Day Trip: Crane Beach & Crane Estate at Castle Hill

What better way to embrace summer than a day at the beach? In just under an hour from Concord, you can get to Crane Beach and  the beautiful Crane Estate at Castle Hill.

Become a Trustees member and enjoy discounts and passes to dozens of Trustees sites, including Crane and Concord’s Old Manse.  You’ll appreciate discounts on parking, too!

Tickets are available online through the Trustees website


Passes are released on Monday at Noon for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Passes are released  on Thursday at Noon for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

We highly recommend reserving parking at alternative Baker’s Pasture parking. The access to this end of Crane Beach gives you more space to roam and less populated area of the beach. After you park in field, take left as you come off path to beach and go to the end. You will have long stretches of beach to explore and will encounter very few people on this end. 

The entrance to Bakers Pasture is just before the beach main gate at 310 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA 01938

What makes Crane Beach a special place?
At Crane Beach, you’ll enjoy one of the finest beaches and outdoor recreation destinations on the East Coast. With its clean, inviting water, miles of shoreline, and mesmerizing views, Crane Beach has been a favorite with the ocean-loving public for generations. Whether you intend to take a refreshing plunge, play in the sand, or just soak up the sun, this unparalleled seaside experience is sure to provide lots of fun – and great memories, too.

There’s more to see here than sun and sand. Crane Beach is managed for both recreation and conservation – people and ecology – through careful planning. More than five miles of trails wind through coastal dunes here, which shield inland areas from storm waves and flooding. And, Castle Neck is the site of the North Shore’s largest pitch pine forest.

Crane Beach is also among the world’s most important nesting sites for piping plovers, a threatened bird that was nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century for its eggs and feathers. Crane Beach has been nationally recognized for its successful shorebird protection program. To protect these threatened shorebirds, we ask that you avoid the fenced nesting areas and the wrack, the line of washed-up organic debris where the birds feed and hide.

5.5 miles of trails traverse dunes and track the beachfront on both the Ipswich Bay and Essex River Estuary sides of the Castle Neck peninsula. Moderate hiking. These trails are part of the Bay Circuit Trail.

Along your walk, check out the Wreck of the Ada K. Damon from 1909.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, 8AM to 6PM.

In-season: Lifeguards and rangers, bike rack, bathhouses (with toilets and changing area), outside showers, picnic tables, Crane Beach Store (refreshments and merchandise), drinking water fountains (located outside the bathhouses), information kiosk, transportation for mobility-impaired and challenged visitors. Off-season: Family restrooms and visitor access to floating beach wheelchairs.



The 165-acres of Castle Hill are part of the 2,100-acre Crane Estate. The summer home of plumbing tycoon Richard Teller Crane, Jr., Castle Hill is both an amazing historic property and a wonderful place to take a stroll. Explore the grounds, featuring formal gardens with fountains, a woodland path, and Italian-inspired sculptures. Walk our half-mile long Grand Allee that leads to a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Castle Hill offers a taste of the European on the New England coast.  

Staying for the evening???

Castle Hill Illuminated: The Sound and Light Show

Imagine yourself a guest at the Crane family’s famed summer home in 1929. Strolls in the garden, ladies in tea dresses, bustling servants, clinking glasses, and jazz tunes wafting across the warm summer air. The estate’s sounds and sights come alive in our dynamic 35-minute multi-sensory experience Castle Hill Illuminated. This night-time spectacle combines music, narration, and lighting to offer you a new and exciting way to experience Castle Hill.

The outdoor setting and limited entry times allow you to socially distance and attend the event safely. Masks and advanced reservations are required. Click on each date to see the entry time options. A weather cancellation, if necessary, will be made by 4PM each day. Ticket holders will be notified and refunded.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your entry time to park, check in, and get oriented. Castle Hill Illuminated unfolds in 4 scenes around the Great House, Grand Allee, and Italian Garden. Sensible walking shoes and insect repellent are recommended.

Castle Hill Illuminated is a creation of Design by Chris Bocchiaro in cooperation with the Crane Estate.

Wednesdays through Saturdays
Now through September 12


  • Trustees Member Vehicle: $20
  • Non-Member Vehicle: $30
One ticket per vehicle. Ticket covers all guests arriving in the vehicle. 


Concord Agriculture Committee Events

Do you know about the Concord Agriculture Committee?

