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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Uncovering Our Local History

There is a wonderful, old wooden cabinet at the Joshua Hyde Library way in the back on the main floor. Inside this piece of furniture are stacks of old photographs, and folders of information about our town. The folders are filled with personal histories, and histories written by different people here in town over the years.

This wooden treasure chest contains an entire afternoons worth of flipping through, perusing, and for those of you that grew up here in town, memories.

I strongly suggest you to check out this cabinet.

There is much more Sturbridge history at the library. Much of it is in a special area that requires permission to view, but well worth it "poppin' the question, "Can I go up in the balcony?"

Other places that hold much many more memories, and history of our town, and the area, is our homes. Up in that old trunk in the attic, in a overstuffed kitchen drawer, or an old desk are the photographs, albums, scrapbooks, and shoe boxes full of letters that document our towns existence. You may not have looked at your archives in many years, or only heard about them from your grandparents, or parents, but it's time togo and take a look. Otherwise, where does the history go? Is it still history if it not shared, and sits hidden away? Well, yes, just ask King Tut, but its just not the same. The neat thing about history is sharing it, and relating it to ourselves today.

History is to be learned from. History is there to make our todays better. History offers us the rights, and wrongs of yesterday to learn from, and a chance to have a "do over" today. History also offers so much more than the stated obvious. It offers us a road map of our journey on this rock. Super highway road map history of the world, or the trip-tix version of our local history, it's still a map of where we have been, and where we may go at the next fork.

It is good to share that past with the present. It's one way to insure, or at least guide us, as we meander along.

Another thing it does is connect our today with a today of long ago. No particular scholarly reason needed for that connection, it's just nice to view photographs of familiar places, and see others enjoying them as we do today.

So, here is your homework assignment: go ransack your attic and find your history, and if you find something you would like to share, please send it along.

Here is your chance to be the teacher.

Photo: Main Street in Fiskdale

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