Wordless Wednesday, June 1, 2011 – Washington DC Sites

Airplane over the Potomac

American History Museum

Julia Child’s Kitchen at the history museum

Nation’s Capitol from the Clock Tower

A little closer

Gaylord National Harbor Interior
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Washington DC: The White House and a few art galleries!!

Unfortunately, I cannot take photos inside the White House.  There are a lot of restrictions for the security of the nation.  I am okay with that because there are tons of books about the White House:

http://www.findoutdc.com/books/white-house-books.shtml

The annual Christmas Special put on by HGTV showing the process of how they decorate the White House for Christmas using mostly volunteers.  This happens around the first part of December each year.  I look forward to that special. 

To arrange a tour of the White House go to your local senator’s website and make your appointment through them.  I did it all online by filling out a form months in advance.  They also had more information about other tours and Washington DC sites so it is a good place to start.
We arrived about 11 am and got ready for the tour.  We entered the line and were checked for our tour confirmation number and presented our ID.  We then walked to another area where we did the same thing and showed our ID.  We had to put our wallets and cellphones into a bin and walk through a security screen in one room. Then we walked a little further and entered the White House on the east side on the lower floor.  You walk through an area called the Ground Floor Corridor where they have photographs on the wall showing the past presidents in black and white and the more recent presidents in color.  It was very well done to see these photographs showing the presidents and their families interacting with others. 

The first rooms that you view are the Library (I was ready to move in), the Vermeil Room, and the China Room.  Now all you can do is stand at the door and look in.  So you move from one side of the entry door to the other to get a better view.  The curtains on the windows were amazing and must have weighed a ton.  Lovely! 

From there we walked upstairs to the main floor.  You walk along at your own pace through the various rooms as they have you guided by cords and roping.  The rugs are rolled back and mats are down and each room as a security guard who has knowledge of that room.  You walk through the East Room, the Blue Room, the Red Room and the State House Room.  Portraits of Presidents hand everywhere and first ladies as well.  There are fresh flowers in all the rooms artfully arranged.  Chandeliers of every size and shape glistened in the light. 

In the foyer of the White House I stood there trying to get a feel for the size of our nation’s first home.  The White House is big with many rooms and floors but, it is not as big as you think.  It is very well laid out and it is easy to access the various areas.  Don’t forget to look out the windows for you see well manicured gardens, beautiful giant Lillies in bloom.  From the windows of the White House you could see directly across to the Jefferson Memorial and can observe the people at the fence looking at the White House. The Washington Monument was to the left a little. 

They had a jazz band in uniform and my hubby thought they were Marine Corp.  I stood at the front entrance and looked back at the White House and my hubby took my picture on my cellphone because you could do that outside.  It will be awhile before I can access that photo. 
After the White House we headed for the Renwick Gallery to the west of the White House.  It is part of the Smithsonian so it was free.  We were there just in time for a docent tour of the American Crafts area.  She was excellent and knew her stuff. They choose 4 artists that must have done the art in the United States and they are usually artists that have not had a major gallery show.  The first was an silversmith and he was outstanding.  The second was an expert in pottery and again outstanding.  The others were good but the theme did not interest me.  I was of course overwhelmed with each artists devotion, patience and more to their craft.  Boy, I am lazy!!! HA!

We stopped for lunch along 17th Avenue and then headed south to the Corcoran Gallery of Art.  The first floor had landscapes and paintings by the likes of Degas.  It was wonderful.  It is interesting that the artists would paint about the a subject like the western part of the United States and sometimes it was usually a vision of what they thought it was and not necessarily historically correct.  The famous picture of Washington Crossing the Delaware has a slight error.  The boat is incorrect.  The actual boat is on display at Washington Crossings in the museum there.  You can read about it in my blog:  Pennsylvania Wanderings for I visited there. 

The evening was spent by stopping at Washington Harbor for a glass of wine at one of the restaurants there.  Unfortunately they had been flooded so there was limited service.  It is right there on the Potomac River with fancy expensive boats tied up at the pier.  They seemed to be doing well in spite of the problem.  My hubby had arranged for dinner at 1789. It was our 6th wedding anniversary so that was a bit of an extravagance but it was delicious. 1789 is in Georgetown and very fancy and elegant and the kind of restaurant that changes your table setting many times through out the dinner.  Georgetown is also quite the area with many shops and old houses.  I would love to explore but I don’t think we have time. 

