Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In My Footsteps: Trip 64: Mattapoisett, Mass.

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 64:  Mattapoisett, Mass.
July 22, 2010

            Mattapoisett comes from the Wampanoag word meaning ‘place of resting’ and it is every bit of it.  The small town, relaxed feel, to Mattapoisett helped make this a great trip.  It was also here that I had a sort of moment that made me believe that these articles are what I am meant to be doing, more on that later.
The Seaport Ice Cream Slip
            The waterfront areas of Mattapoisett are spectacular and need to be enjoyed with many long walks.  I found it to be different from Cape Cod despite being only being about a twenty minute drive from the Cape.  It could possibly be simply because it was all new to me.  The Mattapoisett Town Wharf captured all that is good about waterfront scenery in one area. 
            With summer in full swing the wharf and surrounding Mattapoisett Harbor was dotted with boats giving the image of old postcards and photos I remember seeing when my parents were children.  I walked each of the four legs of the wharf in order to see as much of the area as possible.  There were several interesting sites along the wharf including a large swordfish stoically mounted at the end of the longest of the wharves. 
            The most well known spot along the Town Wharf is the Seaport Ice Cream Slip.  This tiny little shack on wheels sitting on the eastern side of the Town Wharf may not appear to be much but the memories and good times it evokes from locals is immeasurable.  I found this out first hand from my friend Emily whose grandparents are longtime residents of Mattapoisett.  Seeing the photos I had taken of this popular spot brought back memories for her of savoring their chocolate ice cream there many summer days when she was younger.  The Seaport Ice Cream Slip on Rt. 6 serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods in addition to the ice cream.  It is the cherry on top of the great views the Mattapoisett Town Wharf provides.
The homes along the cove adjacent to Pine Island Pond.
            Sometimes I like to seek out beautiful areas off the beaten path.  In Mattapoisett I found such a place along the area called Pine Island Pond.  The narrow Cove Road acts as a barrier between the pond and the ocean.  I could only go so far as the homes along the cove were private but I was able to park along the side of the dirt road and take in some passing sailboats.  Behind me, hovering over the pond was a family of osprey.  Their calls were the only sounds besides the lapping ocean waves.  I would have stayed longer but with several crying osprey circling overhead I thought it might be wise to move on to my next spot.
            My final spot to visit was Ned’s Point Lighthouse at Shipyard Park.  It was here that I got a sign that my travel writing was a good choice.  Unbeknownst to me I had chosen to visit Ned’s Point Light at one of the few times it was open to the public.  Being open on Thursdays from 10:00am to noon in July and August did not give me a large window but I did make it in time.
Ned's Point Lighthouse
            Ned’s Point Light was built in 1838 at the urging of former President, and at that time Massachusetts Congressman, John Quincy Adams.  It had been rushed and poorly built at first, needing several rounds of improvements up through 1888.  The wooden light keeper’s house was loaded on a barge and floated across Buzzards Bay to Wing’s Neck Light in Bourne in 1923.  Russell Eastman, the last keeper at Ned’s Point, rode in the house across the bay on the day.  Decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1952 the light became active again in 1961.     
Mattapoisett Harbor from the top of Ned's Point Light.

