inn gift shop.

Fall Picture Spot

During the Last week of September, and the first week of October, this is a perfect fall foliage picture spot. We have found that early Sunday mornings are the best time to visit to avoid the large crowds and to get the best sunlight.

The stream behind the Mill is a great place to get a mix of colors. There are plenty of places for families or kids to sit and have a picturesque background.

Signs by the Street Entrance

Longfellow's Wayside Inn Grist Mills Built in 1929. This historic reproduction is operated by the WAYSIDE INN, an educational, non-profit trust dedicated to the preservation and understanding of our past.

Hours: 9am to 5pm

Underneath is this sign:

Attention: Professional Photographers

The Wayside Inn Historic Site is a private, non-profit landmark property and all of its buildings and grounds are copyright protected. We welcome limited professional photography, but kindly request $25 donation per session to assist with the cost of maintaining the property.

Please make payment at the Front Desk at the Inn or in the Donation box in the Gristmill. Receipts are provided upon request. Please be courteous to all others using the grounds. Thank you for your cooperation.

June 13, 2018

Historic Markers in Orleans

In the Town of Orleans, Massachusetts, there are seventeen historic markers to remember some of the town historical pass histories. These were placed in 1974 - just before the United States Bicentennial Celebration. These markers were Architected by Bill Quinn.

One of the markers is at the end of River Road, near the town landing.

Ancient "Pochet Pond" Marker

Orleans Historical Marker

Historic Marker Reads

Ancient "Pocket Pond". Packet Landing; Passengers and Freight to and From New York City. Father of John Howard Payne (1792-1852) Author, "Home Sweet Home", migrated from here to New York where John was born.

Fun Facts about this Location

  • The building behind the sign has nothing to do with the historical marker. This is a private boathouse for a house on Lucy Lane.
  • The Marker still has the Bicentennial Celebration logo on it.
  • Bottom of the marker reads, "Officially Recognized Commemorative of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. License No. 76-19-0561. Authorized under public law 93-179"
  • There use to be a Grist Mill at this location, it was moved to the Heritage Plantation in Sandwich.
  • The mill was built using old wood from the original Congregational meeting house (approx. 1790)
  • Packet ships would deliver produce to Connecticut and New York from this location.
  • After John Payne was born in New York, the family moved back to Massachusetts.
  • The "Home Sweet Home" song was a big hit in the early part of the 20th century. Listen to Bing Crosby's version of the song.
  • According to the town records, you should be able to park 12 cars in the parking lot.

Orleans Marker Locations

Here a list of all the Bicentennial Markers in the Town of Orleans. Finding all these signs will make a fun scavenger hunt in Orleans Massachusetts:

  • Rock Harbor
  • Site of Higgins Tavern
  • Site of John Doane Mansion
  • Site of Giles Hopkins Homestead
  • Isaac Snow Homestead
  • Nauset Beach
  • Ancient "Pochet Pond"
  • Snow's Shore
  • Pleasant Bay
  • Site of Tidewater Grist Mill
  • French Cable Station
  • Orleans Oldest House
  • First Cape Cod Canal (Jeremiah's Gutter)
  • East Orleans Country Store
  • Home of Margaret A. Sanger
  • Jonathan Young Windmill
  • Site of Howard Johnson's
June 6, 2018

Butterfly Wings in Natick

Earlier this year the Boch Center ArtWeek was run. This is a state-wide celebration of the arts and 500 events were planned through-out the state.

One of the events occurred in Natick and was put on by the Highland Street Foundation. One of the highlights is the "Wings of the Butterfly painting.

Natick Butterfly

This is a cool painting on the side of the building, simply put your feet in the markers on the street and someone can take your picture as if you had butterfly wings.

There is a smaller butterfly 1/2-way down the street where kids can get their wings.

Finding the Wings of Butterfly Display

The paintings are done on the Baldwin Hill Art & Framing building in Downtown Natick. Specifically, the paintings are on the corner of Adams Street and Court Street (Across from the Middlesex Savings Bank)

The smaller butterfly is on the Helen's Handbags staircase on Adams Street.

July 1, 2017

Fred the Computer

Fred the Computer was a BBS computer that was setup by the Middlesex News. It was a way for people to read some of the newspaper articles before it went to print.

I found this introduction transcript on my computer. Might be useful for someone doing research on the old ?Fred the Computer? at Middlesex News.

This output was from March 19, 1993 (24 years, 3 months, 12 days ago):

Enter your FULL Name: Terry Barron 
Calling from (city, state)? Fitchburg, Ma.