I am trying to ignore the taxi cab drivers driving skills, so far so good.  They have not scared me yet but driving in the DC traffic is quite an experience. They use their horns a lot! Trying to get the attention of a taxi cab driver is also an interesting challenge.  They are necessary if you want to get yourself around.  My hubby announced that several Metro stations were closed in the area.  So challenges do exist. 

The next few days we will probably visit more museums in the DC area and discover interesting restaurants to visit.  On Sunday we will be attending a concert at the Phillips Collection, another art gallery.

Sunday: April 17, 2011: A Change of Plans – Peru, MA & Wahconah Falls

It is Sunday in the Berkshires and everything is closed.  That is okay, I need a little time to recover.

The Dakota Restaurant had a brunch from 10 to 2 pm and I decided to try it.  I arrived about 1 pm and they had a full buffet.  It was very good and even better than Old Sturbridge Village.  The waiter who served me did everything:  take orders, tend the bar, bus the tables.  Next stop was feeding the car.  Gasoline was at $3.50 to $4+. Ouch!

I proceeded up Holmes St. to Arrowhead the museum and soon discovered that I completely misread the website and that they are not opened till after Memorial Day.  I just went back and revisited it and the information is at the very bottom of the website about opening times.  Here is the link away Herman Melville.

I ran into the Executive Director Betsy and she told me that Melville had been coming to the area since a child of 13.  Greylock Mountain was the inspiration for Moby Dick. Like everyone I read “Moby Dick,” and new it by heart.  Of course, you have to see the Gregory Peck movie version. 

I learned that they give tours every hour at his home starting at 10 am when opened.  Betsy informed me that they have just received the paperwork to go ahead and repaint Arrowhead, which is really in need of some help and funds to do so.  The paint was peeling as I wandering around taking photos.  They have to proceed carefully because of the historical significance of the house.  No power washing here. 

The Movie Website gives some information about this movie:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049513/  It was done in 1956 and it was not bad.  I believe that Patrick Stewart was Capt Ahab and did a TV version in 1998 with Gregory Peck in another role.  Patrick Stewart was formerly Capt. Picard in Star Trek Next Generation.

There are other interesting things you can do in the Berkshires like the Hancock Shaker Village, The Berkshire Museum or the Museum of the Gilded age.  Betsy tried to entice me but I was more interested in the Center Cemetery in Peru, Massachusetts and decided to drive there and investigate. 

Well, I missed the turn to Hinsdale and ended up at Wahconah Falls State Park.  I had thought of stopping there on my way to Pittsfield on Friday but changed my mind.  Well there it was so I followed this other car onto the turn and gravel road and headed to the Falls.  A short walk after parking the car and I found something reminiscent of home! Awe this is more like it.  Raging water over rocks!! Enjoy!!

A short easy and pleasant walk. 

I have noticed that although there is forest which is mixed with deciduous and pine trees, there is no undergrowth like ferns and bushes in these forests and like back home.  It was very pretty and there are barbecues situated here and there, ready for a picnic. It looked like there were trails to follow.

A young couple was at the falls and I asked how to get to Hinsdale.  She corrected me and called it Hinnnsdale.  Oops!  I smiled.  Well she was right, I missed the sign. So from Hwy 9 you turn onto Hwy 8 which takes you to Hinsdale with a sharp turn left onto Hwy 143 and head up a very steep hill to Peru (formerly Partridgefield, officially changed to Peru in 1805.) 

My quest was to find Haskell’s.  Roger Haskell the son of Zachariah (Zechariah) Haskell and Keziah Goss Haskell was buried in the Center Cemetery in Peru.  Now this cemetery might also be called “Hill Top.”  My theory is they all came west together.  No one knows where Zachariah and Keziah Goss Haskell are buried.  I was hoping to find a sign.  I did find their son Roger and his wife Mary’s tombstones. 

