Tag Archives: monuments

Tuck Museum (Hampton, NH)

Date Of Visit: June 16, 2017

Location:40 Park Avenue, Hampton, NH (about 1 hour north of Boston, MA and 45 minutes east of Manchester, NH)

Hours: Spring / Summer / Fall Museum Hours
Sunday, Wednesday, Friday
1 to 4pm

Winter Museum Hours
January, February, and March
Wednesday, Friday
1 to 4pm
Sunday by appointment

Cost: Free but donations are appreciated

Parking: There is parking available at the side entrance of the building.  There is also additional parking behind the building.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes (thanks to Ryan Lamers)

Highlights: historical artifacts, memorials

Website: Tuck Museum Complex

IMG_3661

Who knew Hampton had so much history?  That is what many visitors think when they leave the Tuck Museum in Hampton, NH.

But, it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that so much history.  After all, it is one of the oldest settled areas of New Hampshire having been settled in 1638.

It’s also surprising that a small museum can have so much historical items and stories.  Upon entering the museum, you will most likely notice some of the historical articles from many years ago.  One of the main features is are the items from the defunct railway that ran to Hampton.

There are also two mannequins dressed in old military clothing from an earlier era.  This is a preview of an exhibit I will discuss later in this post.

The Tuck Museum is considered a “museum complex” because it has several structures and memorials on its land.  Guided tours are given to all of these buildings by the very knowledgeable staff.

The first place our guide took us to was the fire fighter building which had older firefighting equipment and vehicles.  It’s hard to believe , but true, that some of these vehicles were moved by humans, not horses, in the early days of the fire department in Hampton.  It is fitting since the fire department still remains the same – physically go and save lives, despite all of the technological advancements they have made.  It still boils down to the one constant – the brave men and women who work in that profession everyday.

You may notice the name Winnacunnet on the fire engine pictured above.  That used to be the name of Hampton (more specifically it was called Plantation of Winnacunnet) because of the pine trees in the area (Winnacunnet translates to “beautiful place of pines”).  A high school and street in the Hampton area still bear this name.

The next building we went to on the property of the Tuck Museum complex was the barn which contained many of the machines, tools and equipment the people used to farm the land and conduct the everyday chores of the settlers of Hampton.  Everything from fishing equipment, agricultural devices to a shoe cobbler’s counter were housed in this barn.  Each of these devices has a story and history behind it.

It would take too long and take up too much space to explain each one.  But, if you do go on the tour at the museum the tour guide will keep you entertained with various anecdotes and fun facts about these machines and tools.  One fun fact you can impress your friends and hot dates with at dinner parties is that when cobblers made shoes there was only one shape to them so you could wear any shoe on any foot.  I was joking – please don’t tell anyone that on a date.

There is also a special military exhibit dedicated to the people connected to Hampton, NH.  Included in this exhibit are letters from people serving that have been donated on a temporary basis from family and friends of those who served abroad during wartime.  One of the storiees that stood out to me from my visit to this memorial was the story of Hampton residentof Lt. Rita Palmer and the Angels of Bataan.

The final room of the museum (I told you it was surprisingly big) was a room with household items and some of the luxuries of the early settlers of the area.

The framed work of art pictured above was made of human hair (does that make it a bona-fide “hair loom”?).

There are also some replicas of beach houses that used to dot the landscape of the Hampton area on the grounds.  Since it was raining outside, I was unable to get to them without getting my camera equipment wet, unfortunately.

Hampton has a rather obscure dark side in the form of a witch, Eunice “Goody” Cole.  Eunice Cole was the only woman convicted of witchcraft in Hampton, NH (although many others have been casually accused of being one I am sure).

