New England Blog Posts
Yankee Candle Village
One of the places we like to shop at in central Massachusetts is Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield. It's a fun place to spend an hour, or more, browsing around all the cool candle and accessories that they have,
The one downside is that the place is literally in the middle of nowhere. So usually if we are stopping here we are going to or coming back from a destination - such as Vermont or something in Western Massachusetts.
Five Things to Check out at Yankee Candle Village
200,000 candles! You certainly find the perfect candle here!
Did you know that you can make your own candle jar? You can pick out various colors and designs in the Wax Works section. Fun thing for kids to do. (The Wax Works Candle-Making section is closed due to COVID-19)
It's always Christmas time at the Yankee Candle Village. They have amazing Christmas displays throughout the store. Certainly a fun tradition! Stop by in July for Christmas in July festivities.
Look for the 25-foot Christmas Tree and 6-ft Tall Nutcracker Lots of great classic toys and stocking stuffers for Christmas.
Find the place where it snows every 4-mins!
Bewitched Statue in Salem
In the heart of downtown Salem, Massachusetts, in Lappin Park, is a statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens - the popular TV character on Bewitched.
Eight Things to Know
- Installed on June 15, 2005 at a large ceremony by fans and a few protesters - some people weren't happy that a TV witch statue stands in the home of the 1692 Witch Trials.
- Statue was installed 35-years after the show did some filming in Salem, Massachusetts. The show was set in Westport, Conn.
- Before being installed in Salem, people were able to get a preview of the statue at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
- The statue and surrounding area is owned and maintained by TV Land - so if there's any damage done to the statue it will be fixed by TV Land.
- In the original agreement, the will remain at Lapping Park for 10 years. After that the city can request the statue to be removed
- Statue is 7 1/2 feet tall and weighs 3,000 pounds.
- According to bewitched.net, TV Land spent $75,00 to install the statue. The statue was sculpted by StudioEIS under the direction of brothers Elliott and Ivan Schwartz.
- The movie version of Bewitched by Nicole Kidman was released 9-days later. (Perfect timing?)
Small TV Land Mentioned on the pavement.
The Bewitched episode that was filmed in Salem was called "The Salem Saga." You can find it in Season 7, Episode 3 in the Bewitched collection. It first aired on October 8, 1970.
One grocery store that many New Englanders are familiar with is DeMoulas Market Basket. They are well known for having the best selection with the lowest prices of other regional chains.
As of January 2020, Market Basket operates 80 stores within three states - 49 locations in its home state of Massachusetts, 30 stores in New Hampshire, and a single store in Maine.
Five Things I Have Learned
The first DeMoulas Super Markets store with the Market Basket name store opened in 1975 in Salem New Hampshire.
For some reason, Market Basket doesn't allow photography within the store. When you enter the store, look at the glass door and you'll see a notification that photography is prohibited.
During the 2014 Protests, Market Basket was trying to lure in customers with a 4% reduction on everything you buy. This didn't help as people were loyal to the protest.
In 2010, the company purchased land in Bourne, Massachusetts at the site of the former Cape Cod Factory Outlet Mall. The company paid $20-million for the land where Arthur T. was a major investor. After the purchase, a prominent real estate investor appraised the property at $9 million. This was one of many financial family disputes.
You can download this week's flyer from their website.
In the summer of 2014, customers were boycotting shopping at Market Baskets. This was a direct result to have Arthur T. Demoulas return as CEO as he was outstate from the company by his cousin Arthur S Demoulas. In the media, they were referred to as Arthur T and Arthur S.
THe protest resulted in stores being empty from shoppers for about seven weeks. Some workers didn't want to work because they didn't want to cross the picket line and encourage shoppers to stay away.
The entire event ended on August 28th, 2014 when the Market Basket shareholders announced that Arthur T. Demoulas reached a deal to buy the company from rival relatives for more than $1.5 billion.