As I turned south to go to the cemetery  after reaching the center of Peru. I drove by a chained Doberman Pincher. Lots of the dogs that live in the country in Massachusetts do not like cars.  I had never witnessed this behavior.  He was chained but it seems dangerous for the animal??

The Center Cemetery was very wet.  There were puddles by some of the stones, mushy grass, mud and my shoes got really wet.  It was threatening rain even though the pictures doesn’t seem to indicate it with the fluffy clouds.  The cemetery is sort of on a hill and slope.  It is a good size.  I tried to pull the Aveo in but she protested and spun her wheels so I carefully turned around so I could get out and didn’t go any further which put me in a puddle.  Ugh!

I found Roger and his wife and other Haskell’s.  One tombstone was toppled over and I could not budge it and the danger of hurting myself was imminent so I backed off.  It is a Zechariah Haskell but not the one I want to find.  Darn!

I am a little worried about this cemetery.  It is out in the open but it does seem to need to be cared for?  I worry about our heritage and see it slipping away.  The ground was so soft and the tombstones were leaning in all directions and lots of breakage.  I know it was a rough winter and there has not been a lot of time to get to repair, I hope they do.

Roger Haskell is on the left and Mary on the right 

 Roger Haskell died Apr 8, 1842 age 90 years (hard to read he was leaning over.  Next to him on the right, Mary Haskell died Dec. 13, AD 1849 aged 86 years and 23 days. 

More Haskells – Hannah Haskell wife of Cullen B. Watkins 1843 to 1931 on the left

Little Bertha, Precous Jewel on the left, George Haskell 1844 to 1914. 



It needs a shovel and several people to move it and flip it, not to mention fixed it.

The Berkshire Collection had a book titled Cemeteries of Hinsdale and Peru.  I took copies of the Center Cemetery but messed up some photos so I will have to revisit that book.  There was a handwritten notation that listed Haskell names in the collection but only gave page numbers.  I was going too fast and running out of time at the Berkshire Athenaeum.  The lesson, take photocopies as well of critical stuff.

Find A Grave has a listing for this cemetery but it is not complete.  I have more photos of this cemetery and will post them later when I get a chance. 

The Peru Church with two steeples!! The Library is to the left!

I returned on Hwy 148 to Hwy 8 to Hwy 9 to Dalton and then Pittsfield which was quiet today because it was Sunday so I was able to study the city of Pittsfield.  I missed a Rite Aid because it was housed in a building butted up to others.  If I could describe Pittsfield it is that the streets are wide in the downtown area. 

I really didn’t want to eat at the Dakota for I had done that twice but the Italian ristorante was not opened so I had dinner in my room in the Comfort Inn. 

Before I had left for the day and went to brunch about 1 pm I called Rose Miller of the Granville Library and explained I had a problem.  The original plan was to go to the Granville Town Hall and view vital records with the town clerk who was there in the morning and afternoon on Mondays.  Well with Patriot’s Day that was not going to happen.  Rose also had a conflict but an appointment at the library at 1 pm.  She had access for it was also closed.  So I would drive down to Granville and visit with her and see the Main Street Cemetery. 

Chores and dinner done, I settled in to bed.

Monday, April 11, 2011: The Brookfields – At Last!!

It is a little surreal for me today.  I have been working on the Goss family for years and collecting the manuscripts of my cousin Paul Henry Goss, Flora Montanye Goss and several other researchers. Paul and Flora did a lot of research on the Goss family back in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.  I have been collecting their articles and manuscripts for over 10 years.  I have been revisiting the sources Paul gave as he wrote about the history of our family and updating them due to re-publication and other issues.  To actually be in a place where the historical events took place that Paul writes about is so very amazing and to follow a little in Paul’s footsteps is very exciting for me!  The Family History Library has digitized one of Paul’s manuscripts that you might find interesting:  The Goss Family  I have studied it and believe it to be a later version of his manuscript.

