Borderland, Pool, The Swimming, Oakes Ames and grandchildren, 257 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA, 1948, info, Easton Historical Society

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA.

"The development by Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation of the factory and village land use in a rather organic manner with a mix work-related classes created an integrated geographic network. The housing on perimeter edge with factories and business affairs in the center creating the village concept in North Easton. Other important concepts were the Furnace Village Cemetery, Furnace Village Grammar School and the Furnace Village Store, which explains Furnace Village and other sections of Easton."
source: Massachusetts Historical Commission
.
Borderland Historic District
"The Borderland Historic District in Easton/Sharon, Massachusetts is a twentieth-century estate comprised of eighteenth-century farmland, forest, and waterways. The district, now largely Borderland State Park, includes several farm buildings, farmland, cemeteries and a 20th century estate, complete with mansion, pool (now filled in), gardens, and lawns. Located on the borders between Easton, Sharon, and Stoughton, the area has changed from tribal land of Native Americans to farmland of early settlers to the country estate of Oakes and Blanche Ames. The district as it stands today is largely defined by open fields, manmade ponds, stone walls, and other site features."
source: Massachusetts Historical Commission
.
History of Massapoag Avenue below

Borderland, The Pool
"In 1930, Blanche Ames started construction for The Pool at Borderland, much to the consternation of her husband, Oaks Ames, as the country was coming out of the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
Oakes’ concern about the economic principles was unusual for him as he had no interest in being in business or involved in politics. In 1929, Blanche Ames, serving as the general contractor, hired local contractors and designed the swimming pool. According to an entry in Oakes’ journal, “on the morning of August 6, 1930, a great mechanical digger arrived at the place this morning to begin excavation for Blanche’s swimming pool.” Oakes noted that this was an extraordinary event. On August 9, 1930, records show Oakes wrote "the bog shovel pulled out," and to his daughter, Pauline Ames, living in New York City, after her marriage to Atty. Francis T. P. Plimpton, in 1926, "that the concrete work is in place." Beyond the garden is the freshwater swimming pool, made of cut granite. Besides the swimming pool, the stone and the slabs used in the rock garden were taken from the site of the original Ames Shovel Company in Bridgewater. In another entry in his journal, Oakes Ames wrote "the next step is to bring in thirty granite blocks weighing ninety tons from the original Ames Shovel Company in Bridgewater to make the upper part of the wall." It was noted in the journal, Blanche oversaw the work. The swimming pool was once filtered through an elaborate natural drainage system developed by Blanche Ames. As a result of Blanche’s engineering achievements, the pool was completely stream-fed from water under the ground. The area around the swimming pool is set off from the rolling north lawn by the original hedge of burning bush and some newer flowering plants. On September 7, 1930, writing in his journal, Oakes Ames wrote "When Blanche and I went to the pool after breakfast, we found Oliver drifting about in a rubber boat removing fallen leaves that littered the surface of the water." On September 15, 1930, Oakes reported in his journal "the pool opened officially." The mansion holds many surprises, including Blanche and her son, Amyas, designed the swimming pool with pipes so complicated that the secret of their operation died with her. After her death, no one could operate the system successfully, and the pool was filled in."
