Ashby, MA

A while ago I came across a couple’s blog that was dedicated to visiting all of the 351 towns in Massachusetts (or maybe “municipalities – cities and towns, but not villages” is a better term). Given how I already love nothing more than jumping in the car and visiting somewhere new aroundabout New England whenever I have some free time, I decided it would be fun to make a pointed effort to gradually check off all the towns myself. One day when I get some down time, I’ll have to list them all on here somewhere, and start a new page or category, or something……one day….

Anyways, after morning coffee, today brought a jaunt “up north” to the town of Ashby. It’s only 30 or so miles north of me, and was quite a nice drive since I took some of the back roads rather than just the highway. I love these little towns – they tend to have the obligatory town common, inclusive of pretty white church, like only New England can make!

This one is First Parish Church, built in 1809 to serve as the town’s meetinghouse. The obelisk-style monument in the foreground is a dedication to John Fitch, an early settler in Ashby, and the town’s first moderator.

And let’s not forget the cute little bandstand. Complete with Christmas tree and decorations to nicely commemorate the festive season.

Just behind the church was an amazing little cemetery. It’s also known as the “Old Burial Ground”, and for good reason, since it was established back in 1767. Wonderful old slate headstones – and I so love how they look when they’ve gathered decades (or even centuries) of moss!

Some fun facts about Ashby? Apparently it was the home of Ruth Henshaw Bascom, America’s premier folkartist and portraitist. And there’s also Prince Estabrook, an enslaved African-American patriot who gained his emancipation due to his service to the Continental Army. And incidentally, he’s also buried in the old graveyard above – he was wounded in the Battle of Lexington.

And across from the bandstand, there’s also a nice memorial dedicated to all veterans.

The day started out rainy, snowy, grey, and overcast, and then suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, we had bursts of bright blue sky and sunshine here and there. So that felt good!

On the way home I needed some coffee, and this formed a great excuse to catch a beautiful sunset.

It was nice to get home again eventually. And by 7pm I found myself enjoying a nice glass of red wine.

I felt like I deserved it for coping with Mark! That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

So it’s Christmas Eve today – I’m heading down to CT with Mark. We’re visiting his aunt and uncle in Stamford, so I’m looking forward to meeting them before we fly out west on Christmas day.

Hope you all have a restful day with those who mean the most to you.


4 responses to “Ashby, MA

  1. Your photos just capture the area so well, I think. The simplicity of the architecture here. The beauty. Just so nice. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve with Mark and his family and a great trip out West! Have fun! And photos of Yosemite please. 🙂

  2. Have a wonderful Christmas trip!
    Love today’s mini-adventure. Small towns are great. Were you able to chat with any of the locals.
    Also, love the bandstand. Quintessential small town touch. As always, great pictures!

  3. Katherine Stanwood

    I live in Ashby and like your photo of my church. Would it be ok to use your photo on our church Facebook page?

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