New England blog postings

New England Postings

Earliest: March 14, 2003Latest: July 8, 2020Total: 82
July 8, 2020

Minuteman Statue in Concord Massachusetts

One of the most famous statues in Concord, Massachusetts is the Minuteman statue at the Old North Bridge.

Minuteman Desktop
Minuteman Mobile

Eight things I Learned About the Statue

Installed On -The statue was Installed on April 19, 1875, as a permanent memorial for the centennial of the fight at the Old North Bridge. President Ulysses S. Grant was at the dedication. On the same day, the statues of John Hancock and Samuel Adams statues were raised in Lexington.

Rebuild the Old North Bridge First - Prior to the statue being placed on the current location, the town of Concord had to put up a new bridge. The original bridge was taken down in 1793 and there was never a need to put up a new one.

Statue Specs - The statue weighs approximately 1500 pounds. It was cast from ten discarded brass cannons donated to the town from Congress. The granite base came from a quarry in Westford. The Ames Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Massachusetts did the casting - you can see the signature on the base of the statue back.

Design By - Created by Daniel Chester French for free of charge as he was an unknown artist. He was only 23 when he created the Minuteman statue. He was paid $1,000 ($22,909.56 in 2019). That money came from the will of Ebenezer Hubbard, a local farmer who lived in downtown Concord.

Specific Location - The statue was placed on the spot where Acton Minuteman Captain Issac Davis and Abner Hosmer were killed when the British troops fired.

Pedestal Work - John Cole of Westford did the pedestal work. He was paid $975 for his work.

Missing Statue - In early January 1975, in a secret town selectman meeting, a vote was made to approve the National Park Service to remove the top of the minuteman statue so a cast can be made on it. On January 16, 1975, the statue was taken down. At the time people were told it was one of the National Park Services bicentennial projects. The statue was placed back on the pedestal on April 1st - plenty of time for the town's bicentennial celebration. It was later revealed that the cast was made because of a bomb was found at the base of the statue on November 26, 1973. The National Park Service wanted a cast of the statue just in case the original was destroyed or removed illegally.

New Cast Request - At a Town Hall meeting in November 1992, a request by the National Guard was made to make another cast of the minuteman so that a new statue could be placed in Washington D.C. That request was denied.

July 1, 2020

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

On the backroads of Holliston, Massachusetts is the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Its not only a special place to attend Mass but a place to walk around and be inspired by the 30-acre shrine.

This is the home of the Xaverian Missionaries.

Christmas Lights Fatima
Christmas Lights on Display - This year marks the 60th year of lights.

Shrine Mobile

Six Things I Learned about the Shrine

Established in 1950 by a group of priests from Italy. In August 1952, a group of Xaverian Missionary Fathers purchased a 15-room house that had a barn and 23-acres in Holliston. This would be the site of the current shrine.

In July 1948 - Archbishop Richard J. Cushing gave approval to the building of an outdoor shrine on the seminary grounds.

The priests and seminarians designed landscaped much of the work of the shrine.

The Rosary Walk is a 900-foot-long string of boulders fastened by a marine chain as a reminder to pray the rosary every day. The chains are connected to an anchor that was donated by the Navy in memory of President John F. Kennedy. The string of boulders is said to be the largest rosary in the world. Each boulder bears a plaque inscribed with the Hail Mary prayer.

Every thirteenth of the month is "Mary Day" - which honors the appearance of Mary to the children on the thirteenth of each month.

Christmas Lights Tradition - Since 1960, the shrine grounds is decorated with Christmas lights. Hundreds of visitors visit to check out the light display. Lights cover almost half of the 30-acre shrine.

Finding the Shrine

The Our Lady of Fatima Shrine is located at 101 Summer Street, Rte. 126 in Holliston. Note: Check out the satelite view on Google Maps.

June 24, 2020

Erikson's Ice Cream

One of our favorite local ice cream stand is Erikson's Ice Cream. The classic ice cream stand is located at the border of Stow and Maynard Massachusetts.

They have a large selection of fresh ice creams to select from. They have Gluten Free cones too!