After being released from indentured servitude, her husband and she settled in Mount Wollaston (now Quincy, MA) and they eventually made their way to Hampton, NH.  Since they did not have children (they were both beyond child bearing age) and some other characteristics of her that were considered unusual at the time, she must have been a witch.  Of course.  She was actually accused of witchcraft several times.  the first time she was convicted of witchcraft was in 1660.  She served 2 years in prison and was sentenced again for a number of years in 1668.  She was also found not guilty of witchcraft when she was tried in 1673.  And I thought we were litigious these days.

Eventually, Goody Cole was absolved of her accused crime of witchcraft on March 8, 1938.  The citizens passed a resolution restoring Eunice “Goody” Cole to her rightful place as a citizen of Hampton. The city went as far as to burn copies of all her court documents,  The burned documenst were said to be mixed with soil from her last home and reputed resting place and buried.  However, it was actually given to the Tuck Museum.

This brings me to the last few photos of the museum and its grounds.  Inside the museum there are some replicas of Goody Cole.

On the grounds of the museum is a memorial without her name or any other marking.  In fact, if you did not know the story about Eunice Cole you may just pass by it none the wiser. The marker was erected by Harold Fernald, a teacher and part time police officer from Hampton.  The stone is said to be from the location of Eunice Cole’s property.

As an aside, the North Shore paranormal Group and some other paranormal groups have done ghost hunting on the premises with what they considered convincing results that some paranormal activity occurred.  The fact the museum is located right across the street from a graveyard, mixed with the Goody Cole history, has added to the theories of paranormal activity.  Admittedly, I saw some unusual things during my stay in hampton.  But, it was mostly at the beach.

Another memorial on the grounds of Tuck Museum is dedicated to Thorvald, the brother of Viking explorer Leif Erickson and son of Erik the Red.  However, this memorial has more of a controversial past as some believe it was just a rock put there by Judge Charles A. lamprey to increase the value of land that he was developing for beach cottages in 1902.  Whatever the true story behind the rock, it has become a popular tourist attraction.

The grounds of the museum are well kept and worth strolling by even if you don’t venture into the museum.

marylizstyles is a fellow New England blogger who specializes in the fashion blogging genre.  Read a post about her recent dude that’s so nautical fashion adventure in Hampton, NH.


Stanley Park 2017 (Westfield, MA)

Dates Of Visits: May 31 & June 2, 2017

Location: 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA

Hours:

Official Season: Open to the public (7 days a week) from 7:00 am until dusk daily(1/2 hour before sunset) from the first Saturday in May to the last Sunday in November.

Off-Season: Gate 1, across from Westfield State University’s Woodward Center, is open year-round from 7:00 am until dusk daily, weather permitting. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.

Cost: Free

Parking: During the “official season” from around early May until the end of November, there are two parking areas with ample parking (probably room for 300 or more cars) .  During the off season, the second parking lot is closed.

Size/Trail Difficulty: 300 acres, easy trails

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly:Yes

Highlights: sports fields, play area, pond, trails, flower garden, fountain, sculptures, covered bridge, birds, wildlife, ample parking

Website: Stanley Park

Map: Stanley Park Map

IMG_9370

If you read the title of this blog post and thought thought to yourself, “Hey you’ve already posted about this place” you would be correct.  I visited Stanley Park in June, 2015 but I was told, incorrectly, by a park worker that I was not allowed to take photos there with paying a fee first.  So, I was only able to use a few photos from my original visit and I had tp use my camera phone for the remainder of the photos and they did not come out very good.  So, I decided to take another trip to the park last week.  If you do want to see my original post you can access it here:  Stanley Park in 2015.

Named after Frank Stanley Beveridge, Stanley Park, Stanley Park is one of the most popular parks in Western MA.  Throughout the year they hold various memorial services  for veterans, musical shows and even a road race among other events.  But, Stanley Park is also a great to play to visit to get away from people and just have a peaceful hike along the many trails there or to just sit and watch the various wildlife that inhabit the park.

