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Lost Massachusetts

Lost Massachusetts

By Garth Bruen

Here we rediscover the vanished and forgotten places in one of America's oldest states, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It could be a ghost town, it could be a former neighborhood reclaimed for industrial use. Sometimes we hike into the wilderness, sometimes the lost world is beneath a busy street. Maybe you live on top of a forgotten settlement? Walk along with us on the lost road. More at LOSTMASSACHUSETTS.COM
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Spa E49

Lost MassachusettsJun 27, 2023

Spa E49

Spa E49

No, you cannot get your nails and hair done here...but you can get Tonic, Grinders, Tall Cans, Slushies, Butts, Frappes, Batteries for your Clicker, Hoodsies, have no idea what I'm talking about?
Jun 27, 202335:38
Comments and Notes E48
Jun 16, 202319:13
Out There E47
Jun 05, 202318:26
May 29, 202320:08
Myrtle Village E45
Apr 22, 202320:57
Workmans Circle Camp, MASS. E44
Apr 06, 202310:00
Southerton, Mass: Velvet Mill E43
Mar 27, 202311:30
Vos Haven E42
Mar 17, 202318:32
Mechanic Street E41
Mar 06, 202313:41
The Arsenal E40
Feb 27, 202320:11
Listener Comments E39
Feb 21, 202314:20
Borderland E38

Borderland E38

In this Lost Massachusetts Episode we take a zig-zag drive through the Mass/Conn border examining the odd crossings between Southwick, Mass & Granby, Conn; Longmeadow, Mass & Enfield, Conn; and a 12-second crossing in the Douglas State Forest. There are also waterfront properties where the house is in one state but the beach is in another.

Take a good look at the Mass/Connecticut border, it's not a straight line, not even close. From New York the mass border slopes north, then south, then drops into Connecticut for miles in places, slopes north again, then south again and then finally straight down where it meets the Rhode Island border.

A bad survey line established in 1642 marked a disputed state line that placed a dozen or more Connecticut towns within Massachusetts. It would take almost two hundred years to settle this dispute. Why was the line so inaccurate? Because the people who did it conducted their measurements from a ship instead of on the land. They took measurements from the ocean and the Connecticut River which were not much better than guesses.

Connecticut did not even have its own royal charter 1662, it was a mishmash of adjacent colonies centered around New Haven and Saybrook that did not combine until later. This was the period of history where the Netherlands was loosing control to England, including the Dutch possessions in New England.

When they received their charter, Connecticut put its version of the state line well above the 1642 line, but this remained an issue of dispute and confusion between the two states. More settlers moved into the towns not always clear on where they lived.

Connecticut conducted a new line survey in 1695 which massachusetts ignored.

Mass did not like the results from another survey conducted in 1702 either. in 1713 the two colonies simply agreed to divide up the towns in the disputed area, but the towns impacted by the change did not like being tossed around so another survey was chartered. Strangely, the new border agreed to by massachusetts put several towns that were clearly settled by massachusetts in Connecticut. These towns were shifted back to massachusetts which made the various jogs we see on the map. If you think this ended the issue it did not since some settlers in massachusetts wanted to be part of connecticut because the taxes were lower. Imagine that. So the border shifted again for some people. In 1797 part of the border was adjusted because a river used as a marker had...moved. After the revolution the issue was revisited in 1801 but was not redrawn until 1826 and agreed on until 1840. All of this confusion was compounded by the fact that many stone markers, while intended to show the actuate borders were in the wrong place. It was also found that some settlers have moved marker stones to expand their own farms. These discrepancies were not fixed until 1941. The issues did not end there as new technology in the early 2000s made more accurate measurements and these results showed many border lines to be invalid. Believe it or not, Connecticut's eastern border with Rhode Island is still in dispute.

These are the towns above the 1642 survey line: Thompson, Woodstock, Union, Stafford, Somers, Enfield, Suffield, Granby, Windsor Locks, Hartland, Barkhamsted, Winchester, Colebrook, Norfolk, Canaan, Salsbury, Millerton NY.

The towns specifically settled and claimed by Massachusetts: Woodstock, Somers, Enfield, Suffield.

Sources, photos and more information at 

Feb 16, 202316:37
Massachusett E37

Massachusett E37

What exactly is "Massachusetts" anyway? Where is the real, original Massachusetts? In this episode we explore the name and initial location it refers to. This is a good starting point for exploring the deep history of Lost Massachusetts.

The word Massachusett (sometimes Massachuset - with one T) loosely translates as: "at the range of hills" in the Algonquin dialect spoken by the native people of Massachusetts. The hills referenced in the term are the Blue Hills and in particular the Great Blue Hill in Milton.

The people referred to as Massachusett ("Massachuseuk") controlled an area much smaller than the current size of the state. Its frontier was roughly from Cape Ann in the North, Natick in the West and Weymouth in the South.

What became the colonist state of the Massachusetts Bay Colony also did not include Plymouth plantation, the Cape and Islands (The "Old Colony") or generally lands further to the West or North until later.

The Blue Hills Reservation is in Milton, Randolph, Quincy, Canton and Dedham. This is four-season recreational area with hiking, skiing, swimming, mountain biking. There are bathrooms, picnic areas, boat launches, a nature center and museum run by Mass Audubon.

The relationship between this location and the name of our state is not made plain or explained clearly. This was also likely the location of an important native settlement and possibly a place of religious significance - subjects that need to be explored in more depth.

Sources, Links, Photographs and more at

Feb 11, 202310:15
Show Notes Show E36

Show Notes Show E36

We briefly discuss pending changes to the show format, making shorter, more targeted episodes that will hopefully enable quicker releases and more overall coverage of fascinating lost places and the stories behind them.

Archaic word of the Episode: Calash. 