Fred welcomes TERRY BARRON
Calling from FITCHBURG, MA.
Is this correct? Y

<A>IBM/ANSI     <B>IBM/generic  <C>Mac/Zterm    <D>Mac/RedRydr  <E>Mac/generic
<F>Tandy compat <G>Tandy CoCo   <H>Tandy TRS-80 <I>Atari/genric <J>VT-100/102

Enter letter of your terminal, or hit enter if not listed: C

Terminal profile set to:
ANSI codes allowed
IBM Graphics Allowed

Upper/Lower Case
Line Feeds Needed
0 Nulls after each <CR>
Do you wish to modify this? N
Do you wish to have a pause after each screen (normally Y)? Y
How many lines per screen (10-80, normally 24 or 25)? 25

Please Enter a 1-8 character Password to be used for future logons.   This
password may have any printable characters you wish.  Lower case is considered
different from upper case and embedded blanks are legal.  REMEMBER THIS
PASSWORD.  You will need it to log on again.

Your password? titanlike
Re-enter new password to verify: titanlike
You have read through message 0
Current last message is 7436
You are authorized 30 mins this call

Welcome! I'm Fred the Computer and I'm your computer connection to the
Middlesex News, MetroWest's hometown newspaper.

You can voice your opinions on virtually anything, read unusual and breaking
news stories and communicate with the Middlesex News (you can upload letters to
the editor and oped pieces, as well as subscribe to the paper).  In the
International Desk/Fidonet area, you can communicate with people across the
country and around the world on a wide variety of topics and in several
different languages.

I've tried to make myself as user-friendly as possible (Hi there!). Virtually
all commands are done with a single key-stroke, and most services on this
system come with some sort of explanation.

If you are new to tele-communicating, I, like most other computer bulletin
boards, or BBSs, use a specific way to show you commands: by putting them
inside brackets. For example, <2> means hit the "2" key on your keyboard. The
one exception is <CR>. That means "hit your carriage return key,'' rather than
type the letters C and R.

For a more detailed run-down of the various areas and commands, hit <H> at the
main menu or in the Op-Ed section. These will give you information on how to
write and leave messages, etc. If your computer supports ANSI codes, you can
get color menus by going into the Utility area (<U> off the main menu). Hit
<F> for formatting the way Fred looks and then hit A to toggle ANSI on. There
are also built-in help systems in the message and file-download areas.

If you want to talk to a human being about me (only good things, I hope!), you
can leave a message for Adam Gaffin, who keeps my screen clean, (and thinks
he's the system operator) when you log off, or you can call him during
business hours at 508-626-3968 (or toll-free at 1-800-982-4730, ext. 3968 --
but only from 508 and 617 area codes).

You can log off the system at any time by hitting <G>.


Please be aware that ALL messages, including private ones, can be read by  the
system operator, and that any messages that involve illegal activity will  be

All stories from Associated Press and the Scripps-Howard News Service on this
system are copyrighted by the respective wire services and may not be
reproduced or re-distributed without their permission.

Calls are limited to 30 minutes; but you can call up to three times a day and
spend a total of one hour on the system. For information on upgrading the
amount of time you can spend on the system by subscribing to Fred, please hit
S at the main menu.

I hope you enjoy and use me often. If you have any comments or suggestions,
please do not hesitate to let me know. Have fun!

-- Fred the Computer
                           MIDDLESEX NEWS MAIN LOBBY

<1> NEWSROOM: Tomorrow's headlines, Weirdnet, weather, calendar and more

<2> OPED: Your opinion

<3> LIBRARY: Documents, BBS/Online library lists, recipes and more

<4> MAILROOM: Subscribe to the News, upload letters, press releases, etc.

<5> INTERNATIONAL DESK: Fidonet conferences

<S>ubscribe to Fred!

  <H>elp; <U>tilities; <Y>ell for sysop; <Q>WK packets; <E>-mail; <G>oodbye

April 1, 2017

Acton's Discovery Museum

Tuck into a quiet neighborhood in Acton, Massachusetts is the Children's Discovery Museum. This very popular place is where kids can play. learn, and explore about various things.

Acton Discovery Museums

Changes are Coming

The original Children's Discovery Museum started from a 3-story Victorian house, built in 1880, that has 3,500 square feet of floor space in ten rooms. It opened in 1982.

In 1988, a new building was constructed in the backyard. The building, Science Discovery Museum, targets older kids where they could learn about science.

This winter the Victorian house part of the museum will be torn down. The Discovery Museum building will be expanded so that all museum exhibits will be under one roof.

Good Summer to visit!