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission
source; Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Conservation and Recreation
source; Borderland State Park
source: Easton’s Neighborhoods, Edmund C. Hands, 1995
source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886

Colonel Israel Tisdale Farmhouse (Start of Borderland in 1906)
"Around 1635, records show John Tisdale was born to Thomas and Ruth Tisdale. In 1614, records show Thomas and Ruth Tisdale came to United States from Ripon, Yorkshire to live in Duxbury around 1637, Taunton in 1650, and married Sarah Walker in 1635, with eight children between 1642 through 1658 which included the father of Colonel Israel Tisdale. Records show John Tisdale joined a military company in 1843. From 1650 through 1658, records show John Tisdale was a selectman, a constable from 1655 through 1659, and Plymouth Court Representative, from 1674 through 1675. On June 27, 1675, historical colonial records show that John Tisdale was killed by the Indians. In 1775, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale’s parents were Edward and Ruth Harlow Tisdale, with their three children, Betsey, Israel, and Edward Tisdale, Jr. Records show Israel’s father, Edward Tisdale became a private in Capt. Edward Bridge Saville’s company, Lexington, Colonel Robinson’s regiment, and came home to the town of Stoughtonham, (now Sharon), following he serving in Colonel Gill’s regiment at Dorchester Hill. In 1706, records show Capt. Joseph Tisdale, Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Mary Tisdale, and great-grandfather of Col. Israel Tisdale, married Ruth Reed, with seven children including Ebenezer Tisdale. Records show Capt. Ebenezer Tisdale, born in Taunton in 1723, married Priscilla Drake, followed by moving to Stoughtonham, name changed to Sharon in 1783. Records show Captain Ebenezer and Priscilla Drake Tisdale moved thirteen miles north on the future site, (later, 697 Mountain Street), of his grandson, Colonel Israel Tisdale. On April 19, 1775, records show Captain Ebenezer Tisdale was on the Lexington Alarm Roll, which marched from Stoughtonham. Captain Tisdale was an inspector during the Revolution and represented Stoughtonham (Sharon) for the ratification of the Federal Constitution followed by serving in the State Senate. In 1780, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale was born to Edward and Ruth Harlow Tisdale. Records show Colonel Israel Tisdale was twice married as his first wife preceded him in death. On December 1, 1881, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale married Susannah Talbot, daughter of Deacon Josiah and Susannah Morse Talbot. On December 11, 1782, records show Susannah Talbot was born and her passing on October 15, 1813. On December 1, 1814, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale married Susannah’s sister, Betsey Talbot. Records show Betsey Talbot Tisdale was born June 14, 1790 and passed away on September 13, 1860. Records show Colonel Israel Tisdale was a prominent and influential man in that neighborhood of Bay Road in Easton. He did not reside on Bay Road, but half a mile to the west. In 1810, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale created the Colonel Israel Tisdale’s Farm. During the early 1800s, Colonel Israel Tisdale was well known for his farming and involvement in the militia movement. In 1811, records show Col. Israel Tisdale started building a house on the property of Capt. Ebenezer Tisdale replacing Ebenezer’s first house that was quickly going to decay. Records show Colonel Israel Tisdale spent a number of previous years collecting lumber and material before starting to build the house. Later, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale finished the house, seven beds were all neatly in place, and Israel was having breakfast when he noticed a small fire in the north room. Records show the carpenters lost all their tools, seven out of nine went home bareheaded. In 1810, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale created the Colonel Israel Tisdale’s Farm. Records show Israel was able to save his private papers, with his whiskers being singed in the attempt. Relatives and friends of interest told him to rebuild at 697 Mountain Street. Records show General Shepard Leach was framing his own house of the same size. General Leach gave him the frame, and six weeks later, the new house was completed. Records show that history might have its own stories about the farming methods and products that earned Colonel Israel Tisdale the reputation as Sharon’s most successful farmer. During the 19th century, historical records can provide details relating to the lifestyle of one of the leading