Also, check our our new Lost Cabin artwork. Cool, huh? It's by local artist Ellie Jones. Go to or lostmassachusetts at Instagram for more information about Ellie Jones artwork and the show. 

Jan 31, 202310:57
The Fo'Castle E35

The Fo'Castle E35

Outermost house of Henry Beston. Come with us over the sand dune cliff to search for Henry Beston's lost Outermost House in the most recent episode: The Fo'Castle E35. 

"Sleep gone and past recapture, I drew on my clothes and went to the beach. In the luminous east, two great stars aslant were rising clear of the exhalations of darkness gathered at the rim of night and ocean-Betelgeuse and Bellatrix, the shoulders of Orion. Autumn had come, and the Giant stood again at the horizon of day and the ebbing year, his belt still hidden in the bank of cloud, his feet in the deeps of space and the far surges of the sea." From The Outermost House.

Quincy native Henry Beston joined the French Amy in 1915 and served as an ambulance driver. Like Ernest Hemingway, he wrote about his experience, also like Hemingway he became a journalist for a time, covering the war. He knew cape cod from studying coast guard stations along the cape for a magazine. The recently formed Coast Guard provided, and still provides, a critical service in the area. The ocean around Cape Cod is one of the most dangerous places in the world to sail.

Looking for solace, Beston we went to the beaches of Estham, the furthest point out, as far as he could be from the world, as close to the sea as he could be. He spent a year looking for what he called the Devine Mystery of Nature where a man could cease being a man and become part of something else. He would study and record the sights and sounds of nature. The book he created is cited as the impetus for the preservation of Cape Cod’s natural resources. Beston’s book changed the way people thought about nature, not just something to be feared but also something to be respected and managed.

About ten years after the house was built a storm nearly destroyed it, so it was moved back. 10  years after that, the dune it sat on started to collapse so they moved it again, this time behind the dune. But the sea takes what it wants to. In February of 1978 the Fo’castle was pulled into the ocean by one of the most powerful and destructive storms in the history of Massachusetts, our famous blizzard, a single storm that left 27 inches of snow, shut down the state for a week and killed over 100 people. Not only was the house lost, but the very ground it stood on is now under water.

Sources, Links, Photographs and more at

Sep 27, 202228:13
Dogtown, Mass. P3: Redemption E28
Sep 20, 202223:01
Boston's Dying Gaslight E34

Boston's Dying Gaslight E34

By the dying gaslight
Aug 10, 202219:04
Viking MASS E33

Viking MASS E33

Viking MASS part one...It is claimed by many people that there was viking exploration and even settlement of Massachusetts seven or eight hundred years ago, long before any other European’s arrived. Did this happen? How valid are the claims? Is it possible? Where is the evidence?

First Who were the vikings? These are various medieval people originating out of Sweden, Norway and Denmark who became notable for raiding coastal settlements in Europe in the ninth century from Russia to the British Isles. They often raided monasteries that were undefended for the gold. The image conjured in many people’s minds of vikings is the raiding and piracy, but what is more interesting for this discussion are the expansions, settlements and take over of various European territories by vikings. It surprises people to find out that Dublin Ireland was a viking settlement, and that parts of England and France were viking-sized. This helps answer the question as to why Vikings might have pushed deep into north america. This story is not about raiders and pirates, it’s about the need for new territories to move people into. Some of the motivation was about inheritance or rivalries between siblings that led them to want to find unexplored territories, especially places where they wouldn’t have invade with an army.

We begin our story by visiting the statue of Leif Erikson on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston near Kenmore Square. This is one of many monuments in the area dedicated to Viking exploration. Some are at locations claimed to be actual landing sites or possible settlements. We will attempt to visit and evaluate many of these in parts 2 and 3.

Sources, Links, Photographs and more at

Jul 27, 202213:57
Chestnut Hill Does Not Exist E32

Chestnut Hill Does Not Exist E32

Chestnut Hill Does Not Exist...or does it???

Full Blog at

We cover the lost history of a town that was never a town but was planned to be. It's not a ghost town, you can still go there: Chestnut Hill. People may imagine it is a distinct town but it is made of pieces of several other cities. How? Listen to the podcast. The Lee family acquired over 160 acres of what many people considered to be remote, rural, dusty, swampy land on the Newton-Brookline border. Part of that land would be transferred to Roxbury. The Lee's would develop the land, bringing families in, clearing it, building roads and houses and then renaming the area "Chestnut Hill". Their goal was to create a new community but Boston's ambitions made that just a dream as the suburbs tightened their borders in response.

"Named by Francis Lee, who built the first country house in the area in the 1850's, Chestnut Hill is in three different towns"(

"That still doesn’t explain the Brookline-shaped gap in Boston’s present-day silhouette, though. Between 1868 and 1870, Boston tripled its size by annexing first Roxbury and then Dorchester, promising new infrastructure and development. In 1873, it grew larger still, absorbing Brighton, Charlestown, and West Roxbury. Brookline, however, would later vote against joining Boston, putting a stop to the city’s inland expansion until it annexed Hyde Park in 1912." (

"The western part of the City of Roxbury split off to form the Town of West Roxbury in 1851.  It survived on its own until 1874, when it was annexed to Boston along with Brighton and Charlestown." (

A history of the Chestnut Hill Chapel; being an address delivered at the dinner held on October sixteenth, nineteen hundred and thirty-six to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Chapel (

Sources, Links, Photographs and more at

Jul 20, 202233:24
The Oblong E31
Jul 13, 202224:54
The World Before - Cornhill E29

The World Before - Cornhill E29

Lost Massachusetts Cornhill in Truro on Cape Cod. This place represents a pivotal moment in the history of Massachusetts, the site of a lost village now surrounded by summer homes. 