Breakfast at the Dragonfly is provided and I was particularly looking forward to the scones that they had featured on their website.  The Dragonfly Bed and Breakfast was built in 1780.  Everywhere you look you see a dragonfly.  Even on the nice glasses they provide.  Very clever and not overdone.  Mark and Michael picked out the colors and decided on the design.  I think they did a great job.  My room has dark navy blue walls.  I had painted by living room that color, actually darker but my hubby didn’t like it.  This has lots of white trim and a white ceiling so it cuts the amount of dark blue a lot. Also the room is facing north and west so their is a lot of light.  My first night in the inn I was listening to the sounds of West Brookfield.  It gets very quite at night and few cars are on the road.  There are not that many streetlights so it is dark in that area of the town.

I had made arrangements to visit the Quaboag Historical Society. It is housed in one of the old train depots. I had to hurry for I had spent too much time eating breakfast and chatting with Michael and Mark.  They have a son Sean and he is a handful.  Roxy the cat was hiding out!  She had greeted me when I came in the day before and meowed softly, I got down to return the favor and she wandered away.  I am missing my two kitties at home, sigh!  Roxie reminded me of my calico Breezy.

The train depot or Quaboag Historical Society is at the south end of Cottage Street.  The walls inside are knotty pine.  Yeah, I know I am the only human in the world who loves knotty pine!

Quaboag Historical Society – Serving the Brookfields & More
Inside the Quaboag Historical Society – A variety of Exhibits

I called out for Amy and she was in the back working.  She had left the door slightly ajar.  Amy apparently is the whole show at this society.  She is the one in charge.  She is also very busy.  She gave me a tour.  I looked at books, pamphlets, maps and a few more things and bought some items.  She really didn’t have genealogies but she is interested in receiving them.  Another item for the ToDo list. Like all other societies this one needs the help of others.  I do not live in the area or I would offer my services.  I thanked Amy for her time and interest.  I wish I could have spent more time asking her tons of questions.

I sat in the parking lot for a little while deciding what I would do next.  The Brookfield Town Hall or the Old Indian Cemetery.  I headed for the cemetery.  I had time.   This time I wanted to document the cemetery and the tombstone of Philip Goss and Judith Goss.

To get to the Old Indian Cemetery you head west or east on Hwy 9 and when you are in the middle of the town of West Brookfield and come to the courthouse and the library you turn north onto Cottage Street and drive about 2.5 blocks or to the tan house with the white shutters but not before you get to the West Brookfield Beach. You cannot miss the cemetery it is on the left and the boundaries are a stone wall about 2 feet high all the way around it. It is situated in a grove of pine trees.  You cannot see it on Google Earth because of the Pine Trees but it is there, I guarantee it!  The West Brookfield Historical Commission website has pictures of the entrance and a list of the burials:  http://www.westbrookfield.org/oic_home.htm  I have every confidence that they have as complete a list as possible.

I began photographing this cemetery.  My goal was not to do every stone but to give an idea of what the cemetery looked like, the condition it was in and the size and shape.  My primary focus was the headstone of Philip and Judith Goss.  As I studied the area I realized there was also a foot stone and noted that was indicated on the West Brookfield list.  There is another stone next to the foot stone but it is really buried in the ground.  I also searched around for other indications of another grave.  I was looking for the son of Philip and Judith but I would probably need other tools to determine if he was there and my hubby might have ideas.  The foot stone was tilting to one side on the edge and seemed like it was sinking.  It also had lichen growing on it.  The area around the two stones was empty and that makes me suspicious that there might be more burials. If you look at the whole cemetery you see stone tilting either forward or backward.  Others are leaning to the right or left.  There are a few broken stones and even a sinking stone.  I wonder if there are other stones buried below the surface?  Hard to say!

Entrance to the Indian Cemetery – West Brookfield
Capt Philip Goss & Judith Goss Headstone and Footstone
Haymaker Monument – in the back corner to the left

I have more photographs of the cemetery and a video.  I will upload them to the blog after I return home.  It is really difficult to do blog while traveling.