families in the area. It remained in possession of the Tisdale’s family until 1906, when it was purchased by Oakes, son of former Governor Oliver and Anna Ames, and his wife, Blanche Ames. Records show the oldest son of Israel and first deceased wife, Susannah Tisdale, Israel Tisdale, Jr., was one of Stoughton’s most prominent citizens, and interested himself greatly in public affairs, particularly in the cause of temperance. He operated the stage line from Taunton to Boston until the Stoughton Branch Railroad, in which he was actively interested, was built. He was superintendent of the Stoughton Branch Railroad until his passing. On March 24,1852, records show Colonel Israel Tisdale passed away, being buried beside his two wives in the family cemetery, Tisdale Cemetery on Mountain Road. Following the passing of her husband, records show Betsey Talbot Tisdale moved to the home of her daughter, Hannah, in the Cochesett section of West Bridgewater, until passing on September 13, 1860. In 1900, record show Oakes and Blanche Ames were married followed by living with Oakes’ mother in North Easton. Later, records show the couple living at the former home of Oakes’ father, Governor Oliver Ames at 355 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. For a time, they lived in Boston’s upscale Back Bay, summers at "Bay View" in Gloucester and winters at "The Whim" in Ormond Beach, Florida, both once part of the estate of Blanche’s mother. In 1906, records show Oakes and Blanche Ames, looking for a country style estate, made their initial purchase by buying the property known as the Colonel Israel Tisdale Farmhouse at 697 Mountain Street in Sharon. Although it is not part of Easton, the parcel was included in the Oakes and Blanche Ames Estate as it was associated with the Tisdales, an early farming family of the area. The property of Colonel Israel Tisdale Farmhouse was one of the first purchases made by Oakes and Blanche Ames. In 1906, when Oakes and Blanche Ames began their purchases the Easton land, they lived in the Tisdale farmhouse located to the northeast of the existing Leach Pond. Records show Oakes and Blanche Ames added to the existing buildings on the property by adding to the Georgian farmhouse two dormers on the second floor in the Colonial Revival style. Like other members of the Ames family, they purchased the surrounding parcels one at a time similar to Spring Hill, Wayside, Stone House Hill House, Sheep Pasture and Langwater. By 1910, records show, Oakes and Blanche Ames owned 1,782 acres where they raised turkeys, pheasants, mink, and cattle. Records show Oakes and Blanche started calling their country home, “Borderland,” during this time. Records show Oakes Ames’ speculation that a second quarry exists in the area, possibly north of the Mansion or the property of the Col. Israel Tisdale Farmhouse. Historical evidence is present indicating farmsteads range from subsistence-oriented farming at the Currivan Farm to more profit-oriented farming at the Colonel Israel Tisdale Farmhouse. Records show large, grassy fields, cleared in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by the Wilbur, Tisdale, Smith, Currivan and Leach families, were consolidated in the 20th century by the Ames family. Records show Oakes and Blanche Ames converted the farmland for horticultural and recreational purposes. Prior to Oakes and Blanche Ames owning the property of the Colonel Israel Tisdale Farmhouse, records show iron ore was mined from the swamp now known as Upper and Lower Leach Pond by General Shepard Leach. Records show Oakes Ames suspected a quarry site for retaining walls at the Tisdale Cemetery in the woods north of the house. In 1908, records show Oakes Ames stated in his diary that he had not found a quarry. Determination has not been made if he was writing about the Ames Mansion or Tisdale House. Around 1940, records show the Oakes and Blanche Ames converted low lands west of the Colonel Israel Tisdale Farmhouse into the Upper Leach Pond spreading over twenty-five acres of land. In 1984, records show the Colonel Israel Tisdale Farmhouse burnt to the ground. Records show the foundation, front walk, the garden steps, lawns of the farmhouse and the foundation of the barn can be seen on the property at 697 Mountain Street. Records show that Oakes and Blanche Ames protected the land interests of the family of wealthy horticulturists and nature-lovers. Also, Oakes and Blanche Ames preserved eighteen and nineteen century pastures and fields for their aesthetic and scientific value. When Blanche Ames died in 1969, she left the 1,782-acre estate to her four children, who sold the property to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1971 for passive state park."