There had been encounters between natives of Massachusetts and Europeans for possibly hundreds of years. This was possibly the first time Europeans set foot in a Native American village. It is remembered as the moment Mayflower Pilgrims saved themselves from starvation by taking stored food from what is now known as Cornhill, what was a village of the Pamet people. The Pamet had relocated to their winter homes and were not there when the Pilgrims entered the village. Cornhill gets great ocean breezes in the summer but can be brutal at the time the Pilgrims arrived in November. The Nauset had good reason to be suspicious of the English but eventually became allies after the Pilgrims paid them for the stollen corn later. Find out more details in the second episode from season 2, including some possible information about the Nauset dogs. 

"...and also found a place where a house had lately been, with some planks, and a great kettle and heaps of sand newly banked, under which they found several large baskets filled with corn, some in the ear of various colors..." -Bradford's History of Plymouth

The Buried Corn of the Nausets (

The Creation of the American Dog (


Ancient Dogs of the Americas Were Wiped Out by European Colonization (

Nauset Indians (

A Brief and Ever Growing History of the Town of Truro Massachusetts (

Corn Hill Beach (

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Jul 07, 202221:40
Lost Haunted Houses: The Bird Lady E30
Oct 30, 202124:21
Preview of Season Two E27

Preview of Season Two E27

Preview of Season Two

First in this episode we thank our listeners for their comments and to pushing us over five thousand listens. We discuss our two most downloaded episodes of Season One: Episode 3 Small Pox Burial Ground and Episode 14 The Lost Corner

What Episodes and Mysteries to unravel in season two? These are mostly just clues, I’m not giving away the stories and locations all at once, but many of you will probably know exactly what I’m talking about. One of the things I’m finding is that many lost mass listeners really know their local history and when they share their knowledge it makes the show even more interesting.

In the first episode of Season 2 we are going to hone in on a Massachusetts origin story if you would, a crucial moment for two peoples that meant survival for one and decimation for the other. A point of no return in history that is itself a vanished and lost place, even the marker for this most pivotal moment is swept over and hidden. You’ll have to listen to first episode to find out what I mean. But this is something that helps us look both forward and backward in time.

We’ll visit what is left of a community that was blown up and severed by one of massachusetts most iconic roads.

We will try and visit the desolate place one man spent a year expelling himself in from the rest of society.

There will be an episode focusing a secret that is still running under the streets of Boston that you can still see for the moment if you know where to look, but it is vanishing slowly with each passing year so hurry up and go look at it while it’s there.

An unexpectedly extreme but breathtakingly beautiful place that could be dangerous to the causal visitor depending on the circumstances but it is also a place that has a rich bizarre history and still serves as an inspiration to many.

And much much more...

Munich Haus in Chicopee MASS (

Get at Lost Massachusetts Postcard from a Lost Place

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Oct 26, 202115:27
The Postcard Episode E26

The Postcard Episode E26

The Postcard Episode

We are recording from an abandoned Post Office somewhere in rural Mass. There are at least 24 post offices in Massachusetts that have been closed since 1900 and had their zip cods retired. Wait, how did a post office closed before 1963 have its ZIP cancelled if there were no ZIP codes? THAT is another mystery for a different time...

Lost Massachusetts sends postcards to listeners from the lost places we visit. You can get a post card from a lost place too, go to to find out how. In episode we explain the reasoning behind sending these cards from places that no longer exist. We also read from an old postcard bought in an antique shop that inspired this as well as read from a postcard sent to Lost Massachusetts from a listener. 

Also covered briefly is the history of postcards and why people should keep sending them. It may seem odd to us now, but in the early days of postcards they were heavily regulated. There were restrictions about who could print post cards, who could send postcards, how they were formatted and even who was allowed to use the term “post card”. 

More Postcard History:

Postcard History - A magazine for the postcard collector (

Smithsonian Postcard History (

History of postcards (


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Oct 08, 202119:55
Niew Nederlandt: Lost Dutch Mass. E25

Niew Nederlandt: Lost Dutch Mass. E25

For a number of reasons Massachusetts is thought of as a product of British colonialism. We fought a revolution against the British, English is our primary language, our legal system is based on English law, and the state is part of “New England”. However, many may be surprised that before Massachusetts became English it was Dutch. Cape Cod was referred to as New Holland and most of the Northeast was either called New Belgium or New Netherlands. The dutch were setting up shop in Mass. a decade before the Pilgrims set foot in Plymouth. Yes, long before the English colonial charters were issued, Dutch explorers pushed through the wilderness, traded with native tribes, built settlements and created maps that showed them controlling the entire territory. What did Dutch Mass look like? What happened to it? Can we see any of it today? The Dutch did not control Massachusetts by the end of the 17th century and is generally not thought of as Dutch today. This episode of Lost Massachusetts starts with the early history of Dutch claims while pointing out a number of things that have Dutch origins. We interview Dutch Emma, who has lived in Massachusetts for years, about her knowledge of the Dutch legacy. 

Adriaen Block (

Hendrick Christiaensen (

Cornelius Jacobsen May (

Block’s Map (

New Netherlands Map (

Later English Map with some Dutch names (

Dutch Colonies (

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Sep 17, 202119:48
YOUR Spooky Stories E24

YOUR Spooky Stories E24

Did you have a dark, creepy house in your neighborhood growing up?

Lost Massers, I’m looking for your input! I want you to send me a short ghost story about where you grew up.

We’re developing a concept for our Halloween episode this year and its related to Haunted Houses, not haunted attractions but real haunted houses you may have grown up with in your hometown in Massachusetts.

I had several where I grew up, rotting, decrepit old mansions that were set back from the road or on a hilltop somewhere. Sometimes they were completely empty, sometimes someone lived there, but someone we never saw. Kids would dare each other to bike by the house, ring the doorbell, look through the windows.

