A few weekends ago we decided to head over to the eastern side of the Quabbin to Gate 40. We had been there once before. It’s probably the most historically interesting gate, because it goes to the center of what used to be Dana, MA. The buildings are gone, of course, but the town common is still there, and there are several cellar holes to explore. When we got to the common, we saw that they have added some information about several of the sites. There are photographs of what used to be there, mounted on wooden posts in the aspect that the photo was taken. It turns out (I googled later!) that this was a Girl Scout Gold Award project (like the Eagle Scout Award, but for girls) for a local teenager whose great-grandfather lived in the center of Dana.
The pictures are apparently engraved on aluminum plates, and then encased in a glass frame. It was really hard to take pictures of the pictures, but I tried. This is the best one – it’s of the Eagle House Hotel which was on the Northwest corner of the common:
Here is the same site today. You can see the same trees on either side, just like in the picture. And that’s Nate and the kids looking at where the front door used to be, and down into the cellar hole.
There are a lot of interesting trees there. They are very old, and they haven’t been maintained. You can tell that many of them were planted to line the streets, and there they remain.
There was a mowed path through a field leading to what looked like a trail in the woods. We decided to check it out.
We didn’t realize we were so close to the water there. Just on the other side of those trees was a steep path down to the shore.
No trip to the common would be complete without the requisite picnic lunch. Since Aaron is on his own bike now, we loaded up the bike trailer with more food that we could possibly have eaten at one sitting. Why do I always over pack for picnics?
Goodbye, town of Dana – we’ll catch you next time!