Episode 5: August 4, 2018

In Week 5, we started out in New Jersey, where we took a country stroll around Fosterfield Living Historical Farms, where we got to crack corn like Jimmy, and feed chickens and do other farmly stuff– in addition to touring an old mansion where the rich Foster family once lived, and which was built by a grandson of Paul Revere. Or more likely, he had guys build it for him.

Then we continued up the coast to Connecticut, where we worked in a couple of more escape rooms. We also strolled around the grounds with some really impressive sculpture at Studio 80, a sculpture park in Old Lyme.

Next on our trajectory was Massachusetts, where we peeked into the windows of the actual schoolhouse where Mary Sawyer brought her pet lamb around 1817, thus inspiring one of the most famous nursery rhymes ever. Just down the road is anther poetically significant landmark: the Wayside Inn, which has been operating continuously since 1716. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow spent some time there, and heard the other guests tell interesting tales. This inspired him to write up these tales in verse form and publish them as Tales of a Wayside Inn. The most famous of the stories begins “Listen my children and you shall hear/ of the midnight ride of Paul Revere”. (Hey Paul, your grandson had a cool place on the farm.) Next to the inn is a picturesque old mill that is still in operation. It’s so picturesque that it’s used on the label of Pepperidge Farm products.

And no visit to Massachusetts would be complete with exploring Purgatory Chasm State Park, which has the most fabulous assortment of rocks ever for climbing on, squeezing through, crawling under and even sliding down. They almost look as if they were designed by engineers for a Star Trek holodeck.

Now we’re making our way to Cape Cod, and look forward to being in New England for a few weeks.

QUESTION: Have you visited a living history museum? Where was it?