Saturday, May 2, 2015

Meddlin' Around Mid Mass

Did my usual visit over at Giff's this morning. Practicing with my new camera. Inspections are starting to pick up over there, but if Bill does as many as last year, he is going to get hammered at the end of the month. It will look like Sturgis in Whitinsville is my prediction. Maybe a hot dog cart is in order and make it an annual event. They will come from all over the US. Hmmmm a dream but isn't that where all this stuff starts.

After lunch and after hmm hawing about going out this afternoon the twin FJR's took off from Uxbridge, heading for Charlton MA. Now I have to warn you this is a pretty boring write up and the ride itself was about grabbing some towns before we head for St Louis.

Not a lot of history about Charlton other than it separated from Oxford in 1755 so it is kinda of old for US standards. About a year ago I walked Main Street documenting the Charlton Center Historic District. My way of getting some exercise, get out doors, avoid work around the house/yard, and take some photos. Of course we took the long way to get there.

EXTRA EXTRA Read All About It... one of my readers let me know that John "Grizzly" Adams is buried in Bay Path Cemetery, which is right down the street from the Library. It is believed P.T. Barnum commissioned the creation of his tombstone.

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Next up are the Warren's (Warren and West Warren). Impressive, Warren was settled in 1664 and originally named Western. On March 13, 1834, the town was renamed Warren in honor of General Joseph Warren, who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War. When I first started chasing stuff, OSJ had his own form of Treasure Hunts. I got into the chase on that one late. He had this cryptic clue which included phrases like foggy bottom, and other stuff. When you put all the clues together one concluded it was Warren G Harding. The objective was to capture all the Warrens in New England, first one to do it got a bunch of points. I hit them all in one day, which was just shy of 1,000 miles. When I got home I realized I grabbed the West Warren Post Office and had to head back out to Warren, MA to get a pic of Warren. I wasn't about to be disqualified for getting the wrong town.

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While at the Warren Package Store took a couple of shots of more stately buildings there.

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Ware, named after a town in Hertforshire, England. Ware came to be known nation-wide as "The Town That Can’t Be Licked." when it's cotton mills were folding. During the American Revolution there were at least eight taverns and several inns in the area. Two of the most famous were Ebenezer Nye’s tavern and John Downing’s. This place is one of their relatives. (ok I am taking some literary license here)

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In 1762, General Timothy Ruggles, one of the leading Tories of New England, introduced the Hardwick Fair, now the oldest annual fair in the United States. The fair wasn't open, but there is an AR in Hardwick.

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The Barre's. Sounds like a TV show competing against the Partridge Family, Mod Squad and All in the Family in the 70's. Had to come up with that one because I could not find anything about the Barre's that was particularly interesting. Oh oh there is a Revere Bell in the old town hall.

The Barres

In South Barre sits this old mill partly up, partly torn down. Not sure which direction it is headed ~ restoration or razing.

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I love general stores.

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Figured it was time to throw in a scenic shot to not make this blog entry a total bore.

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Hubbardston. I have been here a couple times for Grand Tours, Double Down, Tons and Burgs, From Wiki Hubbardston is described by historians as a poor town, sparsely settled and almost wholly agricultural, but having sawmills, potash works, and cottage industries such as the making of palm-leaf hats. But they did corner the market on palm-leaf hats. I wonder where they got the palm leaves.

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Last stop is Gardner. This was grab the first place and go. Gardner's big chair was a bonus location in one of the IBA Big Dance, you know the one 14,000 miles in 10 days grueling rally. Gardner is known as the "Chair City" and "The Furniture Capital of New England", due to its long history in furniture production. By 1910 it had 20 chair factories which produced 4 million chairs per year. It was also noted for silversmithing.

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Remnants of the Winter of 2015 and to think they even make the stuff.

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Water is so peaceful

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Well Gardner was the last stop for Pirate Towns. There was the Tag I got hooked into from GLMC Find a man on a horse statue. There were 2 that came to mind, one in Worcester right by the old courthouse and the other in Milford, MA. Opted for the Milford one. Got home, went to post my horse and guy and was BRUCED !! All part of the game.

One reader, Bettye-Jean Roy told me that this statute was sculpted by Daniel Chester French. Daniel also did Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in DC. Mr. French also has a house (Chesterwood) out in the western part of Massachusetts.

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Quick 135 miles for 10 towns today. Not bad for an afternoon ride.

T 2015 05 02

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