Brookfield to Shrewsbury

Today we have a tie for The Charming Old Library Award. Check out Brookfield’s Merrick Library and its neighbor, Spencer’s Richard Sugden Library, both built in the late 1800s when it was cool to be a philanthropist. The librarians were excited to get a copy of Henry and well aware of the history.

Merrick Library in Brookfield.

Merrick Library from upstairs looking down.

Merrick Library at the south end of Brookfield Common.

Richard Sugden Library in Spencer.

Richard Sugden Library interior.

Brenda Mettterville, who has been the librarian at Merrick for over 20 yrs, showed me some old photos of the celebration in 1927 in Brookfield for the placement of the Henry Knox Trail monuments as part of the 150th anniversary of the Revolution. Monument No. 13 for the trail is at the other end of Brookfield’s Common. It overlooks Route 9, once the Boston Post Road, that connects all the towns I visited today.

In fact, if you are only looking for monuments (and not libraries, too), all you need to do is stay on that road. Monument No.14 is right around the corner from Spencer’s Richard Sugden Library. It also looks out over Route 9, like a little soldier.

The next town is Leicester. Monument No.15 is right out in front of the Leicester Public Library. The library is closed for construction so I will send them their book when I get home. Meanwhile, the monument is neglected and surrounded by weeds.

Next was Worcester, a big city. By noon, it was 94 degrees out. It was hard to find cool places to park the van so I could leave Annie in it long enough to run into the libraries and take photos of stones. Monument No. 16 is part of the front walkway of the courthouse and gets the Hardest To Find Award for today. Main Street splits in that area with a tunnel in between the split. One-way streets make the area even harder to navigate.

The modern Worcester Public Library is relatively easy to find. It is gigantic and so is the parking lot. I worried about how hot the van would get by the time I walked the length of the lot to the library, paid for parking, and found Cynthia Bermudez, the Coordinator of Youth Services, whom I’d been communicating with. When I learned she was busy, I let the assistant librarian have the book, told her that the information and links to the videos were on the HenrysBigKaboom.com website and fled to get back to Annie.

From there (2:30pm) I drove to Whole Foods Market in Shrewsbury to buy a healthy salad for lunch. Shrewsbury is the next town over from Worcester and home of Monument No.17, which stands across the street from the Shrewsbury Public Library. I pulled down all the shades in the van and turned the fan on high. Then I dashed to the monument, took my photos, dashed across to the library, easily found the Youth Services Director, Sonia, nearly threw the book at her and made it back to the van before it got too hot. Actually, I had a nice, though quick, chat with Sonia.

Pooped and sweaty, I headed to the nearest camping place, Sutton Falls, about a 30-minute drive. The trip through the countryside was calming after my tangle with the city of Worcester. As you can see from the pix, the campground is nice and friendly. Annie and I are still trying to chill.

Tomorrow, starting at 9:30am, I bring out the ukulele for the children of Northborough. Tomorrow is borough day. I also visit Marlborough, and Southborough as well as Framingham and Wayland. Wayland has two monuments.

As I’ve mentioned, I visited the monuments in New York, and the first 7 monuments in Massachusetts last June. Here is the map for this trip.

Massachusett Monuments for the Henry Knox Trail from West Springfield to Cambridge.

Massachusett Monuments for the Henry Knox Trail from West Springfield to Cambridge.