What's more amazing that customers returned back to Market Basket. Despite shopping at other supermarkets for several weeks, they still wanted to buy their groceries at Market Basket.
Six years later, shoppers are still doing their weekly shopping at Market Basket over Stop and Shop and Wegmans. In Framingham, on a recent Sunday morning, the Ashland Market Basket was packed while the Temple Street Stop and Shop was very quiet.
You can watch a 2016 Documentary about the protest: "We the people: The Market Basket Effect."
Minuteman Statue in Concord Massachusetts
One of the most famous statues in Concord, Massachusetts is the Minuteman statue at the Old North Bridge.
Eight things I Learned About the Statue
Installed On -The statue was Installed on April 19, 1875, as a permanent memorial for the centennial of the fight at the Old North Bridge. President Ulysses S. Grant was at the dedication. On the same day, the statues of John Hancock and Samuel Adams statues were raised in Lexington.
Rebuild the Old North Bridge First - Prior to the statue being placed on the current location, the town of Concord had to put up a new bridge. The original bridge was taken down in 1793 and there was never a need to put up a new one.
Statue Specs - The statue weighs approximately 1500 pounds. It was cast from ten discarded brass cannons donated to the town from Congress. The granite base came from a quarry in Westford. The Ames Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Massachusetts did the casting - you can see the signature on the base of the statue back.
Design By - Created by Daniel Chester French for free of charge as he was an unknown artist. He was only 23 when he created the Minuteman statue. He was paid $1,000 ($22,909.56 in 2019). That money came from the will of Ebenezer Hubbard, a local farmer who lived in downtown Concord.
Specific Location - The statue was placed on the spot where Acton Minuteman Captain Issac Davis and Abner Hosmer were killed when the British troops fired.
Pedestal Work - John Cole of Westford did the pedestal work. He was paid $975 for his work.
Missing Statue - In early January 1975, in a secret town selectman meeting, a vote was made to approve the National Park Service to remove the top of the minuteman statue so a cast can be made on it. On January 16, 1975, the statue was taken down. At the time people were told it was one of the National Park Services bicentennial projects. The statue was placed back on the pedestal on April 1st - plenty of time for the town's bicentennial celebration. It was later revealed that the cast was made because of a bomb was found at the base of the statue on November 26, 1973. The National Park Service wanted a cast of the statue just in case the original was destroyed or removed illegally.
New Cast Request - At a Town Hall meeting in November 1992, a request by the National Guard was made to make another cast of the minuteman so that a new statue could be placed in Washington D.C. That request was denied.
Our Lady of Fatima Shrine
On the backroads of Holliston, Massachusetts is the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Its not only a special place to attend Mass but a place to walk around and be inspired by the 30-acre shrine.
This is the home of the Xaverian Missionaries.
Christmas Lights on Display - This year marks the 60th year of lights.
Six Things I Learned about the Shrine
Established in 1950 by a group of priests from Italy. In August 1952, a group of Xaverian Missionary Fathers purchased a 15-room house that had a barn and 23-acres in Holliston. This would be the site of the current shrine.
In July 1948 - Archbishop Richard J. Cushing gave approval to the building of an outdoor shrine on the seminary grounds.
The priests and seminarians designed landscaped much of the work of the shrine.
The Rosary Walk is a 900-foot-long string of boulders fastened by a marine chain as a reminder to pray the rosary every day. The chains are connected to an anchor that was donated by the Navy in memory of President John F. Kennedy. The string of boulders is said to be the largest rosary in the world. Each boulder bears a plaque inscribed with the Hail Mary prayer.
Every thirteenth of the month is "Mary Day" - which honors the appearance of Mary to the children on the thirteenth of each month.
Christmas Lights Tradition - Since 1960, the shrine grounds is decorated with Christmas lights. Hundreds of visitors visit to check out the light display. Lights cover almost half of the 30-acre shrine.
