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Archive for massachusetts

Sculpting American History

By Linda Tancs

Daniel Chester French was America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments. One of his first and most beloved sculptures is of an image of a Revolutionary War “Minute Man,” found today at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. He’s also responsible for the goliath Abraham Lincoln sculpture at the monument in Washington, D.C. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Berkshire Hills, French purchased the former Marshall Warner farm in 1896 as a summer residence. Known as Chesterwood, he worked on over 200 public and private commissions there. Both a national and Massachusetts historic landmark, the studio, residence and woodlands beckon visitors to the Glendale section of Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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The Mount in Massachusetts

By Linda Tancs

One of America’s greatest writers, Edith Wharton wrote over 40 books in 40 years, including The Age of InnocenceEthan Frome and The House of Mirth. In 1902 the Pulitzer Prize-winning author designed and built her own home, The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts. A National Historic Landmark, her beloved home is now a cultural center celebrating the life and works of its most famous occupant. The estate is a study in English, French and Italian traditions, boasting a classically inspired main house modeled after an estate in Lincolnshire, an elegant Georgian Revival stable, formal gardens inspired by French and Italian landmarks and sculpted landscaping. The property is open to visitors from May to October.

America’s Fleet Museum

By Linda Tancs

Located in southeastern Massachusetts on scenic Mt. Hope Bay, Battleship Cove is America’s fleet museum. Home to the highly decorated battleship USS Massachusetts (saved from demolition), it also features the world’s largest collection of World War II naval vessels, including the destroyer, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., the submarine Lionfish, PT 617 and PT 796 and the Soviet-built missile corvette, Hiddensee. A great day out in the Fall River area, there’s a re-creation of the Iwo Jima setting at Bicentennial Park.

America’s Oldest Restaurant

By Linda Tancs

Along Boston’s Freedom Trail you’ll find America’s oldest restaurant, Union Oyster House. Housed in a building dating back to pre-Revolutionary days (1716), its stalls and oyster bars remain in their original positions since the opening in 1826. The brick structure was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003 and is a rare surviving example of the city’s Georgian architecture. A favorite of statesmen, artists, travelers, inventors, athletes and theatre figures, it’s notable as the home of Isaiah Thomas (publisher of The Massachusetts Spy from 1771 to 1775) and the place where Louis Philippe, later King of France, taught French to prominent Bostonians. The toothpick (invented by a Maine family in the timber industry) also made its debut there. Not only is the Massachusetts eatery America’s oldest restaurant, but it’s also one of the world’s oldest establishments (the oldest being Botín in Madrid, founded in 1725).

Home of Little Women

By Linda Tancs

Louisa May Alcott wrote her beloved classic Little Women at Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts. The grounds contained an orchard of 40 apple trees, giving the home its name. Largely unchanged since the Alcott occupancy in the mid-1800s, the premises even retain 80 percent of the family furnishings, making a visit to the property akin to walking through the pages of the novel. The house is shown by guided tour only.

African Meeting in America

By Linda Tancs

In Boston, Massachusetts, the African Meeting House is the oldest African edifice in America, and the adjacent Abiel Smith School is the first building in the nation constructed for the sole purpose of housing a black public school. Located on Beacon Hill, both structures were built in the 1800s and represent the crown jewels of the Museum of African American History. Once the heart of Boston’s 19th century free black community, the historic landmarks are a testament to courage, ingenuity and perseverance. You can discover the stories of courageous Americans on a guided walking tour of two trails highlighting black heritage and community. The museum’s branch in Nantucket hosts another meeting house and heritage trail.

The Art Gallery Town

By Linda Tancs

In the restful enclave of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, life is good.  Located on the narrowest part of Cape Cod, it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches bayside and oceanside.  Hikers will find some of the best trails in the Cape Cod National Seashore, not to mention nature walks, workshops and classes available through the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  These days it’s taken on particular renown as the art gallery town, bursting at the seams with galleries featuring local works.  And let’s not forget the internationally acclaimed Wellfleet oyster.  The annual OysterFest is this weekend.  Free shuttles will run to the town center from Newcomb’s Hollow Beach, White Crest Beach and LeCounts Hollow Beach (Maguire Landing).

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