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission
source; Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Conservation and Recreation
source; Borderland State Park
source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886
source: Easton’s Neighborhoods, Edmund C. Hands, 1995
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission

Borderland, Ames Mansion
"Like other members of the Ames family in Easton building estates with multiple parcels of land, records show Oakes and Blanche Ames acquired twenty-seven individual properties to create the seventeen hundred and eighty-two acre estate. Records show parcels of land were divided by stonewalls, wire fences, open spaces and forests. Borderland got its name from the location of both ancient tribal borders and modern-day town lines. In 1878, records show Blanche Ames, born in Lowell, her parents, Adelbert and Blanche Butler Ames, encouraged Blanche toward a higher education and equal opportunity. Exploring new opportunities in the Ames tradition, records show Blanche enrolled in Smith College, when few women attended college, gave the commencement address at her 1899 graduation exercises. In her address being attended by President McKinley, Blanche told the audience, "We are fortunate to live in an age that, more than any other, makes it possible for women to attain the best and truest development in life." Records show Blanche Ames’ husband, Oakes Ames, a member of the Ames family , who were owners of the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation at 28 Main Street in North Easton. Records show the son of Governor Oliver Ames, (1831-95) and his wife, Anna Coffin Ames (1840-1917), a great-grandson of shovel shop founder Oliver Ames (1779-1863), Oakes Ames was born in 1874. In 1900, records show Oakes Ames grew up at 35 Oliver Street, married Blanche Ames, sister of his classmate Butler Ames of Lowell, two years after graduating from Harvard. On October 22, 1895, records show the Oakes’ father, Oliver Ames, of 35 Oliver Street, passed away. In 1900, records show Oakes and Blanche Ames began their marriage by living at his childhood home at 35 Oliver Street in North Easton with his widowed mother, Anna Coffin Ames, his two sisters, Evelyn C., and Susan E. Ames. Later, records show Oakes and Blanche Ames were living at 355 Commonwealth Avenue, the former home of Oakes’ father, Governor Oliver Ames. Records show Oakes and Blanche moved to 225 Bay State Road, also in Boston’s fashionable Back Bay neighborhood. While living on Bay State Road, records show they began their planning for a country estate south of Boston. In 1906, records show Oakes and Blanche Ames began their purchases and lived at the newly purchased Col. Israel Tisdale Farmhouse, at 697 Mountain Street in Sharon, located at the northeast of the existing Leach Pond. In 1906, records show that Alice Buck Pratt, of 111 Rockland Street, sold the land to Oakes Ames in two parcels, on the northwest corner of Rockland Street and Allen Road. Records show the first parcel consisted of sixty-nine and one-quarter acres that reserved the William Dean Cemetery “as it is now walled in” and the right to pass to and from the burial ground to Rockland Street. Records show the second parcel was seventeen and three-quarter acres on the south side of Rockland Street. According to Anna Buck, one of George and Marion Buck’s thirteen children, records verify Oakes and Blanche Ames rented 111 Rockland Street, her father’s childhood home, to Anna Buck’s family after they returned to Easton in 1911.In 1910, records show residing at the formerly called Col. Israel Tisdale Farmhouse at 697 Mountain Street were Oakes, a botanist, and his wife, Blanche B. Ames, with their two daughters, Pauline, Evelyn, their two sons, Amyas, and Oliver Ames, with seven servants. By 1910, records show Oakes and Blanche B. Ames purchased surrounding individual parcels, including a place called "Borderland," which they called home. There they raised turkeys, pheasants, mink, and cattle. In 1910, records show the construction of the Mansion started with the building of the library. Records show Blanche calculated the engineering measurements for the causeways and dams built on the ponds surrounding the mansion. Records show the Ames Mansion was constructed on the site of the Currivan farmhouse, which are composed of larger stones and are slightly square. The stonewall running along the original entrance easterly, now a service driveway, continued across the lawn on the south side of the Mansion. Oakes and Blanche Ames using some of the field stones in the construction of the Mansion. Stonewalls in the other parcels were a rougher and round stone configuration. In 1910, records show the construction of the Mansion started with the library being constructed in 1912. Records show Blanche and Oaks, who wanted a fireproof house, became displeased with the work of their architect because of the challenges he faced with their design and engineering requirements. Dismissing the architect, Blanche took over the design and construction management of the mansion and hired the Concrete Engineering Company to draw plans according to her specifications. In 1920, records show living at 257 Massapoag Avenue were Oakes, a professor of botany, and his wife, Blanche B. Ames, an artist in her own home, with their two daughters, Pauline, Evelyn, their two sons, Amyas, and Oliver Ames, with six servants and two chauffeurs. Records show Blanche Ames calculated the engineering measurements for the causeways and dams built on the ponds surrounding the mansion. Once the mansion was