     It is a thirty-nine foot stone tower, much different in appearance than the typical lighthouse.  I was very excited to get to climb up inside.  There were two elderly people, a man and a woman, representing the Coast Guard which owns the lighthouse, there that day.   The man was up at the top of the lighthouse, I am not sure how he made it up there.  Both of them were very nice and knowledgeable.  I was able to see the patches of brown below making an outline of where the keeper’s house had once stood in front of the lighthouse.
            From this vantage point I could see clearly from the previously mentioned Pine Island Pond to the southeast down to Mattapoisett Harbor and the Town Wharf.  It was a spectacular sight and I found myself turning my head from side to side over and over like I was at a tennis match.  It would have been very easy to stay up on that platform all day but sadly the time to close the lighthouse came and I was forced to relive the experience in my photos afterward.
            Mattapoisett has a beautifully relaxed feel to it wherever you visit.  A walk along the Town Wharf complete with a visit to the Seaport Ice Cream Slip makes a great start.  This can only be topped by checking out Shipyard Park where the unique Ned’s Point Light resides.  It does not have to be summer, this quiet little seaside town can be enjoyed 365 days a year.  Have fun and happy traveling!
DirectionsNed’s Point Lighthouse: From I-195 West take Exit 19A.  Turn right into Mattapoisett.  Bear right onto North Street, follow for a mile and a half and turn left onto Water St. which becomes Beacon St.  This road becomes Ned’s Point Rd. without any turns.  Follow it to the park where the lighthouse is located.
Mattapoisett Town Wharf:  From Rt. 6 heading west take a left at Marion Rd.  Turn right at Water St., follow it a half mile to the Town Wharf on the left.  Seaport Ice Cream Slip is on the far left after you enter.
            Ned's Point Lighthouse History
            Mattapoisett Historical Society

Monday, August 23, 2010

In My Footsteps: Trip 63: Hull, Mass.

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 63:  Hull, Mass.
July 8, 2010

            Though it is the fourth smallest town in the state of Massachusetts in terms of land area, Hull is home to many very well known attractions.  This peninsula of land, sticking more than two miles out into the water is bordered on the east by Massachusetts Bay and on the west by Hull Bay.  It is a thickly settled beach front town where nearly every home has a view of the water.  It is filled with tightly packed houses that all seem right out of early-20th Century postcards. 
Looking north along Nantasket Beach.
The main attraction of Hull, besides its tremendous view of the Boston skyline, is Nantasket Beach.  The name ‘Nantasket’ comes from the Massachusett Indian tribe’s word meaning ‘at the strait.’  The beach is considered to be one of the finest in New England and is made special by the fine light gray sand left behind by glaciers.  During the summer getting a parking spot is next to impossible even though the beach itself is nearly two miles long and there are many parking lots to fill.  The view from the beach is great as well as you can see down the coast toward Cohasset and the great Atlantic Avenue drive that I mentioned in my Cohasset article.   
The Paragon Carousel
The Nantasket Beach Reservation is twenty-six acres and includes the fantastic Paragon Carousel which is where I parked to take in the beauty of the famous beach.  As I stated above, parking was at a premium so I needed to park a few streets away from the beach.  The Paragon Carousel is one of the only remnants of Paragon Park.  This was an amusement park built along Nantasket Beach in 1905 as a safe place for families to enjoy when the area had been overrun with con-men and thieves.  The park at one time included the ‘Giant Coaster’ rollercoaster ride.  This is significant because after the park closed in 1984 the ride was dismantled and sold to Six Flags in the Washington D.C. area and operates as ‘The Wild One.’  Besides the carousel there is a really neat clock tower connected with the old Paragon Park which still stands.  The rest of the former park’s grounds are filled with condominiums now.   