Finding the Shrine
Erikson's Ice Cream
One of our favorite local ice cream stand is Erikson's Ice Cream. The classic ice cream stand is located at the border of Stow and Maynard Massachusetts.
They have a large selection of fresh ice creams to select from. They have Gluten Free cones too!
Some of the flavors they are featuring in 2020. They have a list of flavors on their website, this is my list from a recent visit:
|Banana Black Raspberry Black Raspberry Oreo Butter Crunch Butter Pecan Cake Batter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chocolate Mint Coffee Coffee Oreo Cotton Candy Frozen Pudding Ginger Gram Central Station Grape Nut Green Monsta||HeathBar Maple Walnut Mint Chip Mocha Almond Mocha Chip Orange Pineapple Oreo Peanut Butter Fudge Peanut Butter Oreo Peppermint Stick Pistachio Roasted Butter Almond Rum Butter Strawberry Toasted Walnut Fudge Vanilla Wintergreen Chip Salted Carmel Choc Pretzel|
|Cherry Vanilla German Chocolate Cake Almond Joy Rockin' Rolo - Chocolate Caramel Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Pretzel Birthday Cake Ice Cream Chocolate Mint Oreo Key Lime Purple Cow Maynard Black Bear TollHouse Cookie||Orange Creamsicle Lavender Cinnamon Granola Crunch Strawberry Cheese Cake Brownie Batter Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup Vanilla With M&M Lime Sherbet Strawberry Cake Crunch Coconut Sea Salt Caramel Truffle Cookie Monster|
Finding Erikson Ice Cream
Erikson is located on 12 Great Road in Maynard, MA. It's located about a mile and a half from downtown Maynard on Route 62 and 117.
Historic Deerfield Massachusetts
If your traveling through I-91 in central Massachusetts, one of the towns you'll be driving through in Deerfield Massachusetts. Most people stop at the Yankee Candle flagship store - located just off of exit 24 on I-5.
Did you know that just down the road is Old Deerfield Village Historic District? It's a fun place to learn more about Old New England. A few years ago we accidentally discovered this place when we took the wrong exit off of I-91.
Some Characters you may see around Deerfield
Things I Learned About the Historic Deerfield
The outdoor museum was founded in 1952 to teach people about the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley.
Admission tickets to all the buildings is $18 for adults and $5 for kids.
The Old Deerfield Village is a subsection of the actual Deerfield town. The village has one major street with several cross streets. The main street is called "The Street."
What's interesting is that the street was a real street at one time. In 1670 a surveyor laid out the mile-long road, the village and the surrounding meadows for farming, a town plan that survives perfectly intact today.
There are twelve preserved houses to tour. The oldest house is from 1730. You can tour three centuries of American History and discover how things have changed over the years.
Twenty-four of the house that is on "The Street" were standing when the Revolutionary War began in 1775, and 42 houses predate the Civil War.
Guest can check out authentic furniture, silver and other historic decorations.
The Henry N. Flynt Library is a special collection library perfect for people researching early New England life. You can learn a lot more about the lives of people in the Connecticut River Valley.
This unique old houses and layouts are a perfect place for photographers looking for the ideal New England town.
Newport Wave Sculpture
When your walking around downtown Newport, Rhode Island you may see the Wave statue near the waterfront. This is a popular tourist photo spot for selfies and family photos.
Some people bring socks to put on the statue for a bit of humor - mostly during the cold winter months and late-night visits.
Four Things I Learned
- Official Name is "The Wave."
- No one knows who's feet it is supposed to be in the wave.
- The bonze sculpture is 7 and half feet tall and 8 feet wide.
- The sculpture was requested by the nearby marketplace - Perry Mill Market. It was don by Kay Worden in 1983.
The Lobster Claw in Orleans, Massachusetts is one of our favorite summer tradition. For many New Englanders the summer Cape Cod trip isn't complete until we visit the Lobster Claw.
