Woburn, Massachusetts, is only about 25 miles from where I live, but I don’t know anyone who lives there, and I’ve never had any particular reason to go there. I think have only actually been in the town a few times. Recently, however, I realized that Woburn happens to have five of my favorite things:
#1: A Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Marker
I love these beautiful cast iron markers, erected throughout the Commonwealth in 1930, and have been photographing and documenting them for a few years. Many of the original markers have been lost over the years, and others are in rough shape or located in places where they’re seldom seen. This one, however, is beautifully situated in the center of town on the Common, surrounded by grass, trees, flowers and monuments.
Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Historical Markers — I manage a Flickr group for photos of these historical markers.
Although it’s now a Thai restaurant rather than a “real” diner, it’s nice to see it still serving food in the location where it’s been for over fifty years.
#3: A Colonial Filling Station
There are only a few of these beautiful domed Beacon Oil Company filling stations from the 1920s still standing, and this is the only one I have seen that still a service station — the others that I have visited are the Dairy Dome ice cream store in Stoneham, and Maria’s Pizzeria in Malden.
This is also the only one that I have seen topped by the original globe decoration — either original or a good reproduction.
#4: A Hiker Monument
Spanish-American War soldiers were known as “Hikers,” and this sculpture of a Hiker holding a rifle was designed by Massachusetts sculptor Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson to honor soldiers who died in the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and the Boxer Rebellion. Her Hiker monument was cast over fifty times, and can be found in public squares across the United States.
The Hiker Monument — I started a Flickr group for photographs of these monuments.
#5: An H.H. Richardson Library
The Woburn Public Library, built in 1879, was designed by my favorite architect, Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886.)