Originally from Pembroke Shores, Nova Scotia, Frank Stanley Beveridge would go on to create the company Stanley Home Products after immigrating to the states and eventually settling in Westfield, MA.  Because of his love if nature and its inhabitants, he would establish Stanley Park of Westfield, Inc. on twenty-five acres of land in Westfield, Massachusetts.  Since then it has grown exponentially but it has still kept the same natural beauty.

The first thing that stood out to me while visiting Stanley Park are the colors, particularly during the spring summer and especially during the fall foliage season.  Whether it is the variety of birds at the park, the colorful flowers and green grass or the Koi fish in the pond, the colors were really popping at Stanley.

One of the things Stanley Park is most known for is its population of black squirrels.  Since they are not indigenous to the area, their origins have often been a matter of curious debate.  No, they weren’t dropped off by aliens nor did they travel to the park as part of a family vacation.

The black squirrels are actually from Michigan.  They were gifts from former Stanley Home Products sales managers, Hubert L. Worell and Alvah (Al) Elzerman.  They were brought there in 1948 and their population has steadily increased.  As you can see, they are very well fed.

There is a soccer/lacrosse field, basketball court and play area for children in the main parking area.  You can also access the Beveridge Nature Sanctuary Trail from the parking area.  The Sanctuary Trail is 229 acres of easy trails with some gentle inclines.

Stanley Park is home to a variety of blue jays, cardinals, ducks, geese and other birds s well as frogs and turtles.

One of the best places at Stanley Park is the area behind the pond at the entrance.  Chipmunks, squirrels, birds and other critters stop by in the hopes of some nuts or other treats from passing visitors.  In fact, when I walked over to the area chipmunks actually came out from hiding to greet me, in the hopes I might have some snacks for them.  They weren’t disappointed.

You can even hand feed them.

IMG_9080

Stanley Park also has a garden area with roses, rhododendrons, azaleas and other flowers and pretty trees.

There is also a covered bridge at Stanley Park.  Even though it only allows foot traffic the Goodrich Bridge is still bridge and it is indeed covered.  It is one of the 13 wooden covered bridges in Massachusetts.  I never really considered it an actual covered bridge since it is not on a roadway or sidewalk.  But, it does meet the criteria.

An old blacksmith building is located near the bridge.

There is a mill by the pond and a couple of waterfalls.

 

There are also several memorials and monuments at Stanley Park.

This Veteran’s Memorial is dedicated to all of those in Westfield who have served.  Black plaques on the ground list the names of the people from Westfield who have died while serving.

This memorial, Our Lady Of Fatima, was dedicated in September 1952 to Otto Bono Calegari, a Westfield native who was killed during the Korean Conflict.  The memorial was handcrafted by Otto’s father, Rocco Calegari.

The Carillon Tower is located near the gardens.  Completed in 1950, the tower tower was dedicated to world peace.  From time to time, the bells of the Carillon are rung at the tower as part of their Carillon Tower ceremonies.  The bronze doors are decorated with 14 relief sculptures portraying various aspects of the Park and Stanley Home Products, as well as profiles of Frank Stanley Beveridge and Catherine L. O’Brien.

The map in front of the tower measures 23 feet by 30 feet, and is composed of multicolored New York slate.

The Angel of Independence was a gift from Stanley Home Products sales persons from Mexico on October 25, 1958. The monument is a Replica of the statue Placido de lareforma in Mexico City which stands for Liberty and Freedom. The base is Vermont Marble and stands 30 feet tall.

I couldn’t find much information about this statue except that it is referred to as the “Children With Umbrella” statue.  It is a fairly new addition as far as I can tell.

There are also dinosaur tracks at Stanley Park.  Tracks that are said to be over 100 million years old.  The tracks are actually from the Carlton Nash Quarry South Hadley (MA).

There are two fountains at Stanley.  They are both located in the garden area and near the entrance by Gate 2.

I saw someone riding this cute bicycle at Stanley and she was kind enough too let me photograph it.  I especially liked the bell she would ring from time to time as she rode it.