My next goal was to head for Brookfield and go to the library or the town hall.  I ended up at the town hall a big red brick building.  The floors in the foyer creak really loudly.  I am afraid I stopped and experimented a little.  CREAK, CREAK!!  I opened the door of the Town Clerk’s office and came into a little room with three people.  There was a man talking to the clerk about guns.  I waited.  I told him I was interested in vital records in the 1700’s and he handed me a copy of the Brookfield Vital Records to 1850 book.  Apparently I was not going to see original records.  He told me they were in the vault.  He vouched for the records in the published book? I gave him some of my brochures that I had prepared for this trip on my blogs.  He was friendly but I could see that they were really not set up for dealing with genealogists.

Brookfield Town Hall

Brookfield Town Hall website http://www.brookfieldma.us/

A quick check of the Family History Library catalog and much to my amazement the vital records of Brookfield are all in published form not original records??? The Massachusetts Archives has the 1841 to 1910 vital records online but I do not know if they have them on microfilm for Brookfield??  Something tells me there is a good story if not a sad one here????  I will do more investigating this access to the originals.  I am now very concerned.

I found the Brookfield Library (Merrick) at the end of the village green on the east side.  It was closed on Monday and opened in the afternoon on Tuesday.  I would be gone by then.  When I studied their online catalog I did not find much at that library for genealogy.  If they have a filing cabinet filled with history, I do not know.  I was not going to be able to find out by visiting for they would not be opened and I had to get to Lancaster.

Merrick Public Library
Memorial Square

It was time to move on to North Brookfield so I headed up Hwy 148.  It was around 12 noon and I was getting hungry so I decided to stop at the Brookfield Orchards.  There were signs everywhere.  Someone knew how to promote the business.  If I recall the roads are Ward, Elm and Lincoln Road.  Just follow the signs you can’t miss it for all the buildings are red and white.  On the left is a big field of apple trees.  They have not blossomed.  I bet that is pretty.  You can tell there is a large orchard for the trees go on forever.

The Brookfield Orchards Store is large with a variety of things for sale: pottery, dishes, crafts items, jams, jellies and canned items, books, maps, junk and even a museum of collections.  I spied apples being processed and some were going for a bath in a large container.  This place has and sells everything.  The older lady was eating her lunch and she readily answered my questions about the goods and store.  As I wandered the last area of the store I found some old maps of North Brookfield, Brookfield and West Brookfield and more.  They were about the 1880’s and taken from an county atlas.  They were charging $12-15 dollars for some and a small fortune for the others.

Going for a swim!
Just look for this Sign

I returned to the front but nobody was around.  I waited about 10 minutes an a young girl entered and I asked if she was in charge and she nodded yes.  I told her I wanted a dumpling and a slice of cheese.  What a tremendous about of energy level drop.  She was more interested in other things.  I was grieving for the other older lady and wondered where she was at least I could have a fun conversation with her.  The Brookfield Orchards was fun.  If I had more time or was staying awhile I would have purchased some apples.  I live in Washington State so you can understand my interest.  The older lady she mentioned that the strains of the apples were all different in the various apple growing areas.  The store is almost like a museum and you could spend some serious time there.  My dumpling was tasty The cheese was Vermont cheese and it was good.  I did gobble them both down.  Seems to me it needed a big dollop of whipping cream!  I think they serve them with ice cream?

North Brookfield was the next stop on my wandering of the Brookfields.  I took Elm Street into North Brookfield and came upon the Walnut Grove Cemetery.  I had some cars behind me so I turned into one of the entry ways and explored this cemetery for a short while. Find A Grave has a listing of the interments coming in at 569.  I think the cemetery is bigger so you might need to do more investigating?

After I finished with the Walnut Grove Cemetery I came upon the North Brookfield Town Center and I recognized the Town Hall from a picture.  I was trying to figure out what was happening with the North Brookfield Town Hall.  It looked like it needed a paint job really bad.  When I tried to open the doors to enter they were locked and it looked like the Town Clerk and other officers were not in their offices.  It looked abandoned? If you go to this link you see that their hours are rather short Tuesday and Thursday 12 to 3 pm and Tuesday evenings 5 pm to 8 pm.  http://www.northbrookfield.net/

North Brookfield Town Hall
First Congregational Church on the Town Square

Lesson learned:  Check the website.  I really didn’t want to do anything there because their records are not far enough back for me but I was curious and wanted to explore.