completed, Blanche set up a full-size studio on the third floor of the house and maintained a workshop in which she and her brother, Adelbert Ames, developed a scientific color system for mixing paints. Records show Blanche became the sole illustrator of her husband’s botanical books, including a seven-volume treatise on orchids. Oaks Ames was a renowned authority on orchids and taught botany at Harvard from 1900 until his retirement in 1941. The rear of the Mansion had the tennis courts, rolling hill towards the fields and pool. The Mansion at Borderland featured landscaping around the immediate grounds. In 1930, records show living at 257 Massapoag Avenue were Oakes, a professor of botanist at Harvard, and his wife, Blanche B. Ames, an artist in her Iron Studio, with their daughter, Evelyn, their two sons, Amyas, and Oliver Ames, assistant manager at the Ames Shovel and Tool Company, Inc., with two servants. Plantings around the house include shrubs and shade trees and perennial flowers. A vegetable garden was located to the west of the house. The garden was bordered by raspberry bushes running along the tree line of the fields. Oaks and Blanche created a system of ponds and dams throughout their estate. The sculpted hedge along the circular drive was destroyed in the Blizzard of 1978, which was restored at the direction of Pauline Plimpton, Oakes’ daughter. A formal rock garden, designed by Oakes Ames, was built to the north of the house, complete with stone paths, steps, and benches. In the 1970s, records show under the direction of Oakes and Blanche’s grandson, T. P. Plimpton, the rock garden was reconstructed with some of the original flowering trees. These include flowering crab trees, dogwoods, lilac, forsythia, and burning bush. The reconstruction was a recreation of the historic planting plan by Oakes Ames. In the center of the rock garden is a wooden trellis set on granite columns, on which climbs Borderland’s Great Wisteria. The circulation system of the Ames estate also remains intact, including the circular drive in front of the Mansion and several unpaved roads throughout the former estate. Records show Oakes Ames was the youngest son of Governor Oliver and Anna C. Ames and was well known for his botanist and orchid expertise. At the age of fifteen, Oakes took an interest in orchids while studying in Easton on the origin of plant life in different regions or times. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1898, Oakes started the Ames Botanical Laboratory at Harvard, becoming a world-known center for the study of orchids and economic botany. In 1900, records show Oakes Ames started teaching in the field of botany at Harvard. Later, Oakes became Research Professor and Director of the Botanical Museum until his retirement in 1941. Records show Blanche Ames, a scientific illustrator provided the illustrations for her husband’s book on orchids. Records show Blanche Ames Ames, was a multi-talented inventor and illustrator, who was involved in art, farming, engineering and politics. Records show Blanche Ames was a suffragist, an early advocate of birth control, and late in life Blanche wrote a biography of her father, Adelbert Ames. Blanche Ames was interested in farming working with the staff of the Borderland estate and devised plans for developing a larger, more disease-resistant turkey. Records show Blanche was the co-founder of the Birth Control League of Massachusetts and the Treasurer of the League of Women Voters from 1915 to 1918. Blanche was well known for her political cartoons depicting the struggle for women’s suffrage. In 1939, records show Blanche, an inventor designed a hexagonal lumber cutter. In 1940, records show living at 257 Massapoag Avenue were Oakes, a professor of botany, and his wife, Blanche B. Ames, with a son, Oliver Ames, a trustee, and one housekeeper. During World War II, records show Blanche Ames designed, tested and patented a method for ensnaring enemy airplanes in wires hung from balloons. It must be noted in history that Blanche Ames painted every painting in the mansion with one exception. In 1969, records show Blanche Ames received a patent for a water anti-pollution device, a year before her passing. Borderland’s grounds were used in Massachusetts State Lottery commercials that showed men playing croquet on the lawn. Born in New York City in 1927, records show George Plimpton, son of Pauline Ames Plimpton, who was the daughter of Oakes and Blanche Ames, spent summers during his childhood at Borderland. Records show George had a sister, Sarah Gay Plimpton, two brothers, Francis Taylor Pearsons Plimpton Jr. and Oakes Ames Plimpton. During the formative years of Borderland becoming a state park, Oakes Plimpton was a frequent visitor to the park noting the progress from an estate to a passive state park. George Plimpton, co-founder of the Paris Review, was known for his efforts in sports with the Detroit LIons in "Paper Lions," Boston Bruins in "Open Net," Willie Mays in "Out of My League," pro golf in "Bogey Man," and fought Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson for articles in the Sports Illustrated. George was a classmate at Harvard University of Robert Kennedy and helped get the gun away from Sirhan Sirhan when Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. Records show a television documentary about Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was filmed in the library of the Ames mansion. When Blanche Ames passed away in 1969, records show she left the 1,782-acre estate to her four children, who sold the property to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1971."