The key is that legends would grow around these creepy buildings, rumors, weirdness, spooky occurrences, exaggerated tales about the history of the place. I think every town in Massachusetts had at least one and I know you all remember them and the stories behind the ghost houses.

What kind of short stories am I talking about?

I’ll give you a quick example: On my street growing up there was a boarded up house that for some reason kept getting newspapers delivered to it for years. They would pile up on the doorstep, get yellow with sun, they melt into pulpy piles because of the rain and snow, but there would always be fresh ones on top of the old trash.I finally met the kid who delivered the papers on his bike and I asked him about it. He said there was an envelope with cash in it every week plus tip left for him in the mailbox so he kept brining the papers. but he never saw anyone in the house.

That’s what Im talking about, what’s your old neighborhood haunted house?

I’m sure many of them are now gone, knocked down and replaced with a development, a department store or a McMansion. Some are just overgrown fields with old wall around them, there are a few like the in my town now.

Here’s what you can do: I want you to send those stories and I will read or play them on the show. There are a few ways you can get these stories to lost Massachusetts. You can write us through our usual contact methods or you can send a voice message that we will play in the show.

You can send us voice message through our Instagram account lostmassachusetts or you can go to the podcast’s home page on anchor at via the message button. Be sure to drop us a email or text note if you leave a voice message so we know to look for it.

A few rules about this, the haunted house has to have been in a Massachusetts town, you have to mention the name of the town as part of the story.

1. This has to be a quote unquote real haunted house not a cool haunted attraction you went to.

2. If you don’t want your name mentioned don’t say it in your recording.

3. This is mostly a family show, so keep it clean - except for the gruesome ghoulish details of the creepy old house.

4. We want to publish these in an episode for the week of halloween and we have to edit them so please get them to us by October 24.

Thanks, looking forward to your spooky submissions

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Sep 04, 202111:46
Lost Highway: Abandoned Interstate 95 E23

Lost Highway: Abandoned Interstate 95 E23

Closed section of Interstate 95 now hiking/biking trail. You can walk on a real Lost Highway...Just off the real Interstate 95 in Newburyport there is a hidden nature trail that is actually a paved road. Originally, a relocated section of Route 1 it was repurposed as part of the new Interstate system only to be abandoned and replaced with updated sections of 95. Converted into recreational area, this is a great place to explore and wonder at how nature reclaims what leave behind but still leaves discoverable pieces under new growth.  

Also, we review comments from Episode 22: The Ursuline Convent Fire and invite listeners to participate in our upcoming Halloween episode and get their own postcard from a Lost Place.

Gloria Braunhardt Bike/Pedestrian Trail (

"Little River Trail System  is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Newburyport, Massachusetts that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash." (

Abandoned I-95 NB (

"What is now a popular recreational trail in the northeastern Massachusetts city of Newburyport was once a northbound alignment of Interstate 95, and before that, part of a relocated US 1. A trip down this 1.1 mile long abandoned section of highway shows a road that was left mostly intact, complete with the original pavement, curb cuts and pavement markings." (

Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956: Creating The Interstate System (

Interstate 95 (

Fallout 4 Commonwealth Map (

Fallout 4 Map (

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Aug 31, 202114:59
Ursuline Convent Fire E22

Ursuline Convent Fire E22

In 1834 Boston's growing Irish Catholic immigrant community met the fiery resistance of a suspicious native Protestant Yankee mob. The Ursuline Convent and School in Charlestown (now Somerville) was burned to the ground following strange rumors of women being held captive and even murdered behind the walls. But Bostons Irish would not be deterred and rose from the ashes in a triumphant symbol that can still be seen today.

"The Ursuline Convent had been a longtime dream of one of the first Catholic priests in Boston. The Rev. John Thayer wanted to help his impoverished parishioners by bringing Ursuline nuns to teach the city's poor Catholic girls. The Ursulines were pioneers in women's education, and their first-rate schools in Europe attracted both Catholics and Protestants." (

"Many bizarre tales were circulating at the time about sisters who had escaped from the “horrors of the cloister.” Although these accounts were later proven false, they were generally believed by the working classes." (

"The rioters shattered the convent's windows, broke down the front door, and burst into the building. They went on a rampage, destroying furniture, musical instruments, books, and religious items, and then set the building on fire." (

Fire & Roses: The Burning of the Charlestown Convent, 1834 - by Nancy Lusignan Schultz (

The Burning of the Charlestown Ursuline Convent and School (

Firemen and Irish Clash in Boston Riot (


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Aug 19, 202124:19
Worcester Weird Road Trip Memories E21

Worcester Weird Road Trip Memories E21

Sights and sites to see in an and around Worcester Mass. that may puzzle or intrigue you. We discuss the concept of road trips in general and explain how the road trip itself started in Massachusetts. I want to talk about 5 or so things. A hat, a tower, a pumpkin, an unpronounceable name, and a strange street. 

The Duryea Brothers of Automobile History (

Stephen Jendrysik: Chicopee played important role in the early 20th century auto industry (

Pastie Duggan (

Golemos Market (

"Bancroft Tower is a 56-foot-high natural stone and granite tower, which looks like a miniature feudal castle. It is located in Salisbury Park, in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. It was erected in 1900, in memory of George Bancroft." (

"Salisbury's interest in archeology was sparked during his first visit to the Yucatan peninsula in 1862. He wrote several essays on South American archeology for the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, including "Dr. LePlongeon in Yucatan," (1877) and "Terra Cotta Figure from Isla Mujeres," (1878)." (

Salusbury Mansion/Worcester Historical Museum (

Worcester Art Museum (

The American Antiquarian Society (

Grave of Stephen Salisbury III (

The Central Massachusetts Korean War Memorial (

The Epic Halloween Store In Massachusetts That Gets Better Year After Year (

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg (

11 Places in The World You'll Never Be Able to Pronounce (

LostMass Podcast Reviews at Apple (

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Aug 05, 202122:13
Upton Chamber E20

Upton Chamber E20

Mysterious (or not so much) manmade(?) cave in Upton - Attributed to various groups but still unsolved, the Upton Chamber is one of hundreds of structures throughout the region with an unknown past. It is, however, the largest and most accessible (and probably the coldest). 