IMG_9211

There is so much beauty at Stanley Park.  Just the way the trees bend and the views from the upper level where the garden is located to the duck ponds and the bridges that are scattered throughout the park are sights to behold.

Stanley Park is a great place to bring your dog, although he or she may want to chase or make friends with the ducks and geese there.

I met Duke, a 1 year old rescue, while I was walking along the Sanctuary Trail.  He was such a friendly guy!

.Biscuit, or Bubba, a 5 year old Bulldog and Mastiff was enjoying a walk along the boardwalk .  Her fur was so soft!

As the clouds came rolling in, it was evident it was time to leave.

This is video of the hail storm that followed shortly after we left.

To view videos like the one above and other content I do not share on this blog, please connect with me on Facebook.  I hope to see you there!

 


The Nature of Glass: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood 2016 (Stockbridge, MA)

Date Visited: July 16, 2016

Location: Chesterwood, 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA (413)298-3579

Hours: Open Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend to the Monday of Columbus Day Weekend. May 28 – October 10 of this year from 10am to 5pm daily. Self-guided tours only. Residence closed daily from 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Cost: Adults, $18.00; Seniors, $17.00; Grounds ONLY fee, $10.00; NTHP Members, Military & Children, 13-17, $9.00; Friends of Chesterwood & Children Under 13, Free

Parking: There is ample parking in the various parking areas for at least a couple hundred cars

Time To Allot For Visit: 1 hour to 2 hours (less if you don’t appreciate art)

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: lots of art, statues, scenic trails

Nature Of Glass: Contemporary Sculpture

DSC_0496

Named after one of America’s foremost sculptor, Chesterwood is home to  the works of Daniel Chester French.  French’s work can be found on multiple continents.  His most prominent works include designing the Abraham Lincoln and the Minute Man statue in Concord, MA among many other works of art.

In addition to statues and replicas of French’s work, Chesterwood also shows off exhibits on its spacious grounds.  The latest exhibit, on display until September 18, is a bit of a break from the traditional pieces of French.  The Nature Of Glass shows a variety of unusual works of art for the entire family.

This blown gas display called Optic Lens Installation (2016) is by Richard Royal.  Part of the Optic lens series, this art evolved from his fascination with water or being near water as well as lighthouses and the Fresnel lens.  On the description plaque for this design, Royal said safety and security are recurring themes.  he finds glass and light as instruments of safety to be inspiring and he finds the system of glass and light to be metaphor for simple concepts and a reminder that basic things in life are sometimes the most important and have the strongest impact.

Throughout the exhibition, I found the artists to have a such depth and insight into what may seem to be simple displays.  This is a recurring theme throughout the displays.  It does make sense that the artists would have a deeper meaning to their work.  One does not put so much time and effort into a work of art without having some deep significance to their work and inspiration.

This sculpture by John Kiley is called Clear Cut (2016).  Kiley made this 8 foot sculpture out of glass, steel and Douglas fir.  According to the information on the sign next to the display, Kiley described his work as using circular openings to show interior divisions of space to alter their sense of space and light.  Depending on your point of view, the overlapping circles can focus your attention in different ways.  The Douglas fir is meant to connect the ground through a natural material to the sky using material engineered by humans, evoking a sense of history, place and reflection.

Martin Blank created Crystal Reveil (2012) from hot sculpted glass. The segments of the sculpture are curled and hollow so you can look through the sculpture and see a different form of negative space. The individual forms are very delicate and skin-like, similar to the madrone tree which is prevalent in the pacific Northwest.

Depending on where you stand and the time of day that you view Time Of Day – Blue Moment (2016), by Richard Jolley, looks different.  As you can see by the photos above, you see different things from each angle.  The work of art is of a veiled form of a human figure that changes color at specific times of the day.  The passage of light through the small portal will shift the light transmission and wash the figure in a blue light referencing daily time sequencing and change.  The intent, according to Jolley is to not only mark a specific, finite time of day but also to address the significance of the passage of time and awareness.  He went on to say how it addresses in a deeper sense time and the effect it has on every aspect of our existence.

