Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It Starts With a Simple Thought...

There is a poll running in the margins of this blog asking the readers to vote for the the view they consider the best here in town. For the interest of space constraints, I could only list a few choices, but I want to give everyone a chance to offer up their own place here.

Let me get you started with a few more of the places I enjoy, and then let you take it away.

1) Drive down Holland Road for about a 1/2 mile, and look for a sign on the right reading "Old Trolley Trail". Drive up there and park in the small parking area. At the other end of the parking area is the start of a trail that will follow the old trolley line to the Quinebaug River. At the end of the trail there is a permanent bench on which you can sit, and stare off into the river. The remnants of the old trolley bridge are still here. After you rest a bit, you can either go back the way you came, or follow the river bank towards the dam, and then follow the trails to the trolley trail again. The photo at the top left shows the bridge just after it was built.

2) Once you are done at the Trolley Trail, go back onto Holland Road, and head towards Holland. Not far down the road is a small area on the left side of the road. A couple of poles hold a cable across a grass covered old road. Turn around up the street at Douty Road and head back, and park here on the side of the road, and wander on in along the river. The river comes rushing down form East Brimfield Lake and over many large boulders. The trees grown right to the rivers edge, often with their knarly roots exposed and growing over the large rocks. The evergreens give the illusion that you are much further north than you are. In the fall, the colors are amazing, and in the spring with the run off from the dam, the sights and sounds of the water rushing by is something to experience.

3) The Tantiusques on Leadmine Road. This Trustees of Reservations property offers a great walk to the old graphite mining area. Leadmine Road offers views, old cellar holes, stone walls along its path that remind us that others lived here long ago, and before the Europeans arrived. Go to: for more information on this special area.

Now, it's your turn. Offer a place in town in the comment section, then forward the post to a friend, and ask them to do the same.

The purpose is to generate thought, then thought leads to conversation, and things being said like, "I didn't know that place existed! Wow." Before long we have a whole lot of people wanting to share what we have with others. Friends from out of town come by for a hike, they tell friends, and they come. They shop and take in OSV, grab lunch, and maybe watch a wedding on the common.

Get to know your town, share your views, and tell others. My hope is that in a short while we can generate a whole lot of interest in the area to attract more folks to enjoy it, to add infrastructure like trails, and bike paths, and permanent scenic vistas. The more people that come to enjoy, the more will be in town to discover the other things we have to offer, like some of the best darn shops and restaurants west of Boston.

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