"The Upton Stone Chamber is part of Upton Heritage Park located at 18 Elm Street. The park is now open to the public. The chamber and the nearby stone cairns on Pratt Hill are on the National Register. In 2011, the entrance to the chamber was restored by master stonemason David Stewart-Smith and David Wiggins. As part of the restoration project, archaeologists from John Milner Associates conducted an archaeological investigation." (

" artifacts have been found inside Upton Stone Chamber or most of the other stone chambers for that matter. So, what was the purpose of the stone chamber in Massachusetts?" (

A Visit to the Upton Chamber (

"A six foot high fourteen foot long tunnel leads into the mammoth chamber. The chamber is twelve feet in diameter and twelve feet high and beehive in shape, like a large stone igloo. Upton chamber is an amazing work of dry masonry with a cap stone weighing several tons." (

The official site of the Tribal Government and Citizens of Nipmuc Nation (

Christopher W Pittman - "Cellar Walls" list of mysterious structures in New England (

Stone Structures & Rock Art (

Now Mostly Forgotten, Root Cellars Were Once Fundamental to American Settlers (

Chamber of mystery (

Cooling Takes Off in the Roaring Twenties (

Pleiades: The Seven Sisters Star Cluster (

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Jul 30, 202127:56
Notown, Mass. E19

Notown, Mass. E19

Weird beard: The story of a persecuted follicle fashion and an unofficial community that vanished before it could become a real town. Also, we talk to a born-and-raised son of Leominster. 

"Notown Road got its name because it really went to no town.  It went to a tract of land that was unincorporated by any of the towns that surround it – Fitchburg, Leominster, Princeton, and Westminster.  In 1838, NoTown was divided into three parcels and annexed onto Leominster, Princeton, and Westminster.  In 1923, this land came back together as Leominster State Forest.  Today, Leominster State Forest is 4,300 acres of land in the five towns: Fitchburg, Leominster, Princeton, Sterling, and Westminster." (

"In the early 1700's, a series of land grants were given to the heirs of soldiers killed in the French and Indian Wars, by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Many of these parcels became part of the unincorporated settlement known as Notown, almost all of which is part of Leominster State Forest today. In 1838 the lands of Notown were finally incorporated into the towns of Leominster, Fitchburg, Westminster and Princeton. Today, there are numerous cellar holes, stonewalls and fruit trees still visible along the forest roads and trails." (

Joseph Palmer Grave (

Evergreen Cemetery Map (

Leominster State Forest Trail Map (

Alternate Trail Map with additional context (

Leominster: Notown Ruins Gerogef551

Looking out over Notown Reservoir, Leominster MA (

Mountain Biking the area (

The Cursed Forest of Massachusetts (

Ronny Le Blanc (

LostMass Podcast Reviews at Apple (

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Jul 16, 202129:06
Norton Furnace and Copper Works E18

Norton Furnace and Copper Works E18

Norton Furnace (Meadowbrook) and the Copper Works Now a quiet residential area with a hiking trail, the lower portion of Norton was once home to a dense collection of industrial factories.   

"Norton. - This was the seventh town formed in Bristol county and was set off from Taunton on March 17, 1710" (

"Crocker & Richmond erected the cupola furnace building in 1825 for a copper rolling mill, also a copper refining furnace, afterwards used as a yellow metal furnace. They carried on the copper business in these two buildings until 1835. In that year the Crocker brothers dug the canal from the mill pond of Allen and Augustus Lane's and erected the lower mill on the northerly side of the river which is operated by the water from the canal. In 183S they added the upper or zinc mill. During the year 1853 they put on an addition to the cupola smelting furnace…In 1837 William A. West, in one of these buildings commenced making cents for the United States government, or rather he prepared them for coining and sent them to the mint for that purpose. He continued to manufacture them till the issue of the new and smaller cent. On an average he made about sixty tons per year." ( 

U.S. Geological Survey Historical Designation (

L.A. Foster Preserve ( 

A.A. Lincoln Patent for a Caboose Stove ( 

The Devil's Footprints and Other Sketches of Old Norton ( 

Norton & Copperworks ( 

Norton Town ( 

Furnace Village in Easton ( 

LostMass Podcast Reviews at Apple ( 

Photos at:

Sound Effects From Zapsplat (

Music Courtesy of Free Music Archive (

More on

Jun 30, 202126:09
Wompatuck: Geocaching and Dark Secrets E17
Jun 01, 202127:15
The Long Ditch and Mother Brook: Secrets of Dedham E16

The Long Ditch and Mother Brook: Secrets of Dedham E16

May 21, 202127:58
Searching for a Mythical Monster in Questing, Mass E15
May 06, 202126:13
The Lost Corner: AKA Hells Acre, The Oblong, Etc. E14

The Lost Corner: AKA Hells Acre, The Oblong, Etc. E14

The cutoff community of Boston Corner was eventually literally cut off from Massachusetts and added to New York. Hidden behind the Taconic Mountains, beyond the reach of Massachusetts law, the Mount Washington section called Boston Corners become a haven for gamblers, bootleggers and horse thieves. The small town was wrecked in a riot brought on by the "Fight of the Century", an illegal boxing match that pitted leaders of two different Irish gangs from New York against each other in the ring. 

