Monthly Archives: April 2012

Maple farms

Once upon a time, almost every farm in New England had a small sugarbush–that is, a grove of sugar maples that were kept as a source of sap to be boiled down into syrup and sugar. The old wooden buckets … Continue reading

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Lighthouses

Most of them are on the Atlantic coast, of course. Lake Champlain has one or two as well. Whitlock’s Mill Light, Calais, ME 1901 A small brick tower on the tidal portion of the St. Croix River between Calais and Passamaquoddy Bay. The … Continue reading

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Historic colleges

Included here are institutions of higher learning that date back before 1850. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Established in 1636 as a college for the training of young men to the ministry. Now, of course, it’s America’s most prestigious university and has the … Continue reading

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Athenaeums

These were (and are) educational and cultural institutions, often featuring a private subscription library and reading rooms and sometimes a lecture hall or art gallery. I suppose the proper Latin plural should be “athenaea.” Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA  Near the top of Beacon Hill, … Continue reading

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Covered bridges

Bridges were covered mostly in order to protect their timbers from the elements; it was a lot easier to replace the roof shingles every decade or two rather than having to rebuild the bridge. Southern New England doesn’t have many remaining … Continue reading

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Town pounds

These structures, usually consisting of four low walls either of fieldstone or of rough-cut granite, were built as a temporary holding place for any livestock that escaped from their owners. In order to reclaim the pig or cow in question, … Continue reading

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Old Inns and Taverns

  In colonial times, there was an ordinance (in Massachusetts at least–I don’t know about the other colonies) requiring that every town have at least one tavern or inn for the accommodation of travelers. Most of the surviving early tavern buildings aren’t … Continue reading

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