Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ye Olde Stone Church

I've lived in this central Massachusetts area for nearly fifteen years now.  Before that, I pretty much lived in the same small town for thirty years, so when I got here I had a lot of fun driving around and checking out the scenery.
This was one of the first things I saw that made me say "Oh cool!!"

This is the Old Stone Church, located in the nearby town of West Boylston, on the shores of the Wachusett Reservoir.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, around the time that This Stop Willoughby encouraged us to share some of our "cheap thrills", a day trip that would cost no more that $20.  The first thing that popped into my mind was The Old Stone Church.   I often drive by and see people fishing or having a picnic, but until this day I had never even stopped my car.  I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do so, and later share with you folks!

This is the view as you head down the path towards the church.
I always tell my husband, the firefighter with a degree in architecture, that I don't know architecture, but I know what I like.  And this is a perfect example of what I like.  I call it "castle-y" - classic, stone buildings, I suppose you'd call them gothic.
To me, it's the type of design that will never go out of style.
The stained glass windows are long gone, but you can still go inside, and one your way in, you'll look up to read this.
The church is the last remaining building of what once was the main drag of the town.  Mills, factories, houses and farms were cleared to make way for the reservoir, but the church was left.  Well, supposedly...I've also heard it was disassembled and rebuilt after the reservoir was created, but I like the other, somewhat more romantic and mystical version of the story.
While the outside, windowless as it may be, is beautiful enough for scores of area brides and grooms to choose to have their wedding photos taken her, the inside is pretty rustic.
I didn't get a shot of the floor, and maybe that's a good thing - it's dirt and gravel, with a few cigarette butts and trash scattered around, although volunteers are here frequently to help maintain it.
On the side that faces the reservoir is a huge American flag - it was placed there in 2001, shortly after 9-11.  At night, spotlights light up the area and you can see the flag from across the water.  It's a very touching sight, and even during daylight hours it stirs the emotions.
The reservoir itself is huge - the church sits on what is really just a small inlet.  The bulk of the reservoir is beyond the causeway you see here on the horizon.  There have been bald eagles sighted all around the reservoir (but not by me....yet!), and nearby are some thick woods where each year several moose are spotted.  I have seen two or three of those suckers!
Nearby is a small, local airport.  A flying club meets there and you can actually pop in a get a ride in a glider - one plane will tow the glider up into the air, release it and the glider will gently float around until it makes it's way back to the airstrip.  Today, it was just a single plane out for a ride.
There's a nearby picnic area...
...and a hot dog vendor sets up shop there regularly.
But I think I'd rather bring my own picnic lunch, spread out a blanket and enjoy the scenery near the shore.

Ten minutes from my house, yet it seems like a million miles away, this little hidden gem in small town Massachusetts.


Tattoos and Teething Rings said...


L.B. said...

Loving your travel posts.

This one is just flat out awesome. Totally hidden gem.

5thsister said...

a perfect picnic spot! I love old churches (and new ones, too!)

Mama Goose said...

What a beautiful church! I love old buildings. Perhaps I'll swing by there sometime.

Willoughby said...

Absolutely beautiful! Roadtrips rock!

Thanks for the shout out!