            Continuing along the narrow strip of land that makes up Hull I stopped at Mariner’s Park which sits on Fitzpatrick Way.  It is a small marina where many boats were sitting on this day.  There is a great view of the Spinnaker Island Condominiums from behind the marina.  Spinnaker Island used to be known as Hog Island and is only accessible by a quarter-mile long bridge.   Another reason why I stopped at Mariner’s Park was for the view across the street. 
Fort Revere
            Only a short walk away, where Fitzpatrick Way and Nantasket Avenue meet there is a short wall and from there you can see out into Boston Harbor and the Brewster Islands.  I stood on the wall and was mesmerized by Boston Light located about a mile off shore.  However, as good as this view was, there was an even better view to come of the same area.
The first time I happened upon Fort Revere it was purely by accident.  I was trying to get to a higher vantage point to snap a few photos of Hull from up on Telegraph Hill.  It was after climbing a concrete wall at the back end of Hull Cemetery that I first came face to face with the awe-inspiring Fort Revere.  The eight acre park sits comfortably about sixty-feet above seal level which gives you an even better view of the Brewster Islands than from ground level. 
The observation tower at Fort Revere.
            Fort Revere was built in 1776 and has a clear view of the surrounding landscape from Boston Harbor south to Cohasset Harbor.  Straight out to the east sits the amazing Boston Lighthouse.  Located on Little Brewster Island, this current lighthouse was built in 1783 although the station itself was begun in 1716.  Even more amazing is the fact that the island station is shared by the lighthouse with five other houses each more than a hundred years old.  On a clear day the ‘younger’ Graves Lighthouse can be seen behind Boston Light.  Built in 1905, it is grey in color and is best seen by boat.  Near the parking lot at Fort Revere Park there is a map of the Brewster Island which will allow you to place names with the land.
            Fort Revere is a maze of concrete tunnels and steps.  It is an earthen fort much like Fort Taber in New Bedford.  Inside the shadowy halls of the fort there is a lot of graffiti which is a shame but it is still a really neat walk going through each of the halls.  I have read numerous articles saying that Fort Revere is haunted but while I was there I did not hear or see anything unusual.  Granted I was there both times on sunny and bright days, not at night, so who knows.  
            On the other side of Telegraph Hill sits an octagon-shaped water tower that doubles as an observation tower.  It is a pale yellow in color and while I was there a lone turkey was wandering the grounds.  The observation deck used to be accessible for a few hours on the first Saturday of the month, but upon returning I was saddened to see a sign that said that people would no longer be allowed to climb up inside.  I can only imagine the view from up inside.
            My visit to Hull was packed with amazing sights despite the relatively small area that the town encompasses.  I highly recommend taking a walk on Nantasket Beach, a ride on the incredible Paragon Carousel, and then a walk through history at Fort Revere.  It’s all so close together that you can really take your time and enjoy it.  Have fun and happy traveling!

