Monson

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Monson is the town that “used to be.” Last week, Martha (from Therapeutic Misadventures) and I headed out to find the missing town. Monson was roughly 20,000 acres and was home to about 270 people from 55 families. In 1770, the town of Monson held a vote to voluntarily have their charter revoked. There are plenty of stories surrounding the vote, including one which says the vote was 50/50 and a dying farmer was dragged in to cast the deciding vote. There are rumors surrounding the reason behind the vote as well. Once the charter was revoked, Monson was absorbed by Milford, Brookline and other towns. Russ Dickerman is the current caretaker of the property. He can trace his lineage back to original settlers of Monson. The restored home and surrounding lands have been in his family since around 1737. The property was out of his family from 1928 to 1956 when his father re-bought the land. The Gauld house has been restored twice since the final design of 1845…

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Today it is a museum dedicated to Monson…

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Russ has amassed an incredible amount of information, including copies of the tax records and town ledgers…

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He drew a map of the original town and where the families where located…

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The house is filled with relics and pieces of history…

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There are remnants of a stone foundation from a barn, long since torn down…

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And heirloom plantings…

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Russ’ dog Nicky proudly greets many of the hikers and walkers who frequent the mass of trails…

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After spending some time with Russ, Martha and I headed out of one of the many trails (trail map) We walked along fields, once filled with crops…

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We came old cellar holes and markers noting the family name…

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We found the town pound. Monson’s town pound was different from most others, in that it was a wooden barrier instead of stone…

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As we walked down the path, we passed mountain laurel in bloom…

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And the beginnings of the marsh…

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As we neared the marsh, we saw that one of the beavers had been hard at work…

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I walked over to take a look at what was left of the tree and saw some interesting bus waging what appeared to be a small war between themselves or perhaps they were courting…

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Martha found a trail leading to the edge of the marsh. Both of us stood there, cameras glued to our eyes, as we watched the herons in the rookery. There were at least 10 active nests. I had never seen a heron rookery and I was in awe at the sight…

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Feeding time

Feeding time

There were water lilies and painted turtles…

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It was time to head back to Toad and call it a day. Although Monson is the town that used to be, it is worth a visit. Meet Russ and Nicky, check out the trails and immerse yourself in some of New Hampshire’s history.

 

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18 Comments on “Monson”

  1. marthaschaefer June 30, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    I just knew you would get excellent shots and do a fabulous job of telling this story! Thanks for taking me along to this magical place!

    • Touring NH June 30, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks for coming along with me! It really is a special place more people should know about! When I get home, we’ll plan our next adventure!

  2. Betty Pauwels June 30, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Awesome photos, thanks for sharing.

    • Touring NH June 30, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

      Glad to share! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Charles Boucher June 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I have got to say this is one of the best tours yet. Loved it

  4. New Hampshire Garden Solutions June 30, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    I never knew that Monson went through such upheaval. I used to go to Pickety Place quite often when we lived in Dublin.
    Heron rookeries are amazing places. I’m surprised to see that water lily. I haven’t seen any white ones yet this year.

    • Touring NH July 1, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      The marsh was full of white lilies. I loved the rookery! Now that I know it’s there, you can be sure I’ll go back again!

  5. mariekeates July 2, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    What a lovely and intriguing place. It’s great the house has been restored and the history kept alive too.

    • Touring NH July 2, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      Yes, Russ did a fantastic job raising the funds and restoring the house.

  6. gallivance.net July 2, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    Fascinating Laura – I didn’t know a town could vote to revoke it’s charter. Do they do that to get financial help from other areas? And what is a town pound? Gorgeous shot of the herons! :) ~Terri

    • Touring NH July 2, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      Being a town was actually costing them money. They were required to build a meeting hall, church, etc. Once they were no longer a town, they didn’t have to build any of that, but they also didn’t receive any funds from the state. A town pound is a “lock up” for animals. If the owner couldn’t pay the tariff on the animals, they would be locked up in the pound until they did. I loved the rookery. I’m hoping to go back before the babies fledge in late July.

      • gallivance.net July 2, 2014 at 11:04 am #

        Thanks for the explanations Laura. When we lived in St. Augustine, FL there was a fabulous rookery at, of all places – the Alligator Farm! It was an island ringed by hungry gators just hoping for a misstep.

      • Touring NH July 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

        Lol, I’ve been to the Alligator Farm. Was Snappin Sam there when you went?

      • gallivance.net July 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

        No, when we lived there Gomek the giant alligator had just died and was to be stuffed. It was a surprisingly entertaining place. :)

  7. seekraz July 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    What a nice little tour…reminds me of the ghost-towns of the southwest. And how fortunate that you discovered the heron rookery. That would have been quite a thrill. :)

    • Touring NH July 7, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

      I loved the rookery. I could have stayed there for hours watching them!

      • seekraz July 7, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

        I would have, as well. :)

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