Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery

Posted by Stu On December - 29 - 2009

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Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery is the oldest in the US that’s run by an animal welfare group.  We originally came here because we read about a few celebrities’ pets being interred here, but it’s an impressive place so we stayed a while.  Some sections are especially old and showing their age.

There were 2 particular graves that we came here for, and all I had to do was turn around to find the first one:

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Igloo was Admiral Richard Byrd’s terrier and was there on his expedition to the South Pole, hence the iceberg-shaped stone.

On the way down the path to try and find our second goal, we sidetracked quite a bit and just walked around.

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After a while, we came across our next objective – Lizzie Borden’s dogs are buried here as well.

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We poked around a bit more, then headed for Rhode Island.

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Popularity: 17% [?]

Plymouth Rock

Posted by Stu On December - 28 - 2009

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Plymouth Rock, one of the oldest tourist attractions in the US, is just that – a rock.  Said to be where the Pilgrims first set foot in the New World, Plymouth is more of an ideal than an actual physical place, mostly because we aren’t 100% sure of the exact spot where the Pilgrims first touched ground.  This rock is really just a section of a larger one; this portion was cut off quite some time ago and has been moved around numerous times before being placed on the beach in Plymouth’s port.
And for the record, the Pilgrims landed in Provincetown first, not Plymouth.

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The Rock is the center of this monument, right at the shore.  It’s a decent drop down to it, and all the sides are gated to deter souvenir hunters from chipping off parts of it.

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As a friend told me before I left for my trip, “it’s just a rock.”  It sure is, and is probably more based in folklore than reality, but it’s still symbolic and one of the original pieces of Americana.

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Popularity: 16% [?]

Mayflower II

Posted by Stu On December - 28 - 2009

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Just up the road a bit from Plymouth Rock is the Mayflower II, which is by all accounts an accurate replica of the original ship of Pilgrim fame.  I couldn’t find any information anywhere on whether or not the ship’s to scale, but it’s likely nobody’s really sure what the original Mayflower’s measurements were.

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…anyway, essentially you’re paying to walk around on a boat.  Other than the inevitable “I’m on a boat” joke, unless you like history, you probably won’t care.  But if you don’t like history, what are you doing in Plymouth anyway?

There’s the standard “props to show you what life was like back then” deal aboard the boat.  Obviously, it’s all replicas.

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After roaming the boat for a bit, you’re greeted by a small, partially hands-on museum.  Some of the stuff’s pretty cool; check it out.  Might as well; you paid to get in here, you know?

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Popularity: 23% [?]

Dogtown

Posted by Stu On December - 28 - 2009

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Dogtown, found between Gloucester and Rockport (yes, the same Rockport where that silly Paper House is) has a long and unusual history.  Settled as early as 1641, the town never became too big, with its peak population in the early 1800’s reaching a few hundred.  Farming was next to impossible due to the rocky ground, so the sea was a major provider of industry.  Trading, fishing, and war kept the men busy, but also made a fair share of widows.  Men were often lost at sea, and the Revolution took its toll as well.

By the 19th century, especially during the War of 1812, families died out or moved on to greener pastures, and drifters, ex-pirates, and other undesirables began squatting in some of the abandoned homes.  As the dredges of society moved in, the remaining families and widows relied on dogs for protection.  Eventually, the people left and the dogs ran wild, hence the town’s name.
I was unable to find the town’s original name, if it even had one.  It’s only referred to as Dogtown, even though it existed well over a century before being labeled as such.

Dogtown had been abandoned for quite some time by the Great Depression, when a rich man named Roger Babson, who had great interest in the town’s history, researched the town’s residents and began to mark their paths and former dwellings.  Today, some of the cellar holes have a last name or number posted along the trail; the numbers correspond to a map created by Babson.
Also noteworthy, and probably what drives people to visit the ruins more than anything else, are Babson’s “inspirational” boulders.  Out-of-work stone cutters were hired by Babson during the Depression to carve motivational messages into about 30 of the boulders scattered about town.  Today the Babson Boulder Trail is marked, and many of these rocks are along it.  Others are more hidden or are down side paths.

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The entrance to the Dogtown trail is pretty skeevy, with trash and graffiti all over.  It doesn’t look like the area is maintained much.  There is a holder with some maps in it.  We took one and found the trails aren’t too well marked.  The map itself was pretty hard to follow too.

…so, as usual, we said screw it and winged it.  At first we were only able to find a few numbers.  There are several rock walls and paths running here and there in the woods.  It was pretty cool knowing these were walking paths first used nearly 4 centuries ago.  With pretty steady foot traffic from the 1640’s til the 1810’s, it’s no surprise these are still well defined.

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We walked around for a good hour and pretty much saw nothing but rock walls and paths.  None of the famed boulders were in sight.  Admittedly, we were pretty lost, and the few times we attempted to use the map, we thought we were somewhere else on the grounds.  That’s about when we stumbled into Town Square.

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Finally having a reference point, we noticed we weren’t all that far from the boulder trail.  Off we went.  And we finally saw them, almost in rapid succession.

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There are others as well.  While I admire Babson’s generosity in hiring unemployed stone cutters to carve these, I wonder who his target audience was, since nobody was living here by this time.

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Popularity: 25% [?]

Dana

Posted by Stu On November - 27 - 2007

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Dana, along with 3 other towns – Prescott, Enfield, and Greenwich – was dissolved in 1938 when the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir was planned. The reservoir would have flooded these towns, so the government forced the residents to leave. While the other 3 towns are now underwater, much of Dana was not flooded; Dana Common was untouched. Today, several remnants of the town can still be found – foundations, streets, the fence posts for cemetery, etc. All graves were relocated before the flooding.

If you go to Dana, this road is all you’re going to see for a mile and a half; that’s how far Dana Common is from the nearest parking. At least it’s scenic, and there are plenty of foundations on the way.

When you finally reach Dana Common, a small monument greets you in the center:

“Site of Dana Common
1801-1938
To All Those Who
Sacrificed Their
Homes and Way
of Life
Erected by
Dana Reunion 1996″


The old cemetery’s fence posts.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Old Cemetery Near Otis, MA

Posted by Stu On November - 27 - 2007

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I can’t find anything out about this place, other than it’s near Otis. Most of the stones appear to be from the 1800’s. If it weren’t for the location of the cemetery and the difficulty in reaching it, I might not be including it.

It’s about a mile off a backroad, down a very, very rocky and unsafe dirt road (at least for cars, but there are spots where trucks might have trouble too). At one point, the road just drops steeply. There was no way our car was getting down it, so we walked the last third of a mile.

Judging by the lines of trees and stone walls on either side of the path, I’m betting a town or some sort of development was back here at one point. I don’t know if there are any buildings still standing. All we saw was the cemetery, which also has a stone wall around it.


You can see the 4 small stones all have a single rock placed on top.

Again, I’m still trying to find out more information. I don’t even know what the cemetery is named. If anyone knows where this is or what else was here, drop me a line.

Popularity: 8% [?]

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