As I drove north I noticed a cemetery on the left at Maple Street and Main. They were doing some road work and I didn’t want to get caught in the middle of that so I left.  I believe it is the North Brookfield Cemetery on Maple Street and Find A Grave has a listing of the interments up to 152.  Something tells me that this is not a complete list.

After taking some photographs of the North Brookfield Library (Haston Free), Town Hall and village green I headed north.

I was going in search of the plaque commemorating the home of Rufus Putnam.  Rufus Putnam founded Marietta, Ohio.  Marietta, Ohio is where Solomon Goss and Olive Scott Goss settled after leaving Pennsylvania.  It is just to coincidental to be ignored.  Solomon Goss is a son of Philip and Mary Kendall Goss.

Rufus had land next to and overlooking Horseshoe Lake in North Brookfield.  I drove on a regular two lane highway till I turned off onto Oakham Road and then I turned onto Rufus Putnam Road.  The road started to get rough, pot marked, and covered in some areas with loose gravel.  I found Horseshoe Lake which is reserved for the drinking water of the area and has all these signs posted all other warning people not to swim or play in the lake.  I was trying to decide if I wanted to go up this hill.  A van came down it at a fast clip so I could tell it was not too bad. So I took the plunge. I got to the top of the hill and to my surprise there actually was a marker for the Rufus Putnam home.  The view was wonderful of Horseshoe Lake and the surrounding area.  I can’t believe I found the plaque!  WOW!! Try this article about him:  http://digicoll.marietta.edu/oca/background/biography/putnam_rufus.html

Horseshoe Lake
Site of Rufus Putnam’s homestead
Rufus Putnam Road
Horseshoe Lake Looking Down from about Rufus Putnam’s Home

I left the North Brookfield area and took Hwy 67 back to West Brookfield and it brought me out almost into the main part of town.  I stopped and P&S Pizza for some fish and chips. The piece of fish was huge!  It was the best fish and chips I had ever eaten and I was on Cape Cod.  The waitress said it was haddock?  They are right there on Main Street across from the Ye Old Tavern.

The Merriam-Gilbert Public Library in West Brookfield was open. There were several titles I wanted to check out regarding the work of a Archie Jay.  The librarian gave me some keys.  One key was to the Archie Jay collection which was a 2 drawer lateral filing cabinet.  The other keys were to the historical book collection.  I did have to sign a register but they didn’t ask for any blood.  HA!

I climbed the very steep stairs to the 2nd floor and found a wonderful room with several rooms.  The historical collection was housed in a small alcove.  I opened the filing drawer and set to work.  The files are arranged by subject and I was particularly interested in gristmills, the Goss Garrison, maps, family histories.  I took a lot of photographs of interesting things.  They really didn’t have the type of map I was looking for.  Mr. Jay’s collection was well organized in files and was sort of a grouping of manuscripts, newspaper articles, copies of published works for family histories, written notes and handmade maps. It is a 2 drawer lateral filing cabinet. Mr. Jay was the town historian for years.  Barbara and Dick had the good fortune to meet and know him as he was winding down his activities.

Apparently this collection had been added to the catalog by the West Brookfield Historical Commission and this implies that if a town library has any historical or genealogical materials you are going to have to inquire.  I was having no luck except for the West Brookfield library (Merriam-Gilbert) in finding any historical or genealogical references in the online catalog or any section of a library website referencing genealogy or history.  Who knows what information is out there that is not catalogued…Oh my!  The other issue is money.  I am seeing the lack of it and how it is affecting the records.

I liked the Merriam-Gilbert Library and would loved to spend a little more time there.  It was very lovely inside and the librarians where helpful and friendly.

Merriam-Gilbert Library, West Brookfield right across from the Town Hall on Cottage Street
Stained Glass Window 2nd Floor of the West Brookfield Library
One of Two Large Locked Bookshelves
Off to the Indian Cemetery to visit Philip and Judith Goss.  I dallied their in the cemetery for my 3rd visit enjoying the serenity of it.  A young child was laughing in the backyard next to the cemetery.  The day was sunny and very warm.
Philip & Judith Goss – Footstone
Headstone:  Philip on the  left and Judith on the Right
Back in my room in the Dragonfly Bed and Breakfast I settled in to work on my blog posts and do other chores.  As I worked I watched the day end in West Brookfield.  There was actually a sunset with a little bit of orange.
It would soon be time for bed.