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission
source; Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Conservation and Recreation
source; Borderland State Park
source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886
source: Easton’s Neighborhoods, Edmund C. Hands, 1995
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission
source: Easton Patch, Michael Hardman, May 16, 2013

Borderland, Currivan Farmhouse
"In 1851, records show residing at the property, later known as the Currivan Farmhouse, at 257 Massapoag Avenue were Eliphalet, a shoemaker, and Ermina Randall Wilson, with their two daughters, Ermina L., Keziah F., their eight sons, Granville O., a shoemaker, Andrew A., a shoemaker, George H., a shoemaker, Edgar N., John B., Harrison Y., Eliphalet S., and Charles L. Wilson. In 1808, records show Eliphalet Wilson was born Capt. John Wilson, and his wife, of Taunton. In 1830, records show Eliphalet Wilson married Ermina Randall, daughter of John and Keziah Littlefield Randall in Easton. In 1850, records show residing in the neighborhood were Eliphalet, a shoemaker, and his wife, Ermina Randall Wilson, with their two daughters, Ermina L., Keziah F., with their eight sons, Granville O., a shoemaker, Andrew A., a shoemaker, George H., a shoemaker, Edgar N., John B., Harrison Y., Eliphalet S., and Charles L. Wilson. In 1851, records show Currivan Farm, located where the Mansion is presently, was created by Eliphalet Wilson. Records show Eliphalet Wilson, a lifelong resident of Easton and a farmer, used the land for cattle grazing and farming. In 1870, records show residing on the farm property were Eliphalet, a farmer, and his wife, Ermina Randall Wilson, with their son, Charles L. Wilson, working on the family farm. In 1875, records show Eliphalet Wilson passed away at the age of sixty-seven, being buried at the Spring Brook Cemetery in Mansfield. Records show the Drummonds operated the farm from 1871 until 1886. In 1886, records show Michael F. and Mary Dromey Currivan purchased the farm to be historically named the Currivan Farm. In 1863, records show Michael F. Currivan was born to Charles, a boot maker, and Catherine Currivan of Stoughton. In 1890, records show Michael F. Currivan married Mary Dromey Currivan in the Immaculate Church of 193 Main Street by Father William J. McComber. In 1900, records show residing on the Currivan Farm were Michael F., a farmer and a grinder, and his wife, Mary Dromey Currivan, with their daughter, Mary, their four sons, John J., Thomas, William, and Michael F. Currivan. Records show a historical image taken in North Easton with Thomas Currivan, his sister, Mary Agnes Rathbun Currivan, and their mother, Mary Dromey Currivan, at the Currivan Farmhouse. In 1904, records show Michael F. Currivan passed away. In 1906, records show the family of Michael F. and Mary Dromey Currivan sold the Currivan Farmhouse to Oakes and Blanche Ames. In 1910, records show Oakes and Blanche Ames removed the farmhouse to build the Mansion on the solid foundation. Records show the foundation for the old Currivan house can be seen at the northwest corner of the library and the edge of the rock garden. Records show Currivan Corn Crib used to be located where the visitor entrance from the parking lot. Records show Oakes and Blanche Ames purchased individual properties one at a time. Borderland is made up of several parcels of land, divided by stonewalls, wire fences, and forest. These boundary demarcations can still be seen today. Records show walls in the vicinity of the Mansion, associated with the Currivan Farm, are composed of larger stones and are slightly square. Records show the stonewall that runs along the service road to the west of the Mansion once continued across the lawn behind the house. Records show Oakes and Blanche Ames removed this wall during the construction of the Mansion, and some stones from walls were used in the construction of the Mansion. Walls at other sites are of a rougher, round stone configuration. When Blanche Ames passed away in 1969, records show she left the 1,782-acre estate to her four children, who sold the property to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1971."