I can remember enjoying steamers with the family when I was a kid. I remember getting a bakes stuff lobster and enjoying dipping the lobster in the butter.
On some really busy summer nights, we had to wait upstairs at the bar and enjoy some appetizers before we could go back downstairs and have a meal.
Then there was this summer night when we ate during a really bad rainstorm, and the back doors swung open. It was scary. But we still got our food and it was still yummy.
I remember when they didn't have a gift shop - ya we been going there for a long time.
The seafood seems to just taste better here.
Five Things I Learned About the Lobster Claw
- Opened in 1962 by Don and Marylou Berig
- They still own the place, and chances are you'll get a visit by Don asking you how your meal is. Wow-what a great restaurant! After 58 years he still wants to know how things are going.
- The summer of 1999 might have been the best summer they had. Cape Cod traffic was at its peak and Don Berig told the Cape Cod Times that his sales were up 15 to 20 percent over the previous year. (I couldn't find any other reference to higher year over year sales.)
- In 2016, the Lobster Claw opened on April 1st with a short staff because of Visa delays. According to the Boston Herald, in 2016 the restaurant employed 40 people. About 13 of them come from Jamaica as part of their summer help. The owners worked really hard to keep the restaurant open while other places had to close until the Visa delays were settled. They were working 14 hour days!
- In 2019, the Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, stopped in as he was enjoying a weekend on Cape Cod.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the business to focus on take-out orders. They are using DoorDash to deliver the food to customers - no word if they will deliver to Nauset Beach.
Check out the Lobster Claw
The next time your driving through Orleans, Massachusetts be sure to check out the Lobster Claw. I recommend trying a bowl of New England Clam Chowder with some Steamed Little Necks.
Enjoy the afternoon, and go have a beer and a Cup of Clam Chowder. Enjoy the Cape Cod charm
If you're celebrating something special you'll want to try the New England Clambake - 1 1/4 lbs Boiled Lobster, Steamed Clams, Corn, French Fries, and Coleslaw. You can forget about going to Sundae School after eating this.
Last summer we ventured out looking for a good ocean beach. We heard a lot of good things about Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, Mass. We decided to pack up the car and check it out.
The beach is .6-mile long but has limited parking. It features beautiful views of the Annisquam River. There are plenty of large rocks along the shoreline to explore sea life. It's New England water, so it will be cold.
Things We Learned about Wingaersheek Beach
- Highly recommend arriving early for the best parking spaces. (Best to arrive before 9 am!)
- Pay attention to the tides time before you go so you don’t pick a spot and have to move later. (Use the Annisquam Lobster Cove Tide Information on the Massachusetts Marine Transe Tide Chart)
- There is a snack shop just off the beach. We brought sandwiches in via cooler. The snack shop was a long walk from the beach and we only visited it late in the day to get ice cream.
- Just off the distance is the Annisquam Lighthouse. It opened in 1801 and is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Gloucester peninsula.
- It cost $35 to park at Wingaersheek Beach on the weekends. (2020 Parking Rates)
- The roads near the beach are very narrow. The nearest gas station is 6.6 miles away! Make sure you have plenty of gas!
- Don't forget to bring games to play while on the beach.
Directions to the Beach
Easy Directions to the Beach
Take Rte. 128 to Exit 14. At the bottom of the ramp, take a right onto Rte. 133. About a mile on the left you will see a small traffic island with a sign saying Wingaersheek Beach. Take this left. This is Concord St. Follow until you reach another traffic island on the corner of Concord and Atlantic St. Take a right. Follow this along to the beach.
Samuel De Champlain
Samuel De Champlain was a European explorer that traveled back and forth from Europe to the "New World." He is credited for discovering Quebec and New France on July 3, 1608. (New France is the territory that people call New England today.)
In Chatham, Massachusetts there's a monument where Samuel De Champlain made his first landing.
Fun Facts about the Monument
- The monument was installed as part of Chatham 250th Celebration on August 25, 1962.