Yankee Sullivan (

John "Old Smoke" Morrissey (

The Battle of Boston Corners (

"The day before the fight, gamblers and boxing fans began showing up in tiny Boston Corners, population 150. Estimates of the crowd range from 3,000 to 5,000 fans. They came from New York City, Albany, Troy and the rural countryside, and they got tanked on liquor from Black’s." (

"On Sept. 1, 1853, articles were signed, with a purse of $2,000, the site to be within 100 mi. of New York City. The Harlem Railroad had just been built, so Boston Corner was accessible. It was just the place...A ring was set up on the drying ground of an old brickyard, and hours before the fight was scheduled to start thousands of gamblers and fans were milling around. The fighters showed up at the last minute, taking as little chance as possible of the lawmen's making it over from Great Barrington....The fight went on, bitter, bloody, with Sullivan forging slightly but steadily ahead. It lasted for 37 rounds. In the 37th round, Sullivan glanced into the crowd, where many subsidiary fights had broken out, and saw a friend take one on the jaw. Enraged, he jumped from the ring to take after his friend's assailant. After some moments of indecision, the referee raised Morrissey's hand in victory." (

The Oblong Marker (

Harlem Valley Rail Trail: Ancram to Copake (

The Free Music Archive (

Jan 27, 202126:48
The Center of Mass: Secrets of Rutland E13

The Center of Mass: Secrets of Rutland E13

Within Rutland State Park there are the ruins of an abandoned state prison farm camp and former tuberculosis hospital. Between 1903 and 1934 this was home to hundreds of drunkards, vagrants, tramps and vagabonds, The growing power of the temperance movement put many drinkers on the outside of society. Many of the inmates were foreigners caught in various social upheavals. This is not a difficult hike. You are basically walking along a dirt road until you reach the complex, getting there by bicycle is easy. Be careful searching the ruins, lots of nasty holes to fall into. 

Show Notes:

Rutland, Massachusetts: Geographical Center Tree of Massachusetts (

Rutland State Park 49 Whitehall Road, Rutland, MA (

The history of West Rutland and its people, by Thomas J Conlon 2009

The Early History of the Rutland Sanatorium, by Vincent Y. Bowditch, M.D., 1923 

This Massachusetts State Park Is Hiding A Truly Creepy Secret (

Annual report of the Bureau of Prisons of Massachusetts (

Rutland Prison Camp: Ruins in a State Park (

"The town was first settled in 1666 as Naquag. Officially incorporated in 1713, the Town of Rutland was made up of Barre, Hubbardston, Oakham, Princeton, and the northern half of Paxton." (

"Now ruins, the former Rutland Prison Camp was built in 1903 on 980 acres in Rutland, Barre and Oakham. It housed about 100 prisoners with tuberculosis who lived in buildings on the property and were treated in a 100-bed hospital. The hospital was constructed and largely run by prisoners, and even some doctors were prisoners....The prison farm and hospital offered prisoners staying there innovative treatment and a humanist approach to incarceration. The focus was on treating the prisoners with kindness, feeding them well, giving them plenty of exercise and teaching them a trade." George Barnes  2009 Worcester Telegram & Gazette (

"In 1903 the General Court established an industrial camp for prisoners to reclaim and improve wasted lands. The Commonwealth purchased 914 acres in Rutland. A dormitory and other buildings were built and upon completion prisoners moved in. The prisoners were serving sentences for drunkenness and other minor offenses. The prisoners created a working farm of 150 acres. The farm produced potatoes that were shipped to the state prison. The dairy barn housed 60 pure-bred Holsteins, which produced enough milk to send to Worcester. Bringing in a yearly profit of $5,000; $11,000 income was brought in from the selling of eggs." (

Tuberculosis Through History (

Music courtesy of the Free Music Archive

Jan 16, 202139:24
Lost Massachusetts Christmas E12

Lost Massachusetts Christmas E12

Recap episode for our initial shows and a Lost and Found Boston Christmas story.

We review, briefly, the episodes about First Encounter, Cape Cod's lost salt villages, Dogtown, French Phantoms, Nobscot, Boston's first fill, scary stories, cemeteries, and secret islands

Show Notes:

"In 1928, Rohwedder came up with a way to keep pre-sliced bread fresh. He added a feature to the Rohwedder Bread Slicer that wrapped the loaf in a wax paper after slicing." (

What makes a place Lost? (

"Halifax explosion, also called Halifax explosion of 1917 or the Great Halifax Explosion, devastating explosion on December 6, 1917, that occurred when a munitions ship blew up in the harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Nearly 2,000 people died and some 9,000 were injured in the disaster, which flattened more than 1 square mile (2.5 square km) of the city of Halifax." (

"In Boston, Americans got to work on an effort to send aid as fast as possible. Once they realized what happened, they raised $1.9 million (in 2020 dollars) in an hour and a train laden with supplies and medical personnel were dispatched the next day. The next year, as a thank you, Boston received a specially-chosen tree to celebrate Christmas from the grateful people of Halifax. That tradition was picked up in later years to honor the sacrifices of those who dispatched themselves to help their neighbors." (

Lost Massachusetts at Instagram (

Music courtesy of Free Music Archive (

Dec 24, 202031:10
Lost Thanksgiving E11

Lost Thanksgiving E11

Where does Thanksgiving really come from? Especially the food? The modern meal we eat is nothing like the original meal and the reasons for the Thanksgiving holiday (including the observed day) are Lost. History is always more complex and interesting than we think. In this episode we attempt to reconstruct the Plymouth dinner and the winding path to our own holiday meal.