DirectionsNantasket Beach: On Rt. 3A north turn right onto Rt. 228 North.  Continue onto Hull St. which becomes Nantasket Ave.  There are several beach parking lots on the right.  Paragon Carousel is located on the corner of Nantasket Avenue and Wharf Avenue.
            Fort Revere: On Rt. 3A north turn right onto Rt. 228 North.  Continue onto Hull St. which becomes Nantasket Ave.  Take a left at Fitzpatrick Way which becomes Nantasket Ave. again.  After a mile take a sharp left at Farina Rd., continue onto Ft. Revere Park.
ReferencesParagon Carousel
            Paragon Park Memories
            Hull, Ma. - Official Town Site

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Footsteps: Trip 62: Cohasset, Mass.

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 62:  Cohasset, Mass.
July 8, 2010

            Before visiting the seaside town of Cohasset I had one idea of what it would be like, and after leaving I had a totally different opinion.  I originally had thought that Cohasset was a town centered around a top attraction which sat a mile offshore in Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse.  As amazing as the story and, albeit limited, view of the lighthouse is I came to discover that there is so much more to Cohasset than just Minot’s Ledge Light. 
The third lens from Minot's Ledge Light.
            I began my trip with a visit to the Cohasset Sailing Club which during this time of year was sprinkled with many vessels.  There is a major connection to Minot’s Ledge Light on the grounds as well.  It is here that the third lens from Minot’s Ledge Light is kept, unfortunately without a boat it was the closest that I will get to the lighthouse itself.  The area around the Sailing Club was one that I stopped and enjoyed for a while.  From kids jumping off of the bridge on Border Street, to people going in and out on their boats, and even a few dogs enjoying a swim, it was a great scene. 
            The next area I went to is not necessarily one place, but the views are something that must be taken in.  Taking a drive along Atlantic Avenue will really give you a sense of what makes Cohasset special.  I had to stop my car and get out at one particular place where Atlantic Avenue turns into Jerusalem Road.  It was here on a corner that there is a magnificent view to the north of the Boston skyline and Boston Harbor from a height of probably fifty-feet.  When I turned to the south there was the small grey finger-like image of Minot’s Ledge Light.  I would have stayed there longer but I had many other places to see.
The view of Boston from Atlantic Avenue.
            I went into the center of Cohasset next to see the amazing Town Common and some of what Main Street had to offer.  The Town Common comes complete with a man-made pond filled with fish, it has several benches and shade-giving trees surrounding it.  As I was taking in the beauty of the Common I heard the ringing of the bells at the neighboring St. Stephen’s Parish.  Normally this would not be a big deal but it became a big deal when I heard the church’s choice in music.  The songs on the list included ‘Rubber Ducky,’ and ‘Sing A Song’ from Sesame Street.  Little things like that make a trip like this stay with me long after I return home.
French Memories
            A short walk from the Common is a place known all across Southeastern Massachusetts: French Memories.  The small bakery on South Main Street is filled with homemade pastries, cakes, and cheeses.  This is topped only by the fact that they serve lunch as well, freshly made sandwiches and soups.  Anne and Jean-Jacques Gabanelle are the owners and they have a fantastic place.  I drove an hour to partake in some of their delicious treats, I think that it was not that far for something that good. 
