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, March 21, 2013

A Common View Lesson

Both of the photographs below were taken within a short time of each other.  Both have the trolley tracks running to Southbridge.  Both show a view of the Town Common, one looking east, the other looking to the west.  The iron water trough that once stood at the entrance to Charlton Street, and was sold for scrap during WWI, is seen as well.

Two different perspectives of the same scene.  Two different points of view reveal an entirely different picture.  There's a lesson in that alone.

Little has changed in each view.  Yes, the tracks are long gone, and the side roads make a cleaner arrival onto Main Street, but the area is essentially unchanged.  In so many ways this is a good thing.  We have kept our character while changing as the world around us demanded us to such as widening Main Street to accommodate larger vehicles, and more of them.

We've done well in most respects.  We've kept one eye on who we are, while keeping the other eye on who we want to be.  It's not always easy.  Sometimes, it's not done well at all, but we keep trying.  There are some vigilant folks that keep us on track.  They remind others of what is important, and how to cherish the past, while realizing the present, and embracing our future.

We need those individuals, otherwise the center of town would look exactly the same as it did in 1899.  Quaint, but unworkable.

Watch those in the town hall map out our future from behind their tables.  Input your opinion, keeping in mind that their voice is not the only voice.  They speak for us, and they act for us.  They also need reminders of this at times.  If you are not satisfied with their actions, words, or the direction they are taking us, then speak up, and share your feelings beyond the person across from you at breakfast.  It is also just as important to acknowledge the things you are happy with.


  1. Thanks for this glimpse into our past, helping to keep things real. We often tend to romanticize how things were and build expensively from that. It's good to see the truth in the photographs.

  2. I don't see the brick sidewalks do you have a different veiw?


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