Erikson Desktop
Erikson Mobile

Some of the flavors they are featuring in 2020. They have a list of flavors on their website, this is my list from a recent visit:

Banana
Black Raspberry
Black Raspberry Oreo
Butter Crunch
Butter Pecan
Cake Batter
Chocolate
Chocolate Chip
Cookie Dough
Chocolate Mint
Coffee
Coffee Oreo
Cotton Candy
Frozen Pudding
Ginger
Gram Central Station
Grape Nut
Green Monsta
HeathBar
Maple Walnut
Mint Chip
Mocha Almond
Mocha Chip
Orange Pineapple
Oreo
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Oreo
Peppermint Stick
Pistachio
Roasted Butter Almond
Rum Butter
Strawberry
Toasted Walnut Fudge
Vanilla
Wintergreen Chip
Salted Carmel Choc Pretzel

Specials

Cherry Vanilla
German Chocolate Cake
Almond Joy
Rockin' Rolo - Chocolate Caramel
Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Pretzel
Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Chocolate Mint Oreo
Key Lime
Purple Cow
Maynard Black Bear
TollHouse Cookie
Orange Creamsicle
Lavender
Cinnamon Granola Crunch
Strawberry Cheese Cake
Brownie Batter
Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup
Vanilla With M&M
Lime Sherbet
Strawberry Cake Crunch
Coconut
Sea Salt Caramel Truffle
Cookie Monster

Finding Erikson Ice Cream

Erikson is located on 12 Great Road in Maynard, MA. It's located about a mile and a half from downtown Maynard on Route 62 and 117.

June 17, 2020

Historic Deerfield Massachusetts

If your traveling through I-91 in central Massachusetts, one of the towns you'll be driving through in Deerfield Massachusetts. Most people stop at the Yankee Candle flagship store - located just off of exit 24 on I-5.

Did you know that just down the road is Old Deerfield Village Historic District? It's a fun place to learn more about Old New England. A few years ago we accidentally discovered this place when we took the wrong exit off of I-91.

Town Office Deefield Mobile
Deerfield Desktop

Some Characters you may see around Deerfield

Things I Learned About the Historic Deerfield

The outdoor museum was founded in 1952 to teach people about the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley.

Admission tickets to all the buildings is $18 for adults and $5 for kids.

The Old Deerfield Village is a subsection of the actual Deerfield town. The village has one major street with several cross streets. The main street is called "The Street."

What's interesting is that the street was a real street at one time. In 1670 a surveyor laid out the mile-long road, the village and the surrounding meadows for farming, a town plan that survives perfectly intact today.

There are twelve preserved houses to tour. The oldest house is from 1730. You can tour three centuries of American History and discover how things have changed over the years.

Twenty-four of the house that is on "The Street" were standing when the Revolutionary War began in 1775, and 42 houses predate the Civil War.

Guest can check out authentic furniture, silver and other historic decorations.

The Henry N. Flynt Library is a special collection library perfect for people researching early New England life. You can learn a lot more about the lives of people in the Connecticut River Valley.

This unique old houses and layouts are a perfect place for photographers looking for the ideal New England town.

June 10, 2020

Newport Wave Sculpture

When your walking around downtown Newport, Rhode Island you may see the Wave statue near the waterfront. This is a popular tourist photo spot for selfies and family photos.

Some people bring socks to put on the statue for a bit of humor - mostly during the cold winter months and late-night visits.

The Newport Wave

Four Things I Learned

  1. Official Name is "The Wave."
  2. No one knows who's feet it is supposed to be in the wave.
  3. The bonze sculpture is 7 and half feet tall and 8 feet wide.
  4. The sculpture was requested by the nearby marketplace - Perry Mill Market. It was don by Kay Worden in 1983.
June 3, 2020

Lobster Claw

The Lobster Claw in Orleans, Massachusetts is one of our favorite summer tradition. For many New Englanders the summer Cape Cod trip isn't complete until we visit the Lobster Claw.

Some Memories

I can remember enjoying steamers with the family when I was a kid. I remember getting a bakes stuff lobster and enjoying dipping the lobster in the butter.

On some really busy summer nights, we had to wait upstairs at the bar and enjoy some appetizers before we could go back downstairs and have a meal.

Then there was this summer night when we ate during a really bad rainstorm, and the back doors swung open. It was scary. But we still got our food and it was still yummy.

I remember when they didn't have a gift shop - ya we been going there for a long time.

The seafood seems to just taste better here.