            Only a short drive up the street from French Memories and the Town Common is a beautiful section of conservation land known as Wheelwright Park.  This is a great area, not too large, the main loop trail takes less than an hour to complete.  There are several places of interest along the route including several boulders with unique names like Big Tippling, Little Tippling, and the Moraine Boulder.  The spot that drew my interest the most was the Devil’s Chair.  This particular rock does not look much different from the others in Wheelwright Park but for the fact that there is a large chunk missing out of the side which gives it the appearance of being a seat.  Of course I had to take a minute to sit down in it, throwing my superstitions out the window.
Minot's Ledge Lighthouse as seen from Sandy Beach.
            The attraction that Cohasset might be best known for is Minot’s Ledge Light.  As I said earlier it sits more than a mile off shore so it is not accessible but by boat.  For the best views of it I recommend the end of Glades Road, North Scituate Beach, or Sandy Beach on Atlantic Avenue.  Although they are not great views and it can be easily obstructed by some large offshore rocks.    
The current Minot’s Ledge Light which stands 114 feet tall is actually the second built on the spot.  The first Minot Light was lit for the first time on New Year’s Day in 1850.  It is reported that the original keeper lived in constant fear of the lighthouse being taken down by the vicious sea.  This man retired after ten short months.  Sadly for the next keeper and his two assistants the fears became reality as the original Minot’s Ledge Light came crashing down during a huge storm in April 1851.  The lighthouse keeper was away at the time trying to procure a new boat but his assistants were killed.  The iron lighthouse littered two miles of beach in the days after the storm. 
The second lighthouse lens from Minot Light was destroyed by vandals before it could be given to the Boston Museum of Science.  The third lens is the one that can be found on the grounds of the Cohasset Sailing Club.  One of the fog bells used at Minot’s Ledge Light is also on display there as well.
Despite possibly being most well known for an attraction more than a mile off shore Cohasset has no shortage of great places to visit.  Make sure to take the time to try a pastry or sandwich at French Memories before taking a walk on the Town Common or a drive on Atlantic Avenue or Glades Road.  Take a seat in the Devil’s Chair or walk the beach to look for Minot’s Ledge Light, you can’t go wrong on a trip through Cohasset.  Have fun and happy traveling!

DirectionsCohasset Sailing Club: From Rt. 3A north turn right onto Henry Turner Bailey Rd., turn left at County Way this becomes S. Main St., turn right onto Summer St. after 1.3 miles.  Follow with a slight right onto Border St., turn left at Government Island Rd. after a half mile.  The club is on the left.  From the Sailing Club, follow Border St., turn right onto Margin Street, turn left onto Atlantic Avenue for a great drive.
            French Memories:  From Rt. 3A north turn right onto Henry Turner Bailey Rd., turn left at County Way this becomes S. Main St., turn right onto Summer St. after 1.3 miles.  Follow with a slight right onto Border St.  Left onto Summer St., quick left onto Elm Street.  Left onto Brook Street and right onto South Main Street.  French Memories is on right side.   The Town Common is a short walk up on the right side.
            Wheelwright Park:  From French Memories take S. Main Street which becomes N. Main Street.  The entrance is 1 mile up on the right.
References:   Minot's Ledge Lighthouse
            French Memories Cohasset
            Cohasset, MA - Town Site

Monday, August 16, 2010

In My Footsteps: Trip 61: Hingham, Mass.