If your kids had visited the Children's Discovery Museum in the past, this will be the last time they will get to go to the original museum. It's a good time to visit some of the favorite exhibits:

  • Play in the train room - How much is that trip to Boston?
  • Climb the wall and discover which ball track is faster. - Don't forgot to reset the dominos over the fireplace.
  • Try to make a life size bubble in the Water room
  • Swim up the stairs
  • Try to catch the foam falling out of the ceiling
  • Read a story by the pretend fire in the Backyard at Night room
  • Play in the Adventure Fort
  • Head up to the Attic and the Ship Room

Discovery Grid

Good News

According to the website, all the popular exhibits in the original museum will be in the new one:

Every experience in the current Children's Discovery Museum balls and ramps, water, air, Bessie's Diner, the Ship Room, trains, light & color, Backyard at Night will exist in the new building. Along with what will become new favorites!

While it's nice that they are keeping the exhibits, it won't be the same as it was in the old building. I would recommend at least stopping by and checking it out for the last time.

Bessie's the big, green dinosaur birthday is at the end of June. They might be having a celebration around June 24-25. It's a fun time to go since they have an Outdoor Dinosaur Dig, Dinosaur Egg hung, Face Painting and you can give Bessie a bath.

Good Bye House2

August 13, 2016



On Lower County Road in Dennisport is Bastians, a great place to get all your beach needs. You can find all sorts of floats, beach toys, and Cape Cod souvenirs. You can't miss the store, it's on the corner of Shad Hole Road and Lower County Road, just look for all the floatation devices in front of the store.

The store is open every day from Memorial Day weekend, until Labor Day. In September, the store is open on the weekends until it closes down on Columbus Day.

Hey I Worked There!

If you stopped in the store during the summer of 1988 or 1989, you probably would have seen me working the register or inflating customer beach flotation devices.

I worked with Mr. Bastian on stocking the shelves and helping customers find things in the store.

I never really thought of it as a job as it was just a fun place to work and meet interesting people.

Some memories that come into mind from working there:

Cell phones weren't around in the late 1980's and people would stop by to use the row of payphone booths on the other side of the parking lot. (The booths are no longer there.)
The store was once broken into by someone unlocking one of the front sliding doors during business hours. The thieves came back at night to steal some things. Thankfully the cash wasn't kept in the store at night. The store lost some merchandise but nothing serious. I thought it was pretty gutsy that they would break in via the front.
There was a time were a customer stole one of the flotation rafts that was in front of the store. Mr. Bastian asked me who sold the raft since it was pretty ugly. I told him that it wasn't me as I was working the air pump machine. The girl behind the register said she didn't either. I saw the car with the raft pull out the parking lot, and told Mr. Bastian, "There it is!" I then took chase of the car. When I got caught up to the car, I told the passenger that they didn't buy the float, she said they did. I didn't get them to stop, but I looked at their license plate number and remembered it. I got back in the store to write it down. Meanwhile, Mr. Bastian took chase in his car, caught up with them down the street. He told us later that the people pull over, there was a lot of yelling, and he got $20.

Unique things about Bastians

Walking through the store, you see that it is a very typical old fashion Cape Cod souvenir store. They have a lot of strange and unique souvenirs. I am pretty sure that there is plenty of merchandise in the store today from when I worked there.

Some merchandise you'll encounter at Bastians:

  • Cape Cod souvenir wooden boxes
  • Penny Candy (near the register)
  • Used Paperback Books
  • Bamboo Beach Mats (these were very popular!)
  • Cheap kites
  • Puzzles
  • Modeling kits
  • Stationary

Did you know: You can bring your own flotation devices to Bastians to be inflated. Bastians would inflate anything that you purchase in the store and anything that you bring into the store for free!

Bastians Store is For Sale

Sadly, Mr. Bastian died in 2007. Every Summer since his family has been running the store. They have since decided that it was time to sell the business. If nobody buys the business in the next couple of week, this could very well be the final days of Bastians.

A note on Facebook:

A rare Opportunity to own your own Business!
After 50+ Bastians 5 & 10 of Dennisport (BUSINESS ONLY) is being sold. A message from the owner: "After having the pleasure of serving the public for the past 50+ years, Bastians in Dennisport will be closing. We were fortunate to meet many wonderful people over these years who became loyal customers. We have enjoyed watching generations of children grow up and bring their grandchildren and their children. Seeing your familiar faces every year has given us much satisfaction and we appreciate your kind words and sharing of memories. Should anyone wish to explore continuing the "Bastian's Tradition", Please contact Crystal @ Joly McAbee & Weinert for details Gerry Bastian

Click on image for a larger version.