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission
source; Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Conservation and Recreation
source; Borderland State Park
source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission

Borderland, System of Stones
"In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the system of stones and stonewalls was created by farmers for markings of the borders of their farming fields when tilling the land. This system of circulation and boundary markings remained the same during the conversion of the land from agricultural to recreational uses. Records show the fields maintained by the farmers with the paths, forestry lines, fences and stonewalls of the agricultural pass the test of times. In 1906, while living at the Tisdale House at 697 Mountain Road, saw Oakes and Blanche Ames started buying parcels of land. In 1910, Oakes and Blanche Ames built the Mansion at Borderland with stones and rocks focusing on making it as fireproof as possible, and using stones from the land and old stonewalls on the property which were not part of future design plans. Back in the 1880s, the stonewalls around the Mansion, were part of Currivan Farm, are composed of larger stones and are slightly square. Back then, the stonewall that runs along the service road to the west of the Mansion continued across the lawn behind the house. Oakes and Blanche Ames took down this wall during the construction of the Mansion, with some stones from walls being used in the construction of the field stone Mansion. Walls at other parts of the land, are of rougher, and rounder stones. The Mansion is constructed of steel-reinforced concrete floors and ceilings and concrete and granite walls with a flat parapet roof, giving the house a solid, fortress-like appearance. Over time, trees have grown along these stonewalls between the Currivan Farm and the Wilbur Farm towards the south. The old three-story stone Mansion that Oakes and Blanche Ames lived in with their family, was the focus point of the estate called Borderland. The most extensive areas of stones and rocks in Easton are found in the northwest of Borderland, with left overs of a small quarry massive boulders, glacial cliffs, and hills made out of rock. Before Oakes and Blanche owned the land, previous agricultural use by the Tisdale, Smith, Currivan, and Wilbur families had shaped the woodland into a series of fields, woodlots and farmsteads separated by a series of stonewall and fences. Time has shown the fields, wetlands, and woodlands of Borderland were divided by stonewalls, with the fields once used for pasture now a wildlife refuge. The Shooting Range was used for target shooting by friends and members of the family of Oakes and Blanche Ames. The range was in a ditch with a dry laid fieldstone bottom with a retaining wall and a pile of earth on one side. The range measured four-foot-wide, about five feet deep and one-hundred-feet long. Targets were put in the pit and the shooters shot at them from a distance in the woods. The Lodge was a one-story stone structure, and was designed and built under the supervision of Blanche Ames. Oakes and Blanche Ames used the same construction methods as used in the construction of the Mansion. The George E. Wilbur Graveyard was located, about fifty rods from the George E. Wilbur Farmhouse, southwest of the Mansion at Borderland with its boundaries were marked by stonewalls on three sides of this cemetery, with two walls going east to west, seventy feet long and the other thirty-feet feet, in a north to south direction. Stonewalls, some of which are a historic resource in the Borderland, represent the presence of numerous farmsteads within the boundaries of the Borderland, with the potential for numerous walls and fences to exist to delineate the land use rights. Records show Tisdale Cemetery has a unusual stonewall construction with one foot by six foot upper stones, which could have been from excess stones from the Viaduct in Canton which was built in 1835."
source; Massachusetts Historical Commission
source; Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Conservation and Recreation
source; Borderland State Park
source: Easton’s Neighborhoods, Edmund C. Hands, 1995
source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886
.
Massapoag Avenue
"Massapoag Avenue extends from Poquanticut Avenue, past No. 6 Schoolhouse, to the Sharon line. The part north of Rockland Street was laid out in 1824, and after some delay was adopted. The rest of it was finally laid out in 1834."
source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886

Posted by Historical Images of Easton, Massachusetts, Bristo on 2016-05-15 11:30:04

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