- During the unveiling ceremony about 40 residents did a re-enactment of Samuel De Champlain and the American Indians.
- The plaque was installed next to the monument in 2012 - during the celebration of Chatham's 300th anniversary.
- On the plaque is a map of Chatham that Samuel De Champlain made in 1608.
- The Monument and Plaque is located next to Chatham Harbor Master.
- The small parcel land that the monument is on is owned by the Town of Chatham. The fence area is only 435.6 sf.
- After landing on the shores, he called the area "Port Fortune." A room at the Old Harbor Inn has that name.
Text on the Plaque
Here's the text of the plaque that was installed in 2012:
Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer, navigator, map maker, journalist, artist, and soldier. In 1605 and again in 1606 he sailed from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod exploring and mapping much of the coast along the way while searching for a site for a permanent French settlement. In his 1605 expedition, he landed along the coast of Cape Cod at Nauset near the present location of the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center. In October of 1606, he returned, this time visiting the shores of Monomoit, now Chatham. He described the harbor as not being deep enough to start a settlement. Although he stayed for only ten days, Champlain explored the land, described it in his journal, and made a map and drawings of what he saw thus leaving us a wealth of information that was so accurate that we can still recognize Mill Pond, Oyster Pond, and Great Hill today. He described the land as hilly and wooded with oak, cedar, and a few pines. Wild grapes were common as were beach plums. The harbor and bay were filled with every variety of fish and oysters. Game birds were also plentiful. The natives were not so much great hunters as good farmers. Primary crops were beans, corn, pumpkins, and squash as well as tobacco.
During his stay, Champlain traded iron hatchets and knives for tobacco and wampum and the explorers were supplied with fish, corn, and beans. Although the interaction between the French and the Wampanoag, in the beginning, was positive, a moment of misunderstanding regarding a hatchet ultimately led to a deadly confrontation which resulted in the loss of life on both sides.
Champlain sailed back to Canada and never returned to Cape Cod. In 1608 he went on to found the City of Quebec and became known as the Father of New France.
Salem Witch Museum
One of the popular places in Salem, Massachusetts is the Salem Witch Museum. Its a place where people can learn all about the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. It's a perfect first stop when you arrive in Salem, Massachusetts.
People learn about the Salem Witch Trials through a three-dimensional audiovisual presentation with life-size figures of the events surrounding the audience. You learn all about the events of the summer of 1692.
Ten Things I Have Learned About the Museum
- The building was built in 1825 as the Second Unitarian Church of Salem. It was used as a Church until 1902. It was unoccupied for many years and it 1957 the Salem Antique Car Museum took over the building.
- On October 22, 1969, the was a major fire at the museum. The fire caused $300,000 worth of damages to the building and property. Many priceless cars were totally destroyed. The fire completely destroyed the museum.
- In 1971, Thomas and Holly Mulvihill purchased the building to start the Salem Witch Museum.
- For many years, they owned a gift shop in downtown Salem. Every day tourists would come and visit Salem and asked them about the history of the Witches in Salem. They felt a need for a museum to help educate people about what really happened at the Salem Witch trials.
- It cost the Mulvihills $250,000 to restore the building from the fire. ($1,651,990.98 in 2020 value) Once the base of the building was set up, they hired a bunch of local artists to create all the cast of characters on display.
- The Salem Witch Museum first opened its doors on May 8, 1972.
- There is a new show every 1/2 hour and each show lasts 22-minutes. We have found that for young kids (under 6-year-old) it isn't a great show - some kids may get scared because the room is dark most of the time.
- The narrator of the show is author Charles M Fair - an American neuroscience researcher and writer. From his obituary - "He was a multitalented man with a varied career: editor, poet, banana importer, computer-company executive, scriptwriter/ narrator, historian, and neurology researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital."
