Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Walking Tour of Historic Saxonville

While driving through McGrath Square in Saxonville, where Concord Street and Central Street intersect, you've no doubt glanced over at the looming red brick mill buildings that once housed the Roxbury Carpet Company. Perhaps you've wondered about the history of the mill and the surrounding buildings with their ornate architectural features. Or maybe you even know a bit about the history of the village, which is the oldest settled area in Framingham, and still retains many of the vestiges of its boom times as a classic 19th century New England mill village.

But it's probably a sure bet there's still a lot you don't know about the history of the village, and that unless you live in the neighborhood, you have not explored it on foot. The view from the sidewalk at two miles an hour is dramatically different than the one you get through your car's windshield at thirty miles per hour.

The Friends of Saxonville offers guided walking tours of the village once or twice a year (usually conducted by yours truly), typically in June or September, as part of their annual Discover Saxonville event.

But now you can easily take the tour on your own, with the new brochure in hand that Friends of Saxonville has published. It contains a map, photos, and descriptions of the village's historic buildings and sites, and is being distributed at various points around town, including the McAuliffe Library branch on Nicholas Road in Saxonville. You can also download a copy at or request that a printed copy be mailed to you.

So the next nice day that you've got a spare hour or two, or perhaps some out of town guests who want something to do, forget Boston, forget the Freedom Trail, take a look at what your town has to offer in terms of walkable history!