I did photograph Time of Day again later in the day after viewing the other sculptures about an hour later to see any changes in the work.  Unfortunately, it was an overcast and misty day.  So, since there was a lack of light, the changes in the art work were very minor.  The photos are shown below

One In One (2014) by Thomas Scoon is a cast glass and granite sculpture.  Just short of 5 feet (57 inches to be exact), the figures are meant to show people rising from the external landscape.  He tried to choose rocks that evoked the feeling and gesture of human forms, specifically torsos and heads.  The layering of kiln-cast glass and stone allows light to pass through the figures and embodies the spiritual and physical essence of human nature into the sculpture.  He felt the combination of the materials expresses both the fragility and the enduring qualities and humanity.

Scoon continued with his granite and glass theme with Companion Series I-IV (2016).  Similar to the One In One sculpture,this work shows human figures made of cast glass and granite.  I suppose he didn’t want his other sculpture to feel lonely.

Earth/Sky (2016) by Tom Patti is one of the more unusual works at the exhibit.  Patti wanted to show the ambiguous condition between the literal and the phenomenal.  Patti felt the unique quality of the reflection combines the transparency of glass in his design.  This combination results in an ambiguous sense of space that obscures any references to the physical solidity of the materials, revealing the natural essence of the environment.

This work of art, like many more in the exhibit, was not as provocative because of the lack of light on the day of my visit.  If the sun had been out the shadows would have played off the work of art more dramatically.

One of the more unique works of art, Remember What (2016) by Marko Remec is 128 thirty two inch dome acrylic mirrors.  Also made of aluminum, steel hardware and twine, Remec’s work is described as a “chess pattern gone awry.”  The mirrors reflect 180 degrees of Chesterwood.  The work is a reconfiguration of the installation Can’t Hear You that had been displayed at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.

Another piece of work that would have benefited from sunlight, Vitro Muralis (2016) by William Carlson is made of granite, metal and glass.  The sculpture shares a common area of overlap.  The edges have a visual noise as they collide into shared space.  The transparent components are meant to offer a language of design as a text of spiral repetition and marks that are more musical than linguistic, according to Carlson.

Another design by William Carlson, Sine Nomine (Without A Name) (2014) is another sculpture made of metal and glass. The “x” in the middle of the sculpture is meant to reference missing identity.  It has also been used as a mark for those who cannot sign their name or in equations in algebra as an unknown in the equation.  Other interpretations include a reference to something that has been eliminated from a list.  The historical use of the x also makes it a powerful graphic symbol universally understood.  The exact meaning is not made clear in the plaque next to the sculpture.

Icebergs and Paraphernalia 117 (2007) was inspired by traveling through the Polar Regions, specifically a small stranded iceberg off the shore of Greenland that looked like a bird.  Created by Peter Bremers, the work of art is made of kiln-formed glass cut and polished and outdoor glass.  The almost marble structure pays tribute to the marble sculptures of the French.

Also made of kiln-formed glass cut and polished and outdoor glass, Movement II (2007) depicts a window moving forward.  The concept of the work is that we perceive “reality” as a dynamic image that changes in time and as a result of the viewer’s change in perception as well as how we rewrite history as our understanding of the past transforms the present and vice versa.

Daniel Clayman’s North 41.47 West 71.70 Copper (2016) may just look like an ordinary rock but there’s much more to this boulder.  The name coincides with the GPS coordinates where the boulder was found.  Copper refers to the interior treatment of the piece.  While on a jobsite excavation, Clayman observed large boulders being carted away to make room for a new landscape design. Clayman was struck with the idea of reformatting an ordinary boulder into a magical object.   When the sun is out, the sun reflects off the copper boulder making it a highly detailed surface (I had to use a flash to gain the same effect).