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 61:  Hingham, Mass.
July 8, 2010

            On these travel trips I tend to have a pretty good idea of what I am going to see when I visit a certain place.  It is not often that I am totally surprised by something that I come across.  This is exactly what happened when I visited the town of Hingham and came face to face with Abraham Lincoln.
Hingham Bathing Beach
            Hingham’s Main Street was nicknamed ‘The Main Street of America’ by Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II because of her belief that it embodied the typical American town during wartime.  To celebrate its 375th anniversary as a town Hingham painted the center line on Main Street red, white, and blue.  It was something so simple but it helped add to the ‘American town’ ideal that Mrs. Roosevelt had alluded to.
            Despite the plethora of historical sites to visit I began my visit to Hingham along the water.  With a great view of Hull, the Hingham Bathing Beach and Town Landing provided a relaxing walk and a cool breeze.  There is a great view out toward Boston Harbor and a green area to the east which is home to a cool statue of a barefoot man on a horse on top of a hill.  I have been trying to find out whom the person on the horse is but it has been to no avail thus far.  The Bathing Beach on Otis Street is very popular for those trying to escape the rush of Boston, but folks from any neighboring town make it a point to partake in its relaxing beauty.
Old Ship Church
            After leaving the Bathing Beach it was time to enjoy the history that Hingham has to offer.  The best, and easiest, way to enjoy this is to take a walk on Main Street.  There is an abundance of historical homes each complete with a white plaque featuring the name of the original owner and date in which the home was built.  There is plenty of street-level parking which makes it even easier to just park and go. 
            A spot that needs to be checked out is the Old Ship Church.  It is very difficult to miss this amazing piece of American history with its peach coloring and the fact that it sits on top of a hillside along Main Street.  This is the oldest continuously used church as well as the only remaining 17th Century Puritan meetinghouse in America.  The color is just as unusual as the shape of the building as well.  The Hammerbeam roof, a type of open timber roof meant to give the inside of a building a more spacious look, gives the church the feeling that you are inside an overturned ship. 
The statue of Abraham Lincoln in Hingham
            It is easy to see why the church was built where it sits as it has a great vantage point overlooking what is currently Main Street.  Located behind the church is the Old Ship Burying Ground which is sixteen acres in size.  The earliest burials date to 1672 and the cemetery lies on rolling hills which makes for an interesting historical walk.  Also on the grounds of the Old Ship Church is the Hingham Memorial Bell Tower.  The red brick tower was dedicated to the original settlers of Hingham in 1912 and stands what looks to be close to fifty-feet tall.  It is hard to see from street level which makes taking a walk on the Old Ship Church grounds even more rewarding.
            Only a short drive from the Old Ship Church I came face to face with Abraham Lincoln.  On a small shaded green area, bordered by North Street and Lincoln Street sits a bronze statue of the 16th President looking much the way he appears at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  I had no idea of the connection that one of the most celebrated Americans in history had with Hingham. 
            Lincoln’s 4th great-grandfather, Samuel Lincoln, came to Hingham, Massachusetts from Hingham in Norfolk, England.  Samuel Lincoln is considered to be the father of the most prominent branch of Lincolns in the United States.  The bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln sits facing the home built by Samuel Lincoln’s grandson, also named Samuel, in 1721.  This home stands out due to its powder blue color.
Home of Samuel Lincoln III
            It was quite a thrill for me to get to stand before such a legendary figure, even if it was a bronze statue.  The area surrounding the statue, encompassing several streets, is designated as the Lincoln Historic District.  Places like the New North Church, built by Revolutionary War General Benjamin Lincoln as a rival to the Old Ship Church, as well as the Old Ordinary, a home turned tavern built in 1688, sit within sight of the Lincoln statue.  The history Hingham holds is too much to fit in one article, a walk down Main Street will give visitors a much better grasp of what I have seen.
            That being said I finished my trip to Hingham by visiting Wompatuck State Park.  Named for a Native American chief known to settlers as Josiah Wompatuck, this amazing park has about 400 campsites and twelve miles of paved bicycle trails.  Encompassing more than 3500 acres Wompatuck State Park stretches from Hingham into Cohasset, Scituate, and Norwell.  It is home to Prospect Hill which is the highest point in Hingham and also Mount Blue Spring.  This is a natural spring providing fresh water, any and all visitors can help themselves for free.  I took advantage of this and filled my water bottle in a small shed with a few steps leading down to a series of faucets.
            During my drive along the roads of Wompatuck I happened upon a deer crossing in front of me.  I was lucky enough to get a great look at it before it vanished back into the forest.  This was the perfect capper to a great trip to Hingham.  The history of this town is incredible, its connection to Abraham Lincoln is something that makes it stand out even more.  I definitely recommend paying a visit to Hingham and checking out the historical homes as well as the natural beauty of Wompatuck and the Bathing Beach.  Have fun and happy traveling!
DirectionsHistoric Main Street:  From Rt. 3A heading north, upon entering Hingham take 2nd exit in rotary for Otis Street, turn left onto North Street.  At the fork turn left for South St. and a quick left onto Main Street.  At the fork turn right for North St. and turn right on Lincoln St. for Abraham Lincoln statue.
            Wompatuck State Park:  From Rt. 3A heading north, upon entering Hingham take 2nd exit in rotary for Otis Street, turn left onto North Street.  At the fork turn left for South St. and a quick left onto Main St.  Follow Main St. to Pleasant St. and turn left.  Turn right at Union Street and follow it into the park.
            Hingham Bathing Beach:  From Rt. 3A heading north, upon entering Hingham take 2nd exit in rotary for Otis Street.  Bathing Beach is on the right.
            Old Ship
            Hingham Historical Society              

