We see many small flowers on our walks along Massachusetts woodland paths. But it was a real treat to discover an Easy Walk, a broad open cart path along the way to where huge, bright pink, showy blossoms were in full bloom in the rhododendron colony in Dover, MA at the Peters reservation, (a property of Trustees of Reservations). June is the time for rhododendrons.
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.
The more work I do on my Easy Walks in Massachusetts series, the more I realize that my love of the outdoors is complementary to my love of history. Yes, I love to walk along rushing streams, and deeply enjoy overlooks that provide grand views of the countryside. But I also travel back in time with each stone wall I see. Open farm fields and pastures where trees now stand tall fill my imagination. Stone foundations that appear “out of nowhere” were, in another time, the center of a family’s life. Mill dams and mill races beside streams were once essential sources of power for a community.
I visited The Trustees of Reservations Cormier Woods in Uxbridge, MA and got a guided tour of some of the property with the caretaker, Mary Beauchamp. As we strolled along the trails Mary shared some of the history of the farm, but when we got to the site of an old homestead, she confessed they knew little about it. Continue reading
The Trustees of the Reservation provide a wonderful place to wander through open fields, into woodlands, then along a lane through the woods that feels as though it was a cart-path from long ago. There are stone walls that angle off through the trees, stone foundations that hint of lives lived long ago, Continue reading