Lobster Claw Orleans MA
Lobster Claw Orleans MA

Five Things I Learned About the Lobster Claw

  1. Opened in 1962 by Don and Marylou Berig
  2. They still own the place, and chances are you'll get a visit by Don asking you how your meal is. Wow-what a great restaurant! After 58 years he still wants to know how things are going.
  3. The summer of 1999 might have been the best summer they had. Cape Cod traffic was at its peak and Don Berig told the Cape Cod Times that his sales were up 15 to 20 percent over the previous year. (I couldn't find any other reference to higher year over year sales.)
  4. In 2016, the Lobster Claw opened on April 1st with a short staff because of Visa delays. According to the Boston Herald, in 2016 the restaurant employed 40 people. About 13 of them come from Jamaica as part of their summer help. The owners worked really hard to keep the restaurant open while other places had to close until the Visa delays were settled. They were working 14 hour days!
  5. In 2019, the Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, stopped in as he was enjoying a weekend on Cape Cod.
  6. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the business to focus on take-out orders. They are using DoorDash to deliver the food to customers - no word if they will deliver to Nauset Beach.

Check out the Lobster Claw

The next time your driving through Orleans, Massachusetts be sure to check out the Lobster Claw. I recommend trying a bowl of New England Clam Chowder with some Steamed Little Necks.

Enjoy the afternoon, and go have a beer and a Cup of Clam Chowder. Enjoy the Cape Cod charm

If you're celebrating something special you'll want to try the New England Clambake - 1 1/4 lbs Boiled Lobster, Steamed Clams, Corn, French Fries, and Coleslaw. You can forget about going to Sundae School after eating this.

May 27, 2020

Wingaersheek Beach

Last summer we ventured out looking for a good ocean beach. We heard a lot of good things about Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, Mass. We decided to pack up the car and check it out.

The beach is .6-mile long but has limited parking. It features beautiful views of the Annisquam River. There are plenty of large rocks along the shoreline to explore sea life. It's New England water, so it will be cold.

Wingaersheek Beach Desktop
Wingaersheek Beach Mobile

Things We Learned about Wingaersheek Beach

  1. Highly recommend arriving early for the best parking spaces. (Best to arrive before 9 am!)
  2. Pay attention to the tides time before you go so you don?t pick a spot and have to move later. (Use the Annisquam Lobster Cove Tide Information on the Massachusetts Marine Transe Tide Chart)
  3. There is a snack shop just off the beach. We brought sandwiches in via cooler. The snack shop was a long walk from the beach and we only visited it late in the day to get ice cream.
  4. Just off the distance is the Annisquam Lighthouse. It opened in 1801 and is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Gloucester peninsula.
  5. It cost $35 to park at Wingaersheek Beach on the weekends. (2020 Parking Rates)
  6. The roads near the beach are very narrow. The nearest gas station is 6.6 miles away! Make sure you have plenty of gas!
  7. Don't forget to bring games to play while on the beach.

Directions to the Beach

Easy Directions to the Beach

Take Rte. 128 to Exit 14. At the bottom of the ramp, take a right onto Rte. 133. About a mile on the left you will see a small traffic island with a sign saying Wingaersheek Beach. Take this left. This is Concord St. Follow until you reach another traffic island on the corner of Concord and Atlantic St. Take a right. Follow this along to the beach.

May 20, 2020

Samuel De Champlain

Samuel De Champlain was a European explorer that traveled back and forth from Europe to the "New World." He is credited for discovering Quebec and New France on July 3, 1608. (New France is the territory that people call New England today.)

In Chatham, Massachusetts there's a monument where Samuel De Champlain made his first landing.

Samuel De Champlain Chatham
Samuel De Champlain Chatham

Fun Facts about the Monument

  1. The monument was installed as part of Chatham 250th Celebration on August 25, 1962.
  2. During the unveiling ceremony about 40 residents did a re-enactment of Samuel De Champlain and the American Indians.
  3. The plaque was installed next to the monument in 2012 - during the celebration of Chatham's 300th anniversary.
  4. On the plaque is a map of Chatham that Samuel De Champlain made in 1608.
  5. The Monument and Plaque is located next to Chatham Harbor Master.
  6. The small parcel land that the monument is on is owned by the Town of Chatham. The fence area is only 435.6 sf.
  7. After landing on the shores, he called the area "Port Fortune." A room at the Old Harbor Inn has that name.

Text on the Plaque

Here's the text of the plaque that was installed in 2012:

Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer, navigator, map maker, journalist, artist, and soldier. In 1605 and again in 1606 he sailed from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod exploring and mapping much of the coast along the way while searching for a site for a permanent French settlement. In his 1605 expedition, he landed along the coast of Cape Cod at Nauset near the present location of the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center. In October of 1606, he returned, this time visiting the shores of Monomoit, now Chatham. He described the harbor as not being deep enough to start a settlement. Although he stayed for only ten days, Champlain explored the land, described it in his journal, and made a map and drawings of what he saw thus leaving us a wealth of information that was so accurate that we can still recognize Mill Pond, Oyster Pond, and Great Hill today. He described the land as hilly and wooded with oak, cedar, and a few pines. Wild grapes were common as were beach plums. The harbor and bay were filled with every variety of fish and oysters. Game birds were also plentiful. The natives were not so much great hunters as good farmers. Primary crops were beans, corn, pumpkins, and squash as well as tobacco.

