Cemetaries · Hiking Trail · Historical Landmarks · Massachusetts · Parks · Roadside Attractions · Water Scenes

Wachusett Dam Clinton MA & Surrounding Area

I apologize for the lateness of this post considering I went here last Thursday! But that led to forty eight hours of being awake which I paid for dearly with three days worth of a migraine… and here I am, back to tell the story without barfing, so it’s all good! And even with that little set back this was a great find that I found by happenstance.

Initially I had gone to a small town I had never heard of – Harvard, to find a cemetery. As with every entry I have written on cemeteries I did not find it. Instead I grabbed a friend living nearby and said, “Let’s drive!” My intent was to pick a series of roads neither one of us were familiar with… and to visit the next cemetery we came across because why not? It was raining, cold, and miserable, but I was overjoyed to find a cemetery near the school that had some old slate stones with a series of unusual designs on them. Generally speaking slate stones are very plain, while they do sometimes have designs, doodles and geometric insignia are more than a bit odd. Clearly this artist was marching to the beat of his own drum.

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And then I came across something truly peculiar – a set of two slate stones that looked like they had been put up yesterday. As it turns out they were dated to 1900. This is very weird considering slate stones were used in the 1700’s. And yet here they were, more than 100 years past the time they should have been put up – with the same classic designs on them. Makes me wonder.

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From the cemetery we drove down some rural road that went on for miles past farms and woodlands alike. That’s when we came across this crazy house that looked like it was built by Pablo Picasso – doors jutted out at odd angles and windows were piled on top of each other to make a geometric jumble of strange. I literally turned around so I could stop and take this photo of this poor unsuspecting house.

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We continued to drive. I had decided at some point we were close enough to Clinton to check out an abandoned train tunnel but this was merely a suggestion. In all honesty I was in it for the drive today – which I desperately needed.

“You’ve got to see the dam!”

“OK, where’s the dam?”

“You can see it from the road, we’re near it.”

“Wait, there’s parking spaces… let’s walk.”

And that’s how I found myself at the Wachussett Dam. There is indeed a tiny parking lot adjoining the road and it belongs to what is now a park. You must climb down A LOT of stairs but it’ll take you to the bottom of the dam where an old gorgeous water works building is, as well as a fountain, and what looks like a nice bike path for a less rainy day. I was having a ton of fun photographing this place… too much in fact. We were kicked out by a park ranger, sort of… he said we were free to stay if we didn’t mind heaving ourselves over the gate he was closing. I wouldn’t mind. My friend was less than athletic sooo…. we just said thank you and ambled back up those 300 steps. The ranger was a super nice guy though. He told us all about the history of the place. Apparently five towns had to be taken down and resettled so the area could be flooded. This was a water reservoir that fed all of Boston, including the more famous Quabbin water reservoir. I had NO IDEA. Also the water works down below shut down in the 40’s but before that it produced electricity for the town – and pretty much all the equipment to do that was built into the building back in those days which meant it was still there. Maybe during my next visit I will peek in the windows!

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From the Dam we ended up going back on the road and driving randomly until we hit a shop that sold grave stones. Some of their wares were in the parking lot and I found this the perfect opportunity to take a few creepy snaps… in the rain…. in the dusk…. of some gravestones. My only advice, don’t blink!

 

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