Julia’s Garden (the pieces range from 2010 to 2016) includes pieces from Nancy Callan’s Orbs And Winkle’s signature series.  The design consists of geometric forms (spheres and cones).  Callan strived to create a sense of infinity complexity with lines that wrap and fold around the shapes.  Each orb is like a world in itself.  The shapes of the orbs are said to represent planets.  The cones are meant to be like stocking caps – a reference to Rip Van Winkle – which gave the name Winkle to the pieces.  The cones also add a vertical element that echoes the growth of plants and trees – straight towards the sun as in White Spiral Cone or gently unfurling as in Ivory Winkle.

DSC_0474

Trigonal  (2016) by Kait Rhoads was inspired by a trip Rhoads took to  the Joshua Tree National Park in California after her the mother’s death.  Rhoads was struck by the beauty in the contrast of the quartz seams running through the fields of granite rock in the landscape.  Her search for healing and cleansing within a natural habitat largely untouched by man drew her to create the work of art.  She placed the color of the desert sky onto the form of the quartz crystal in a wash of opaque white ranging to intense transparent blue.

There is another work of art that I somehow missed.  Sidney Hutter’s Louie’s Electric Two (1976, revised in 2016) is sandblasted mirror glass design.

Dogs are not allowed at Chesterwood.  But, I did find this friendly cat.

Connect with me on Facebook to view photos, videos and other posts not included in this blog

New England Nomad

 


American Legion Park (Feeding Hills, MA)

Date Visited: July 3, 2016

Location: 478 Springfield St, Feeding Hills (Agawam), MA

Hours: Open everyday, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Time To Allot For Visit: 5-10 minutes

Parking: While there is no designated parking area for the park there is plenty of parking available at the American Legion Post located behind the park and parking is available at the strip mall across the street

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: sculpture, tank, memorial, well manicured grounds

DSC_1000

I don’t know about you but I’m really stoked to see that Judas Priest cover band.

But the real attraction on Springfield St in Feeding Hills (a territory in Agawam, MA), is the tank and Freedom Eagle sculpture located in front of “The Tank” American Legion Post 185.  The Tank is an eatery/event venue servicing veterans.

DSC_1023

DSC_1028The tank is a M-60 tank monument dedicated to all veterans (past, present and future)

DSC_1009

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Donated in 2005, the Freedom Eagle shows an eagle soaring through the air, fish clutched tightly in his or her grip

DSC_0994

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is also a memorial from the town of Agawam in remembrance of the people who served during World War I.

DSC_1032DSC_1031

Although it is a small park there is a lot to take in and it certainly makes you proud and grateful.

The area is also a common spot for dog walkers.  Across the street, we saw a group of four big dogs being walked.  This is a group of Bernese Mountain Dogs.  The dogs go to the local senior center and  visit Alzheimer’s patients as therapy dogs.

DSC_0019

From left to right: Roma, Tony and Lena (one of the other dogs was a bit camera shy).

DSC_0032

Please connect with me on Facebook to view photos, videos and other posts not included in this blog: New England Nomad

 

 


Battery Park (Burlington, VT)

Date Visited: May 13, 2016

Location: 1 North Ave, Burlington, VT

Open: 365 days a year, 24 hours

Cost: Free

Parking:  Off street parking when it is available

DSC_0702

Located along a busy stretch of roadway in Burlington, Vermont, Battery Park may be best known for its place in the history of American warfare.

Battery Park was named for the artillery stationed there by American forces during the War Of 1812.  On August 13, 1813, American gunners at that location, aided by the naval ship the USS President, successfully defended their position against an attack by a British squadron led by Lt Colonel John Murray.

Since then, the park, which was established in 1870, has taken on a more artistic and more peaceful ambiance.

Statues, memorials and other works of art are scattered along the sidewalk and grass off North Avenue.