During his stay, Champlain traded iron hatchets and knives for tobacco and wampum and the explorers were supplied with fish, corn, and beans. Although the interaction between the French and the Wampanoag, in the beginning, was positive, a moment of misunderstanding regarding a hatchet ultimately led to a deadly confrontation which resulted in the loss of life on both sides.

Champlain sailed back to Canada and never returned to Cape Cod. In 1608 he went on to found the City of Quebec and became known as the Father of New France.

May 13, 2020

Salem Witch Museum

One of the popular places in Salem, Massachusetts is the Salem Witch Museum. Its a place where people can learn all about the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. It's a perfect first stop when you arrive in Salem, Massachusetts.

People learn about the Salem Witch Trials through a three-dimensional audiovisual presentation with life-size figures of the events surrounding the audience. You learn all about the events of the summer of 1692.

Salem Witch Musem Winter

Ten Things I Have Learned About the Museum

  1. The building was built in 1825 as the Second Unitarian Church of Salem. It was used as a Church until 1902. It was unoccupied for many years and it 1957 the Salem Antique Car Museum took over the building.
  2. On October 22, 1969, the was a major fire at the museum. The fire caused $300,000 worth of damages to the building and property. Many priceless cars were totally destroyed. The fire completely destroyed the museum.
  3. In 1971, Thomas and Holly Mulvihill purchased the building to start the Salem Witch Museum.
  4. For many years, they owned a gift shop in downtown Salem. Every day tourists would come and visit Salem and asked them about the history of the Witches in Salem. They felt a need for a museum to help educate people about what really happened at the Salem Witch trials.
  5. It cost the Mulvihills $250,000 to restore the building from the fire. ($1,651,990.98 in 2020 value) Once the base of the building was set up, they hired a bunch of local artists to create all the cast of characters on display.
  6. The Salem Witch Museum first opened its doors on May 8, 1972.
  7. There is a new show every 1/2 hour and each show lasts 22-minutes. We have found that for young kids (under 6-year-old) it isn't a great show - some kids may get scared because the room is dark most of the time.
  8. The narrator of the show is author Charles M Fair - an American neuroscience researcher and writer. From his obituary - "He was a multitalented man with a varied career: editor, poet, banana importer, computer-company executive, scriptwriter/ narrator, historian, and neurology researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital."
  9. Since 1980, the museum management has been operated by Biff Michaud. Biff is responsible for helping turn Salem into the Halloween central. Working alongside the Salem Chamber of Commerce he helped create "Haunted Happenings." An event that started out as a one-day family celebration that is now a month-long party.
  10. The Museum is in Fallout 4 "Museum of Witchcraft." The museum is located in the northeastern area of the Commonwealth in section 2287.
May 6, 2020

Orleans Bell

In Orleans, at the intersection of Academy Plaza and Massachusetts Route 28, is a small island. There are many war memorials on this small piece of land. One thing that people may not see is an old Bell next to the large Pine Tree.

Orleans Bell

Sign on the Bell

This is the engraving that is on the Bell

This Bell Rode a Buoy off Race Point from 1941 - 1969 and was given to the Orleans Historic Society by the U.S. Coast Guard

The bell has the year 1938 inscribed on it.

Interesting Bell

This was once a Bell that warns boats that land was nearby (Provincetown, Massachusetts) was nearby. The buoy is located 9 nautical miles (About 10.3 miles) north of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

This particular bell is significant because this bell was in the waters during World War 2. On June 12, 1942, a German U-87 manage to arrive at Boston Harbor. The sub managed to sink two ships that were in port off Provincetown killing 93 men.

Most likely the German navigators on that U-87 certainly used the sounds of the bell as part of their navigation to Boston.

This bell was given to the town of Orleans because the "Old Harbor U.S. Life Saving Station" that is located in Provincetown, Massachusetts was originally located in Orleans.

National Data Buoy Center

Today the United States Coast Guard has an advanced buoy that not only warns boats of the nearby land but also gathers very important scientific data.

You can read all the latest Wind Speeds, Wave Heights, pressure change, and other key critical information. The buoy is now maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.