 

April 10, 2011 – Part II: Springfield to Sturbridge

My goal was to head east to Brimfield where there is evidence that Benjamin and Margaret Cooley settled.  They are the parents of Keziah Cooley Goss my 6th great grandmother.

This link is a brief historical sketch of Brimfield and it is definitely tied to Springfield:  http://history.rays-place.com/ma/hampd/brimfield.htm.  The vital records that are online do not reveal that Benjamin and Margaret Cooley were there.  I am in the process of checking the cemeteries in the area to see if I can find a trace of them. They had to get close to Brookfield so that their daughter Keziah and Philip Goss could meet and marry. 

Getting to Sturbridge was interesting.  I am learning that they don’t call a town what is on the map.  I passed through Wilbraham.  Fiskdale is called Sturbridge.  The road can be two lane, one lane, then back to four lane and then back to two lane and it doesn’t seem to make sense?  The average speed on this Hwy 20 was 45 miles per hour which is doable.  When I hit Palmer I got a little mixed up but after a couple tries I was on my way east again.  That little jog in Palmer was a bit confusing. 

I was in Sturbridge about 12.20 pm.  I passed Hwy 148 with the sign to Brookfield and North Brookfield.  I got real excited about it and tried to take a photo but the light turned green. 

I drove a little further into Sturbridge and saw the signage for the Old Sturbridge Village so I turned to the right keeping an eye out for the Tavern.  I turned into the Sturbridge Village parking lot and spotted the Oliver Wright Tavern on the left at the entrance.  Something is not quite right about my Streets and Trips Mapping software because it had a different location for the tavern?  It means I have to be very careful and I get to “wing it.”

Oliver Wight Tavern – Old Sturbridge Village

I parked and headed in.  I went into the building on the left entered the door and discovered that there was a gift shop and restaurant and they were serving brunch.  It was nothing fancy and quite a big room actually 3 rooms, one small area with a fireplace, a food area and then a big area filled with a variety of tables.  The decor was not fancy.  The host took me too a table and chairs by the window.  The room was noisy with the talk of many people.  It wasn’t full but it was doing well. 

The Oliver Wight Tavern offers brunch on Sunday from 10 to 2 pm.  They had everything.  If you wanted breakfast, or pastries, or pancakes and waffles, turkey, desserts and more, even salad.  My waitress was friendly and made sure I had plenty of coffee.  It was delicious and very filling.  Their brunch is $20.00 and by the time you are through it is around $25.00.  Actually that is not necessarily a bad price for a brunch.  I have paid far more.

After brunch I explored the very large and extensive gift shop with its many rooms.  There was pottery, quilts and quilting kits, toys, clothes, books, dishes and many more items of interest.  I am afraid I gave in and did by two books:

1.  Quabbin a History and Explorers’ Guide by Michael Tougias
2.  A New England Village, by Joseph S. Wood

After brunch I toured the Old Sturbridge Village. Admission is $20 so you do want to spend some time there.  I was interested in the grist mill and of course it is a long walk to it. This village is similar to Plimouth Plantation and Colonial Williamsburg in that they are large, spread out and living history villages.  This particular one is set in the time period of 1790 to 1840 which is a little late for my time frame of 1687 to 1747.  Here is the link again http://www.osv.org/.  They have a lot of programs, activities and educational outreach.  If I lived nearby I would probably become a member.  Lots of activities for the children from about age 6 on up but not so great for the babies. 

I stopped briefly at the Parsonage Barn and a performer was playing his guitar and telling stories: Tunes and Tales and Travels & Treachery. 

They hand you a map when you enter showing you where the different buildings are and on the back are the various programs and the times.  There is a stage coach.  In the summer there is boating on the lake.  Even though I did not stay long I enjoyed myself.

Grist Mill

Lake with Covered Bridge

Farming area

Time to head for the Brookfields.