Wednesday, April 13, 2011: Lancaster Wanderings I – Rowlandson Rock, Goss Lane

Breakfast is included at the College Town Inn.  This is a Bed and Breakfast and the architecture is more modern.  I usually prefer the old creaky houses.  This was nice and I am enjoyed my stay.  My room was comfortable and I had an outside entrance.  I have never had that in a B&B!
The owners are very nice and we chatted at breakfast about my research.  The decor is a “little bit country” but very clean and tidy.  The house is a maze so you do have to pay attention.  The breakfast room is large and could be used for other functions.  Charlotte was born in the area and Jack is from Pennsylvania.  He said they had been here since 1957.  WOW!

I spent the morning catching up with the journaling and blog and it is taking a lot of time.  It was also raining heavily and I was hoping it would get better….dreamer….!!

Just as soon as I loaded the car it started to pour.  I mean POUR….AUGGGGH!!!!!  Rain Rain Go Away…!!  Not while I am in Lancaster!!!!!

So I sat in my car a while but the rain was not going to give up.  Eventually I made the decision to go ahead and look for sign posts and historical markers and things I could do without getting too wet. Hopefully it would let up.  Hmmmm……!  According to the weather report the worst part of the rain would be this evening…maybe this was the evening storm earlier than planned?  Hope, Hope….!!!

Rowlandson Rock, Lancaster, Massachusetts

Rowlandson Rock is on George Hill and there is a George Hill Road.  So I turned off Main Street to the right and came to a dead end. It was closed!!! Apparently a section of the road sunk for I could see a lake in the middle of the road on the other side of the cement barricade.  It meant you had to go around.  I did that using Prescott St. and turned on Langen St. and went up George Hill Road realizing that I was on the wrong side of the hill and Windsor Rd, the entrance, was around the other southern side. 

Prescott St in Lancaster

I found Windsor Road and proceeded up the road to two stone pillars with lights on the top and a small expanse of rock fence on both sides.  I drove through and found a big yellow house on the right and the blue water towers in front of me with a chain link fence and a locked gate.  I drove to it but was puzzled as to what to do next?  There was absolutely no signs to direct you.  The idea of slogging around trying to find the site in the pouring rain was not something I was eager to do.

How to Get to Rowlandson Rock!!

Do not take the road to the right for that is the yellow house’s lower garage area.  Do not take the next road to the right for that is the yellow house’s front parking area.  Go ahead to the chain link fence gate and park.  There is a path to the left.  Hopefully the person who parked the green tractor across the path entrance has moved it? If not the path is probably blocked by the tracker.  Look to the left for rocks stacked like a short fence or indicating a path and you will find a path to Rowlandson Rock. 

You will have to walk like a half block to it but it is easy.  It is to the left which is probably the west.  The rock is around the water tanks a little north of them. As soon as you get on the path you will spot the site and it is a no brainer from there.  It is a nice wooded area.  There is a plaque that is starting to peel but the rocks are there. 

I would have taken a picture of myself at the rock but it was raining so hard I had my blue slicker on and was trying to protect my camera and as you can see from the photos raindrops got on the lens.  My slicker pockets were filling up with rain running off the slicker.  It was not fun.  I wish I had my knit gloves that were in my coat pocket that I left behind! Sigh!

The Road to the Water Towers. Note the Tractor blocking the path!

See the bit of blue and the path on the left!

Rowlandson Rock and sign

The sign with raindrops!!!!

Rowlandson Rock has nothing to do with the Goss History except it is the setting for what is to come.  After this terrible incident during King Philip’s War 1675, the Rowlandsons didn’t stay in Lancaster and Philip Goss I purchased the Rowlandson Estate in 1687 and that deed started a chain of events that has lead the migration of the Goss family west.  It is also a very big part of the early Lancaster history and I love all kinds of history. 

There is a book by Mary Rowlandson about her ordeal:  A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, 1791.  It has been reprinted and rearranged several times.  Google Books has a copy.  There may be a movie about this someday according to a reliable source?

Take a little time and drive around George Hill Road and Hilltop Road in Lancaster it is very lovely up there.  There are some fine homes there and what I would call estates.  There is a house, barn and more in pink!

Goss Lane, Lancaster, MA
There is supposed to be a Goss Street in Clinton off Main Hwy 70 at Roma St and Laurel St. The street that connects them is Goss St.  Charlotte of the College Town Inn said there was the “Goss Lane” in Lancaster. 

Well I traveled all over the place till I realized that the Langen Road becomes the Goss Lane.  I had tried the Sterling Road entrance (no sign) but there are two large signs that say “DO NOT ENTER” a little ways from the entrance.  When I finally figured it out and spotted the sign “Goss Lane” which was the only one I could find, I realized it was directly across from the blockage to the George Hill Road.  HA!  I do feel a bit silly about it all but it can be confusing in a new area. 

My curiosity taking hold I drove the whole Goss Lane and sure enough I found the two signs I mentioned earlier.  I might venture a 1/4 mile? (Where’s my hubbie when I need him!) Apparently they are trying to discourage through traffic.  It is a narrow road the Goss Lane.  As you drive south on it you move from a large pasture on the right with houses on the left and then into a valley between two hills with trees and lovely homes nicely situated apart from each other on a winding road up an down and around.   It is lovely along Goss Lane. 

Goss Lane, Lancaster
Well I did eventually stumble upon the 2nd Rowlandson Rock Sign.  It is on the right as you turn onto Sterling Road.  I am still looking for other signs which are eluding me at this time?

Time for lunch.  Sandee’s was right there when I came out from my excursion on the Goss Lane.  I remember it from the Internet.  My grilled cheese sandwich was good comfort food.  They are not open for dinner which is too bad.  The food was delicious and very good in price. 

I swear it rained till I decided to get lunch about 12.30 pm and then it stopped for awhile.  So I was eating at Sandee’s along Main Street and I couldn’t leave, well I suppose I could have taken my sandwich with me?  Hmmm…..!
The Site for the Great Elm is on Central Bridge Road before you get to the bridge and after the Five Corners.  Apparently it was a very special tree to have live as long as it did.  

The rain was still coming down but lighter and I just could not wait any longer and headed for the Middle Cemetery to do what I could, after all I am a veteran Seattlelite and know rain…off I went!