GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2011-06 > 1307184811
From: Ms Betty Fredericks <>
Subject: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] "Willard Brook State Forest"
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2011 03:53:31 -0700 (PDT)
I must be older than you. :o) When I first was going there, at 8 or 9, there were .no. utilities. We had to stop at the "Ice Co." to get the blocks of ice for the "ice box" on the front steps. We had to bring "camping equipment" with us, including lanterns, and possibly a camping-stove. There was no running water in the cabins. Once we got there, we had to take our pails up to the "Rangers' cabin." They had an outside faucet which we could use. And the outhouses were out in the woods. And, you did not want to be out in the deep, dark woods - after dark. No electricity for street lights. So, you had to make sure you had very good flashlights !
My parents went there for the "annual outing" for the "George A. Johnson Lodge" which was based in Somerville. The event was always on Labor Day weekend, and several families rented the 4 log cabins for the week before. We always got Cabin 4 and my uncle/aunt always Cabin 3. Cabin 1 was used for the "outing supplies" and that was where the set of picnic tables were set up for groups to have a picnic.
But, up the dirt road was the big field. That's where all the games and contests went on. My sister and I almost always won the 3-legged race, and my mother almost always won the "women nailing a piece of wood" race. And there was always a softball game, etc.
It's a shame groups can't do these things anymore. And, so many kids nowadays don't even know what a 3-legged race is. Oh, just remembered the "potato sack" race !
I've asked officials at the State House to please consider writing a history book about that State Reservation and the cabins. As far as I know there has never even been an article written about them. By the way, they were built in the 1930's (?) by the CCC.
Another shame is that, when the log cabins were torn down, the number of people visiting that Park dropped considerably. And, yet, it is still a very nice place to spend a day ! And, there are still "camping sites." How many know what a Yurt is?
And, I still like to drive on Rt. 119 from Littleton to Ashby. Great for a "Sunday drive" and a half-dozen "farm stands" to stop at. The WILKINS extended family was present there possibly back to 1930's. And, "Johnson's Ice Cream" where we stopped on the way back from the cabins.
So many memories, so little time ! :o)
Betty (near Lowell, MA)
(My parents met because of the "George A. Johnson Fraternal Lodge.")
(Just a reminder that one of my "concrete-block walls" is trying to prove that William WILKINS from Middleton, MA, late 1700's was the father of my ancestor, Samuel WILKINS, born late 1700's. They were both in "Maine" during 1770's where William and Sarah moved with one surviving child, and Samuel was born there.) (I think the farm families in Littleton and Pepperell did not descend from the patriarch, Bray WILKINS.)
|[GENMASSACHUSETTS] "Willard Brook State Forest" by Ms Betty Fredericks <>|