Category Archives: Norumbega

Norumbega Tower (Weston, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 30, 2017

Location: Norumbega Rd, Weston, MA (about 20 minutes west of Boston, MA)

Hours: Accessible every day, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: Parking is difficult.  There is no parking area and the road is pretty narrow.  So, pulling over isn’t recommended.  I found a parking lot around the corner from the tower on South St.  There is also a parking garage on South St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: 38 foot tower built as a tribute to the Norse

IMG_4170

Once considered part of  a Norse Village, Weston, MA, has a very special tribute lying just across from the winding Charles River.  While the stone tribute still stands there to commemorate the suspected Norse village of Norumbega (a legendary Norse fort city), the name of the area is no longer.  Weston must have been easier to pronounce.  To preserve the Viking history of the area, the tower was built on that ground as a tribute to the Norse history.

Legend has it that Eben Norton Horsford, an American scientist best known for reformulating baking powder (thank goodness for that), was convinced Fort Norumbega.  Horsford was convinced Leif Erikson had discovered America and this drove his interest in Norse history.  He commissioned several works to commemorate the Norse explorer and the Norse people.

Erected in 1889 , Norumbega Tower is a hidden gem located just west of Boston, MA.  The tower stands 38 foot tower and is made of mortared field stones with a stone spiral staircase.

A locked gate prevented access to the he tower, which has a spiral staircase inside the structure.  I am not sure if it is open certain times of the year.  There is also a  bench near the tower and the path to the tower is paved.  It is amazing how, after all of our extreme weather and other elements, the structure still stands.  They just don’t make stone towers like this anymore.

The following is written in the  inscription on the tower:

A.D. 1000 A.D. 1889

NORUMBEGA

CITY·COUNTRY·FORT·RIVER

NORUMBEGA = NOR MBEGA

INDIAN UTTERANGE OF NORBEGA THE ANCIENT FORM

OF NORVEGA·NORWAY·TO WHICH THE

REGION OF VINLAND WAS SUBJECT

CITY

AT, AND NEAR WATERTOWN

WHERE REMAIN TO-DAY

DOCKS·WHARVES·WALLS·DAMS·BASINS·

COUNTRY

EXTENDING FROM RHODE ISLAND TO THE ST. LAWRENCE

FIRST SEEN BY BJARNI HERJULFSON 985 A.D.

LANDFALL OF LEIF ERIKSON ON CAPE COD 1000 A.D.

NORSE CANALS·DAMS·WALLS·PAVEMENTS·

FORTS·TERRACED PLACES OF ASSEMBLY REMAIN TO-DAY

FORT

AT BASE OF TOWER AND REGION ABOUT

WAS OCCUPIED BY THE BRETON FRENCH IN THE

15TH 16TH AND 17TH CENTURIES

RIVER

THE CHARLES

DISCOVERED BY                    ··············

LEIF ERIKSON·1000 A.D.

EXPLORED BY                    ··············

THORWALD LEIF’S BROTHER·1003 A.D.

COLONIZED BY                    ··············

THORFINN KARLSEFNI·1007 A.D.

FIRST BISHOP                    ··············

ERIK GNUPSON·1121 A.D.

INDUSTRIES FOR 350 YEARS

MASUR·WOOD [BURRS]·FISH·FURS·AGRICULTURE·

LATEST NORSE SHIP RETURNED TO ICELAND IN 1347.