DSC_0739DSC_0747DSC_0752

This statue was made by the renown sculpture Peter Wolf Toth.  Toth specializes in sculptures of Native American people.  He has sculpted dozens of statues and has one statue in each of the 50 states in the U.S. as well as in other countries.  This statue above is a monument to Gray Lock’s War veteran chief Gray Lock.  The statue, carved of wood, was dedicated June 22, 1984.

At first glance, this tree may seem rather nondescript, just a tree in a sea of other trees.  But, this is no ordinary tree.  his tree was planted in memory of the September 11 terorist attacks.

Another monument at Battery Park is dedicated to Worker’s Memorial Day (April 28th) which has been designated by the AFL-CIO to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs.

There are also these unique structures which I still haven’t figured out.

Lake Champlain provides the perfect the backdrop to the park.

DSC_0732DSC_0731DSC_0725

 

The monuments and statues do not end there.  In the background of the park you can see what have been described “winged monkeys” (from the Wizard Of Oz film).  To really get good photographs of these figures you have to be closer to Champlain College.  The figures are actually on top of some of the buildings in the area of the school’s campus.  But, you can see the distinct figures of some of the characters.  Specifically, it looks like the witch’s guards to me.  I didn’t have the time or energy at that point to (I started traveling and photographing at 7 and it was close to 6 on this day when I photographed Battery Park).  But, it’s also fun trying to see the hidden statues.

DSC_0719DSC_0718DSC_0722

Rudyard Kipling is said to have noted that Battery Park has one of the two finest sunsets in the world.  As the photos demonstrate, I was unfortunately not able to photograph the sunset this particular evening due to the rain and clouds.

In addition to these statues and monuments, there is a statue dedicated to American Civil War General William W. Wells and other local luminaries.

There is also a playground area at the end of the park with swings and slides.

Dogs love Battery Park too.  Gus, a 2 and a half year old, Great Pyranese

DSC_0699DSC_0698

Please stop by and like my Facebook page! New England Nomad

 


River Works Park (Greenfield, MA)

Date Visited: May 13th 2016

Location: 250 Deerfield Street, Greenfield, MA

Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Cost: Free

Parking:  There is a lot that can accommodate about 30 or so cars behind the waterfall off Meridian St (a side road off Deerfield  St where the bridge is) or you can park in one of the lots of the local establishments and walk to the park, after patronizing them of course.  You can’t park on Deerfield St.

It’s not often that you see a silver fish on a pole while you’re driving down the main streets of a busy suburb.  So, when I saw Brookie, the mascot of River Works Park, I had to stop and check it out.

DSC_0175

The River Works Park is a quiet place (if you can ignore the passing traffic on Deerfield Rd) where residents and visitors can sit on the benches or walk along the sidewalk or bridge and admire the Green River below.

For a roadside attraction, the River Works Park is full of surprises and beauty.  One of these surprises is the walk way along the sidewalk that is blocked off by a fence.  Of course, there was an opening in the wire fence.  The views from the walk way weren’t so great though and I only managed to get a few scratches when I walked along it.

The walkway, which was dedicated in November of 1999, has several memorials and plaques along the sidewalk.  This bench was dedicated to Barbara Tillmanns, Greenfield’s “#1 cheerleader.”  Tillmanns was a town councilor for Greenfield and very active in the community.  She passed away in 2014 at the age of 72.  One of her endeavors was to begin an initiative to establish a series of commemorative benches throughout Greenfield.  Here’s one:

DSC_0159

A sign remains where the J. Russell Co once stood.  The company made Green River Knives.  Greenfield Tap & Die also stood there once upon a time.  The J. Russell Co and Greenfield Tap & Die were the main employers of the area for much of the 1800’s and the J. Russell Co made the highly touted Green River Knife.

DSC_0221

If you look closely at Brookie, the mascot of River Works Park, you can see the forks, spoons, cutlery and other utensils collected from the residents of Greenfield and Franklin County that make up the shape of the fish as a tribute to the J. Russell Cutlery Co. (you may have to zoom into the photo).