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In My Footsteps: Trip 60: Scituate, Mass.

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 60:  Scituate, Mass.
July 8, 2010

            Driving through Scituate was an amazing experience.  At times I felt as though I was driving through a series of postcards depicting what a perfect small seaside town should look like.  Besides the miles of beautiful shoreline Scituate is filled with some unexpected historical sites with some pretty wild stories.  All in all it is a place that quickly became one of my favorites. 
Old Oaken Bucket Homestead Well
Incorporated in 1636 with a name that comes from the Wampanoag Indian term for ‘cold brook,’ Scituate was primarily a fishing community from the onset.  Route 3A is the main road through Scituate and gives you a great view of the harbor along the North River.  One such postcard view is that of an old fishing house located out in the river near Damons Point Rd.  I had to make a point to stop along the bridge crossing the river to take in the beautiful scene.  It also made me wonder how people get out to this building except by boat, it is as beautiful as it is inaccessible.
One of the many historic spots in Scituate actually has its name in literature.  The Old Oaken Bucket, on the road of the same name, was made famous worldwide by poet Samuel Woodworth.  His 1817 poem about longing for his youth has been described as one of the most beautiful pieces of work in the English language.  The land where the Old Oaken Bucket well and homestead stand today was originally a farm belonging to Samuel Woodworth’s stepmother, Besty Northey.  Woodworth moved there after his father and Northey married in 1796; he often drank from the well on the hot days when he worked with his father on the farmland.  ‘The Old Oaken Bucket’ was voted Scituate’s town song in 1935. 
Lawson Tower
The next spot I visited exceeded my expectations.  It was at this spot where I also was lucky enough to receive a guided tour as well.  Lawson Tower looks a bit out of place among the other historic buildings in this small seaside village.  The reason is because the architecture is straight out of 12th Century Germany.  Standing 153-feet tall, this amazing piece of architecture is for all intents and purposes the most beautiful water tower on Earth. 
The story of how it came to be is an article in itself.  Around the turn of the 20th century, millionaire and ‘copper king’ Thomas W. Lawson had built an estate he called ‘Dreamwold,’ in Scituate.  Unfortunately shortly thereafter the Scituate Water Company constructed a very plain, gray steel sandpipe to serve as a water tower.  Not wanting his spectacular view to be ruined Lawson supposedly hired an architect to travel Europe and find a design to cover up the eyesore water tower.  Legend has it that this tower is based on a similar site located at Stahleck Castle on the Rhine River in Germany. 
The Mann Farmhouse
The tower is breathtaking and it overlooks a baseball field on one side and several other historic sites on the other.  It is surrounded by beautiful flowers and a small playground belonging to a neighboring church.  While I was photographing the tower I was able to meet the head of the Scituate Historical Society as he was locking the tower up.  He was gracious enough to take a few minutes to tell me the story of Thomas Lawson and even showed me inside the tower where I could see the remains of the old grey water tower.  He was very knowledgeable and the stories he told me made the trip to Scituate even more interesting.
The building which now houses the Historical Society sits a few steps from Lawson Tower.  The ‘Little Red Schoolhouse’ served as Scituate’s high school from its opening in 1893 until the Gates Intermediate School was built in 1917.  Any trip to Scituate needs to include a stop here, there are pamphlets showcasing all of the town’s historical sites and they come in very handy when trying to plan a day trip.
Old Scituate Lighthouse as seen from Museum Beach.
The Mann Farmhouse and Museum on Greenfield Lane is interesting for the fact that the Mann family are the descendants of Richard Mann who settled in Scituate in 1636.  Three generations of Mann’s lived in the house right after, and a seventh generation Mann, Percy Mann, lived in the house until his death in 1968.  There is a beautiful wildflower garden complete with a trellis to enter through and a small walking bridge. 
One sort of offbeat attraction of the Mann Farmhouse is something very easy to miss or misidentify.  According to the story, after having a run-in with town officials over various fees due on his car, Percy Mann in the 1920’s decided it would be better to drive his car out back and leave it there.  For nearly ninety years it has slowly deteriorated and there is now a large tree which has grown up through the frame of the car.  What appeared to me to be misplaced junk became a really neat side note on my trip to Scituate.
Old Scituate Light
            The main attraction in Scituate is the historic Old Scituate Lighthouse.  Built in 1811 and located on Cedar Point in Scituate this lighthouse played an important role in the War of 1812.  It was on this spot that Rebecca and Abigail Bates, the ‘Lighthouse Army of Two,’ scared off the British troops by playing their drum and fife loudly.  The British feared the sounds were of the approaching Scituate Militia and retreated.  After being out of service for over 130 years the lighthouse was once again made visible from sea to aid passing vessels. 
Even before reaching the point where the lighthouse is there was a magnificent view of the entire shoreline on Jericho Road.  Lighthouse Road is dotted with quaint homes, some more than a hundred years old, that are empty during the colder months but were bustling with activity on this day.  There is a breakwater which sticks out into the harbor with many tiny sailboats heading out into the open water from Museum Beach.  It is out on the breakwater where you can get a tremendous view of Scituate Light which looks more like a granite rocket ship than a lighthouse.
A trip through several perfect postcards of a seaside village, that is what Scituate felt like for me.  It is no coincidence then that I have been there three times since beginning these travel articles.  I recommend visiting the Scituate Historical Society and getting the historic site pamphlet and then taking your time to see all of them.  There is something for everyone here.  Have fun and happy traveling!
DirectionsOld Scituate Light: From Rt. 3 north take Exit 12, merge onto Church Street heading toward Marshfield.  Turn left onto Old Oak St., and continue onto Union St for 3.3 miles.  Union St. becomes Bridge St., turn right onto Rt. 123 for 1.8 miles. Turn onto New Driftway at the rotary, this road becomes New Kent St., Kent St., and Front St. in that order.  Turn right at Jericho Rd. and continue onto light.
            Lawson Tower:  From Rt. 3A heading north take right at First Parish Road.  Take 5th left turn at Central Park Drive.  Tower is on left.  Little Red Schoolhouse/Historical Society is across the street from Central Park Dr. on Cudworth Road.
            Old Oaken Bucket Homestead:  From Rt. 3A heading north take 4th exit in rotary which is Old Oaken Bucket Road.  The homestead is about a half mile up on the left.