Sources and Notes


Recipes from a 17th century kitchen by Donald R Daly (

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer" Letter from Edward Winslow (

"...Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being... That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks..." Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789 (

The Real Story of The First Thanksgiving (

"But Roosevelt was president for a long time, long enough for another five-Thursday November to roll around in 1939. Once again, some business leaders asked if the date for the holiday could be a week earlier to give people more time to shop for Christmas." Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving On The 4th Thursday Of November (

"Amidst a raging Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a “Proclamation of Thanksgiving” on October 3, 1863, 74 years to the day after President George Washington issued his first presidential Thanksgiving proclamation...The concept for a national Thanksgiving celebrated annually came from Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of the Godey's Lady's Book magazine. Hale pointed out in a letter to Lincoln only a week before the proclamation was made official that the public had been manifesting increasing interest in one national holiday."  How President Lincoln Created Thanksgiving (

Renaissance (

A Call for Repentance (

The Origins of the Mysterious Green Bean Casserole (

A Colonial Thanksgiving Menu Inspired By the Foods the Pilgrims Ate (

Music Courtesy of

Dec 16, 202026:21
Peddocks Island E10

Peddocks Island E10

Peddocks Island is one of Boston's larger harbor islands. Peddocks has a number of Lost stories, but this episode covers the U.S. Army Artillery base, Fort Andrew, first created during the Spanish-American War as a defensive position that was updated for World War I and World War II. Many buildings from the old base are still standing and the locations of the canons or mortars can still be seen. But, there are more hidden histories to be found....The island is available for day hikes and overnight camping by permit. 

Show Notes and References

"At 184 acres, Peddocks is one of the largest, most diverse islands in the harbor. With the longest shoreline of any harbor island, Peddocks is composed of four headlands, connected by sand or gravel bars called tombolos. Total acreage at low tide is 288. Peddocks features a new pier and hiking trails that pass a marsh, a pond and coastal forests. These varied environments allow visitors to experience a wide range of natural beauty. Since the mid-1990s renewable energy has been highlighted with photovoltaic installations on the island." (

Experience the islands of Boston Harbor in an entirely new light by enjoying a camping adventure with friends or family (

"The troops whom the Army began moving to Ft. Andrews in June, 1944, were part of an "Italian Service Unit" (ISU). After Italy signed an armistice with the Allies on September 3, 1943, Italian POWs held in the U.S. who took an oath of allegiance to the United States and were "screened for Fascist tendencies" by the Army, were formed into ISUs and put to work doing various non-combat jobs. In Boston, this generally meant working on the docks at the Port of Embarcation at the Boston Army Base in South Boston, loading and unloading ships for $.09 per hour (the standard ISU wage rate)." (

An Island Neighborhood; People and Stories of Peddocks Island (

"Robert Paddock was probably a relative of Captain Leonard Peddock who was master of one of the ships that came to Plymouth in 1622, it being frequently the case in those times that names were mis-spelled. This is the origin of the name of Peddock's Island at the entrance of Boston Harbor." (

He's Lived His Life On A Boston Harbor Island That's About To Get More Visitors  (

The prisoners of Peddocks Island (

POW Camps in Massachusetts (

National Park Service Cultural Landscapes Inventory 2018 (


More... (

Nov 24, 202018:41
City of the Dead: Forest Hills E9

City of the Dead: Forest Hills E9

Come along with us on a journey to the Land of the Dead on this All Souls Day as we visit Forest Hills Cemetery to examine its lost history and mysterious present. Every civilization struggles with the task of where to place its dead. One thing is certain, the dead will always outnumber the living and as cities grow church graveyards become cramped and chaotic. Concerns that having the dead in proximity with living and working spaces called for new solutions. The phenomena of ground creep would often result in dirt walls crumbing with coffins and skeletons falling into the street or even building cellars. The 19th century witnessed many social innovations, a key one being the open-space movement. The idea of, for example, establishing public play spaces for children is a relatively new one. Another open space initiative was to provide municipal burying spaces which Forest Hills was one of the first in America in 1848. Forest Hills is in and of itself a work of art full of individual works of art. On our adventure, we look for a village of tiny houses that are part of a sculpture project called Neighbors by Christopher Frost.  We read "Picnic in a Graveyard" from Lets Bring Back... by Lesley M. M. Blume which gives a different perspective on cemeteries.  

Forest Hills Map

Famous People List

Little Houses Information


Poet = Anne Sexton, Plot: SS, Section 17; Newton

Waggon-Driver = Ralph Martin

Architect = John A. Fox, Plot: Sec. 15 Weigela Path;

Temperance Leader = Mary Hunt, ; Trull St Dorchester

Lead Manufacturer = Joseph Chadwick, Plot: Sect. 6; 184 High Street Boston

Merchant = Charles V. Whitten, Plot: Fountain Avenue; 321 Centre Street Dorchester

Grocer = S. S. Pierce, ; Marsh St. Dorchester, Corner of Tremont and Court Streets in Boston (Store)

Musician = ????????

Nov 09, 202020:20
Innsmouth, Mass E8
Oct 30, 202042:10
The Real Salem Mass. E7
Oct 23, 202020:06
Dogtown (Part 2): The Accursed Land E6

Dogtown (Part 2): The Accursed Land E6

What happened to Dogtown and what's there now? Was this a cursed place of witches and monsters? Were the residents fleeing British attacks, pirates, or Leviathan itself? Is it haunted? Is there lost treasure? Show notes:

Show Notes


Dogtown: Location, History, and Legends (northshore.edul)

Dogtown (Dogtown Common or Dogtown Village) (

The Mystery of Dogtown | New England’s Most Famous Abandoned Settlement (

"September 8, 1814, the British frigate Nymph invaded Sandy Bay. One of her barges surprised and captured the barracks at the end of Bearskin Neck; when the second was seen entering the Old Harbor, the meeting house bell sounded the alarm. The crew shot at the bell to silence it and hit the steeple instead. Firing the shot, the carronade went through the bottom of the barge, and the crew were captured as they swam ashore. Their captain effected an exchange of prisoners and promised not to bother the town any more. The church still has the cannonball. The wooden replica in the steeple was probably added in one of the later reconstructions." (

Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town (

Massachusetts in the War of 1812 (

The Man Behind Columbus (

Tristes Tropiques, Claude Lévi-Strauss (

Martín Alonso Pinzón (

Erastosthenes' Calculation of Earth's Size (


Oct 15, 202026:53
Phantom Leaguers: the source of Gloucester's Devils E5
Oct 05, 202030:38
Waldos Wharf: Boston's Mill Pond Era E4

Waldos Wharf: Boston's Mill Pond Era E4

Boston was once an island held together by a patchwork of dams, bridges and wharfs. The Mill Pond was a dominant feature for 200 years and on many old maps there is a forgotten point called "Waldos Wharf". Who was Waldo? Show Notes:

Mill Pond ( Early attempts ( c.1636) to harness the tide of the North Cove were thwarted; however, in 1643 the Town Council granted land and the entire cove to a group of proprietors, headed by Henry Simons, on the condition that they erect a grist mill powered by the tide.