DSC_0181DSC_0179DSC_0176

The aptly named Green River, runs through the park.  There were some modest waves and ripples in the river.  The reason for this will soon be evident.

I thought made for a pretty backdrop.

However, just beyond the bridge, we found this pretty waterfall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is no sidewalk on the side of the road where the best views of the waterfalls are so I had to keep the video short since I shot it during a red light.

There is a lot of interesting historical information about the J. Russell Co and the area which you can access in the links below

J. Russell Co

John Russell Manufacturing Co

Please check out and like my Facebook page: New England Nomad

 


Wilcox Park (Westerly, RI)

Date Visited: April 30, 2016

Location: 44 Broad St, Westerly, RI

Cost: Free

Hours: Open from dawn to 9 p.m., 365 days a year

Parking:  There is not a designated parking lot for Wilcox Park.  But, you should be able to find off street parking.

DSC_0226

Wilcox Park is not your average park.  In fact,  it is unique in many different ways.  One thing that makes Wilcox Park unique is that it is not part of the DCR or any other city or governmental body.  Wilcox Park is privately operated by the Westerly Public Library’s Board of Trustees.  The library, located on the grounds of the park, and a group of volunteers help keep the grounds clean and orderly.  They rely on donations and fundraisers.

Westerly Library is attached to the park at the entrance.  The library’s beautiful architecture of the building is both artful yet modest.  It complements the beauty of the park and seems right in place.  There are also benches for visitors to unwind and perhaps read a book from the library’s collection.

There are also a number of statues in the grounds of the library.

 

As you entered the park, one of the first statues you will see is the statue of Christopher Columbus sculpted by Ciriaco (or “Charles” as he was commonly known as) Pizzano in 1949.  Originally from Avellino, Italy, Pizzano was living in Medford, Massachusetts, when he decided to sculpt this statue, appropriately, out of Westerly granite.

DSC_0230DSC_0239DSC_0238

 

The inscription reads:

 

CRISTOFORO COLOMBO
INTREPID ITALIAN EXPLORER
WHO LINKED THE OLD WORLD OF
OUR FATHERS TO THE NEW WORLD
OF OUR SONS

On the back of the pedestal:

DEDICATED
BY
THE CITIZENS
OF
WESTERLY AND PAWCATUCK
A.D. 1949

Somewhere Leif Erikson is rolling around in his grave.

Down the staircase from the entrance to the park is a fountain (which was not running when I went to visit due to the still cold temperatures).  The Wilcox Memorial Fountain was designed by John Francis Paramino in 1898 and was dedicated in honor of Harriet and Stephen Wilcox who had donated the land for the park.

There are a variety of beautiful trees, plants, bridges and statues at Wilcox Park.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is also a pond along the trails at Wilcox Park.  It is populated with Koi fish

DSC_0323

ducks

DSC_0303DSC_0296

There’s room for two on this thing, right?

DSC_0310

and baby turtles.  I couldn’t find his mommy but I am sure she was nearby.

DSC_0411DSC_0410

and rabbits

The bronze Runaway Bunny statue was dedicated in 1998 by Connecticut sculptor Joan Binney Ross.  it is based on the book of the same name by Margaret Wise Brown.  Unfortunately, the bunny has been the target of vandalism, predictably.  But, it has been restored after each attack.  Cameras are now installed liberally around the park to deter vandalism or catch the vandals.

This fella just wanted to play with the ducks

DSC_0404DSC_0405

This sculpture sort of looked like a face to me.  A very ugly face.

DSC_0388

Dogs are allowed at Wilcox Park.  Bandit, a Siberian Husky, had fun playing in the park.  Apparently, Bandit earned his nickname because he “takes things”.  What a beautiful dog.  He caught my eye because of his handsome markings and his very cute smile. You can tell he’s a “bandit” based on his playful grin.

DSC_0352DSC_0353