If you have the opportunity to continue the tradition, I would suggest looking into the opportunity!

November 23, 2015

Natick Mall Santa

If you plan on heading to the Natick Mall during the next few weeks to take pictures with Santa Claus. You should visit the Natick Mall website and reserve your spot and to pre-pay for your photo package to save $5.

Natick mall

Ya, $5 isn?t much savings but at least it?s something. Besides doing this all online will save you a lot of time at the Mall. You won?t have to worry about filling out any forms and enjoy the whole moment, which could be worth way more than the $5 savings.

Santa will be at the Mall from now until Christmas Eve! Expect longer waiting times on the weekend.

September 10, 2015

Food Tour of Waterbury Vermont

In the Fall of 2014, we took a ride up to Stowe, Vermont from Massachusetts. In that trip, we accidentally ran into 3 Vermont food establishments and created a mini food tour. I thought I would share it in case other people wanted to have a bit of fun on the way to Stowe and see some of Waterbury VT.

Ben and Jerry

This is the place that people go to see how their favorite ice cream is made. You can get a tour of the factory and get a sample of the flavor of the day - not really free since you do have to pay $6 for the tour. It's a fun tour where you learn a lot about the history and culture of Ben and Jerry.

Key tip: When you first arrive at the factory, get your tour tickets first. They do book out pretty quickly! In fact if you arrive later in the day all the remaining tours may have already been sold out. Still worth a stop for the gift shop and ice cream selection.

The souvenir store is great, they have all the usual collectables; Pens, T-shirts, toys and so much more. It's a great place to stock up. Yet, It's a bit smaller than I would have thought it to be.

Be sure to visit the ice cream graveyard and try to remember when you had all the different flavors that Ben & Jerry's don't make any more. There is a small playground for kids to work off their energy from eating ice cream.

If your a chocolate ice cream fan, here's something fun to try - When you place your ice cream order at the ice cream stand, let them know that you really enjoy Chocolate ice cream. Then ask for the most  chocolaty Ben & Jerry's ice cream. See which one of Ben and Jerry's has the most chocolate taste.

Cabot Cheese

After stopping for ice cream get back in the car and head up a bit on route 100 and visit the World of Cabot.

You'll find a Cabot Cheese store next to a wine shop. This isn't a factory tour type of place, it's basically Cabot retail establishment. However, there's plenty of free cheese samples and lots of different crackers to try. It's worth the stop for all the cheese samples.

This is a good place to find a lot of other Vermont favorites here too such as Maple Syrup, thick slice bacon and extra cheese popcorn. They do have some Cabot souvenirs to add to your food tour.

It's a good place to broaden your horizons on different cheeses. Don't eat too much as there's still one more food stop before arriving in Stowe.

Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Have you ever been to the Vermont building at Big E in East Springfield, Mass? Did you try the Apple Crisp? You'll be happy to know the last stop on this food tour is Cold Hollow Cider Mill. This is the company behind those awesome Apple Crisp desert treats.

Once you walk in, you'll smell someone cooking up a fresh batch of Apple Cinnamon donuts. Look around, because there is great amount of food and gifts to pick up here. In fact, you can by a kit to make their Apple Crisp at home.

This is a really good place to buy premium maple syrup in all sorts of sizes. (Really some one needs a gallon size?)  You can buy a personal size bottle which kids will like.

In the back of the store is where you can watch them make the world best Apple cider. You can even try a free sample.

There is an active bees hive in the middle of the store. Kids will like watching the busy bees in action. No chance of getting a bee sting, everything is behind a glass.

Fun Day!

Those are the three fun places that we discovered on our Waterbury VT food trip to Stowe, Vermont. It's was a long trip and stopping at those places helped break up the trip. It also made it a fun journey to go back sometime soon. Next time we'll not eat as much before the tour.

September 2, 2015

Katsiroubas Bros. Truck

If your driving around the Boston area, you may see a green Katsiroubas Bros. Truck. They are delivering some fresh produce to some of the finer restaurants in New England. On the truck you may see a little note by the driver's side door, "In Loving Memory of NPK." This is in reference to Nicholas P Katsiroubas the CEO of Katsiroubas Bros who died on May 21, 2013.

Nicholas was a graduate of Babson College. He was CEO of Katsiroubas Bros and his dedication grew the business into one of the leading produce and specialty suppliers in the North East. You can read more about his Bio on the Katsiroubas website.

Oddly enough that "NPK" actually has a different meaning among gardeners. NPK refers to the Nitrigen, Phosphorus and Potassium amount that is used in fertilizer.