How Boston Made Itself Bigger ( Maps from 1630 to the present show how the city—once an 800-acre peninsula—grew into what it is today.

Memorial History of Boston ( For the purpose of encouraging the erection of a watermill, the town granted, in July, 1643, all the cove and the salt marsh bordering upon it northwest of the causeway leading to Charlestown, together with three hundred acres of land at Braintree, on condition that the grantees should, within three years, erect one or more corn mills to be maintained forever.' The cove thus granted was known, down to our own time, as the mill-pond.

History of the Boston Landfill Project: How Boston Lost Its Hills ( By 1775, the city had built a long wharf about ½ mile long and also built a dam across the North Cove, creating a pond the colonists named Mill pond. The dam was used to power grist mills and sawmills in the area.

1775 Boston Map (

1775 Mill Pond Walking Map (

Boston's land filled sections (

Overlay modern Boston map with original Shawmut Island (

1814 Boston map with 1880 streets overlaid (

Sep 28, 202019:60
Small Pox Burial Ground E3

Small Pox Burial Ground E3

Not just an old cemetery but the location of "pest house", a small settlement of infected people from the 18th century. Show Notes:

The History of Sudbury

The text image posted here was read during the episode, it is from The History of Sudbury (1889) by Rev. Alfred Sereno Hudson.

Pest House

We visited the location of a long gone Pest House but there is a preserved Pest House in Concord Mass., the The Ephraim Potter House. The Potter house period was concurrent to the Sudbury Pest House and related to the same outbreak.

Maps, etc.

Refer to any one of these articles/descriptions of the Nobscot area:,,,, Old Scout Nobscot Map.

Small Pox

Please read this extensive 1932 medical oration on The Story of Smallpox in Massachusetts.

More scout shenanigans, what's a rod? Real pest house, Lost Mass News, how big is a rod? what's up with the postcards? next episode preview. Show Notes:

Sep 21, 202025:01
Dogtown (Part 1): Ghost towns and phantom roads E2

Dogtown (Part 1): Ghost towns and phantom roads E2

An abandoned settlement in Gloucester and Rockport Mass. A place that has had many lives and changes. Show Notes:

Route 128 History has a comprehensive article on the history of 128.

Credit to Computer History Museum for this cover image of DATAMATION magazine from 1981 showing a cartoon depiction of 128's Tech Boom.

Check out the KIRBY SCUDDER view map of 128

Ghost Towns and

We encourage the listeners to visit where the details on Hill, New Hampshire, Monson Center/Village, New Hampshire, and  Ricker Basin, Vermont. These pages have photos and information supplied to the site by the Lost Massachusetts Podcast Author.

Bellow is the 2008 issue of WOODALL'S containing the Ghost Towns article. There is a more recent issue with the same subject.

Information on Little River State Park in Vermont.

In this bonus episode we provide additional information about Route 128, Ghost Towns, hiking, Lost Mass News, the Paper House and much more!

Sep 14, 202027:09
The Floating City- Long Point and Wood End E1

The Floating City- Long Point and Wood End E1

Long Point and Wood End were two salt-producing villages at the tip of Cape Cod that were hit hard economically when mined salt from New York and elsewhere became a less expensive option. The villagers abandoned their towns but took their houses with them by floating them across the bay to Provincetown. The old village houses comprise much of the far West End of Provincetown and have little blue squares on front to of each building to identify them. See:

If you have listened to our first actual podcast episode: The Floating City - Long Point and Wood End, here are additional details and notes to help you on your own hike and historical research.

First, a great overview can be read at Hidden Cape Cod: A Village That Used to Exist in Provincetown. Next, the blog Building Provincetown has details about each floating house. The houses are generally on Atwood Avenue, Bradford Street, Commercial Street, Nickerson Street, Pleasant Street, Point Street, Soper Street and Winthrop Street. I would either point you to the specific details in the blog or simply wander the quiet backstreets and look for the blue ceramic tiles with the floating house and the Long Point light in the background. Please note these houses are generally private property. Cape Cod fiction author Barbara Eppich Struna also has a great blog piece about the entire history which includes historic photos and maps. View for details on getting to Wood End and Long Point.

In the podcast we give safety advice going to Long Point and accessing the breakwater. To highlight the point, has a number of articles about emergencies occurring in the area, for example: "Walker suffers possible broken leg at West End Breakwater" and "Woman stranded by by incoming tide near West End". There are many such articles highlighting the actual danger involved in looking for ghost towns and lost places. Other hazards like poison ivy may impact hikers even if they are careful. Listeners can also get the poison ivy treatment Tecnu in our bookstore.

The historical reading authored by Mary Heaton Vorse was from Time and the Town: A Provincetown Chronicle.

Also covering the spelling of Massachusetts, poison ivy, Provincetowns Black Flash phantom, sponsorship of the podcast, skipping rocks, preview and contacting Lost Massachusetts.

Sep 06, 202027:32
Path to Lost Massachusetts: Episode Zero
Aug 31, 202017:57