Ashburnham, MA

Town of Ashburnham

Ashburnham Historical Society

Stevens Memorial Library

Cushing Academy

Paths of the Patriots
We will certainly never identify all the paths the Patriots of 1775 took. Below you will find some of the places that echo with their footprints. See Paths of Patriots for more information.

Note: Private residences are only to be viewed from a public way.

Venue Description  
Grave Marker
Meeting House Hill Cemetery
1775
public
Lt. Ebenezer Munroe was one of 70 militia men who met the British on Lexington Green. He later became a resident of Ashburnham where he lived for 45 years. He fought not only at Lexington but also at Bunker Hill and later in the Jersey Campaign. His musket is preserved by a resident.  
Heritage Sites

Many sites of historical significance exist in the Freedom's Way Heritage Area. Below are some that are of interest.

Landscape Description  

Stevens Memorial Library
Former Dolly Whitney Adam building
20 Memorial Drive

In 1888, the town accepted the bequest from George Stevens, former town clerk, of $10,000 and a piece of land at the corner of Main and Water Street, for use as a site for a public library building.  In April 1890 the ground was broken and in December 1890 the building was dedicated as the Stevens Public Library.  Books were moved from the selectmen's office to the new building and it opened to the public on January 9, 1891.  A list of titles was compiled by the library committee and made available inside the library. By the spring of 1985 the town had out-grown the Stevens building so the library trustees voted to reuse the Dolly Whitney Adam building, a former elementary school, as the new library. With town support, a new design was accepted and a move into the new Stevens Memorial Library building took place on Sunday, May 15, 1988.

 

Frederick Historic Piano Collection
Former Stevens Library
30 Main Street

This museum collection includes only grand pianos by important makers of highly regarded instruments of their day. The pianos in the collection extend from about 1700 to 1907, from the time of Haydn and Beethoven through the French impressionists.  The purpose of the collection is to give musicians and music lovers a chance to “hear works by major piano composers played on pianos such as those the composers knew, and for which the music was conceived.” For information about museum hours and concerts, visit their web site.

 

Mt. Watatic
Route 119, 1.4 miles after the intersection of
Route 101

The mountain is a monadnock located on the northern edge of Ashburnham, one of the many hill towns of the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area. In 1923, Frank Robbins and Marion Buck-Davis established the 21-mile Wapack Trail, one of the oldest interstate trails in the Northeast. The trail follows a skyline route along the summits of Watatic, Pratt, New Ipswich, Barrett and Temple mountains, then climbs to the Pack Monadnocks. The Wapac and Mid-state trails meet in Ashburnham, where the latter connects Mt Watatic and Mt Wachusett. There are spectacular views.

Note: Monadnock is a Native American word now also used for an isolated hill or mountain that has been worn smooth by glacial erosion.
 

The Meeting House
79 Main Street
1791/1838

The First Meeting House was built in 1791 on Meeting House Hill. In 1838 the Meeting House was moved and reconstructed on Main Street where it served as the Town Hall until 1905. The town later sold the building to the Historical Society for one dollar. It includes tin interior surfaces and original windows on the main floor, and contains a collection of donated effects and historical documents.

 

Cushing Academy
39 School Street

Founded with a "benefaction" from the late Thomas P. Cushing, a native of the town. The school's early growth is credited to Dr. Hervey S. Cowell, under whose auspices academic standards and facilities were improved. Updates, upgrades, and expansions have continued over the years. Historically and currently, students come from across the state, the nation, and from other countries.

 

Schoolboy of 1850 Statue
Corner of School and
Main Streets
1913

This statue was donated to the town of Ashburnham by Ivers Whitney Adams, who was raised in Ashburnham and attended school there as a young boy. The statue depicts a barefoot 12-year-old schoolboy, wearing a straw hat and carrying a slate and lunch pail, walking to his one-room schoolhouse in 1850. Adams gave the statue to the town to honor and encourage young boys to value the education they received in Ashburnham so they could take their love of nature and community spirit out into the world. Adams was also the founder of Boston’s first baseball club, the Boston Blue Stockings. He commissioned Bela Pratt to create the statue, which he presented to the town in 1913, a year before his death.

 
We are grateful for the many volunteers who have supplied entries for the town pages. If you wish to volunteer additional information for your town, please contact the Freedom's Way office or mail@freedomsway.org