- Since 1980, the museum management has been operated by Biff Michaud. Biff is responsible for helping turn Salem into the Halloween central. Working alongside the Salem Chamber of Commerce he helped create "Haunted Happenings." An event that started out as a one-day family celebration that is now a month-long party.
- The Museum is in Fallout 4 "Museum of Witchcraft." The museum is located in the northeastern area of the Commonwealth in section 2287.
In Orleans, at the intersection of Academy Plaza and Massachusetts Route 28, is a small island. There are many war memorials on this small piece of land. One thing that people may not see is an old Bell next to the large Pine Tree.
Sign on the Bell
This is the engraving that is on the Bell
This Bell Rode a Buoy off Race Point from 1941 - 1969 and was given to the Orleans Historic Society by the U.S. Coast Guard
The bell has the year 1938 inscribed on it.
This was once a Bell that warns boats that land was nearby (Provincetown, Massachusetts) was nearby. The buoy is located 9 nautical miles (About 10.3 miles) north of Provincetown, Massachusetts.
This particular bell is significant because this bell was in the waters during World War 2. On June 12, 1942, a German U-87 manage to arrive at Boston Harbor. The sub managed to sink two ships that were in port off Provincetown killing 93 men.
Most likely the German navigators on that U-87 certainly used the sounds of the bell as part of their navigation to Boston.
This bell was given to the town of Orleans because the "Old Harbor U.S. Life Saving Station" that is located in Provincetown, Massachusetts was originally located in Orleans.
National Data Buoy Center
Today the United States Coast Guard has an advanced buoy that not only warns boats of the nearby land but also gathers very important scientific data.
You can read all the latest Wind Speeds, Wave Heights, pressure change, and other key critical information. The buoy is now maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
With all the uncertainty of the post COVID-19 world, one thing is certain - New Englanders won't be traveling outside of New England as much as they used to - at least not in the short run.
Chances whatever summer 2020 vacation plans you have - it's going to be local.
Think You Know New England?
Check out the Yankee Magazine's "Best of New England" Summer Travel guide. This is a good guide to the best of the best of New England.
In the changing times, Yankee Magazine is making the guide 100% free! No Paywall or signup needed! Simply click on the graphic to read the latest issue.
Things to Checkout
Here are some of the features:
- 25 Inspired Ways to See New England from the Water
- The Hall of Fame collection of the "Best of New England"
- Check out Designer Mally Skok's Colorful Massachusetts Home.
- Lots of great ads for local business around New England - its like browsing around a gift shop in Salem or Cape Cod.
About 56 miles west of Boston is Old Sturbridge Village, a re-creation of a typical New England village of the early 1800s. Old Sturbridge Village is a way to look back on how life was in New England between the years 1790 and 1840.
The largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast - a great place for the whole family to learn about history.
Fun Facts About Old Sturbridge Village
Open to guests on June 8, 1946.
The whole concept was created by Albert B. Wells. He didn't see It open as he had a heart attack and moved to California.
Today there are 40 antique buildings spread out over 200 acres. Among the buildings are homes, shops, a meeting house and schoolhouse.
The graveyard is not a real one, but the gravestones were real. They are old gravestones from other cemeteries that are donated to Old Sturbridge Village. Many of these gravestones were being replaced at the original location. In some instances, the bodies that were buried at the original gravesite were missing.
The Vermont Covered Bridge is a great place to take pictures in the fall. This is one of 12 covered bridges that are still in use in Massachusetts.
Near the Freeman Farmhouse are some apple trees, another great family pictures spot. This is great any time of the year.
You can buy iron goods made at the Blacksmith in the general store. Supplies are limited. All nails that are used in the Village come from the Blacksmith. When you visit the Blacksmith shop, you can ask for some old nails - if they have enough stock they may give you one!
Sunday Brunch at the Village is a great place to stop by for Brunch. We have enjoyed going here for a nice quiet classic New England meal. The food is great and if it's a nice day, going through the Village afterward is a fun way to spend the day with family.