The purpose of the Committee is to provide a forum for the discussion of interest and concern to farmers in Concord and to advise the Board of Selectmen concerning how the town can help to support farming in Concord.


The Concord Agriculture Committee organizes these annual September events:

CONCORD AG DAY on the MILLDAM is a bountiful farmers’ market, along Main Street (on the Milldam) in downtown Concord. The section between the flag pole to Main Street Cafe is blocked off so pedestrians can visit the numerous booths devoted the local farm community to display and share and sell their harvest. They always have fun activities, such a gourd bowling, games and crafts,  scattered throughout the market.

For more information and to see photos from previous years, please see the “About” section of this website.


KITCHEN GARDEN TOURS are offered the same afternoon as AG Day, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
This a a chance to visit the home kitchen gardens of some Concord families.

Pick up your free pass to these tours from the Garden Club of Concord’s table at the Ag Day Farmers Market.
You’ll see how these homeowners create an edible backyard with a variety of fruit trees and herbs; actively compost to fertilize a productive organic garden that yields a four-season harvest; and nurture unusual crops like okra, sorrel, cardoon, and tomatillos alongside more familiar vegetables and flowers.


Meet several Concord farmers and take a look behind their farm stands. Walk the fields, learn how small-scale farming and selling works, and pick up some fresh veggies, fruit, and flowers at their stands. Check back for updates to this list for specific farm tour dates and times.    


STONE SOUP DINNER is a community meal, provided by all local farms and restaurants, and  enjoyed under the tent at Verrill Farm on a beautiful September Sunday evening.  Dinner attendees sit on long picnic tables, and enjoy delicious variety of dishes prepared by and donated by area farmers and restaurants. Tickets are sold throughout the town, beginning in the summer. It’s always a spectacular event!

In addition to these September events, the Agricultural Committee also hosts other interesting and informative events such as film screenings and discussions about farming.

Be on the lookout for more Agricultural Committee events on our LivingConcord calendar.

Concord & Carlisle is brimming with Fantastic Farms & Farmstands

Concord & Carlisle is full of farms, farm stands and  nurseries. We’re so lucky to have such an abundance of local growers and suppliers, all within our town borders. 

“Concord has been an agricultural community for centuries, and agriculture remains a
central piece of Concord’s identity and economy even today. With 1004 acres in active
agricultural production, some 16 farm businesses and 11 farm stands, Concord stands out
among the suburbs of Boston as a place that is friendly to agriculture. Many residents
enjoy the sight of open spaces in active agricultural production, and they enjoy eating the
bounty of the harvest from these working lands.” Agriculture Committee Long Range Plan Submission 

Be sure to visit these local gems and stock up on vegetables and items for your garden. Nothing tastes better than locally grown food and nothing feels better than supporting these local farmers.

Barrett’s Mill Farm, 449 Barretts Mill Road

Barrett’s Mill Farm is a Certified Organic vegetable farm located on the McGrath Farmstead in Concord, Massachusetts. They sell their vegetables through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Barrett’s Bucks programs, as well as through their Farmstand.



Brigham Farm Stand & Greenhouses, Concord, MA, 82 Fitchburg Turnpike, Concord

Brigham Farm is a small family farm and greenhouse business located on one of the oldest farms in Concord Massachusetts. We hire for the summer and fall seasons. We hire 6 to 10 full or part-time workers each year.  Working at Brigham Farm for many young people is their first real job!

Starting in late June, come to Brigham Farm Stand for fresh vegetables, fruits, berries, and cold drinks.  Strawberries in June. Corn all summer. Pumpkins in fall. We also sell Christmas trees and wreaths starting on November 30th. 

Come and stop by! Our summer corn is well known for being the sweetest around. 

Clark Farm 201 Bedford Road, Carlisle

Clark Farm produces certified organic vegetables and berries for its CSA community, farm stand and local farm-to-table restaurant.

In addition to vegetables, Clark Farm raises lamb, goats, pastured pork and laying hens.

The farm’s name honors the family who served as its stewards before Marjie Findlay and Geoff Freeman bought the property in 2010 with the intention of restoring the farm as an agricultural institution in the community – a place where families can connect with their food and farmer.

Colonial Gardens, 442 Fitchburg Turnpike

Colonial Gardens has been florists in the Concord area for more than 40 years. Family owned and operated, we are also greenhouse growers and operate a garden center year round. We grow the majority of the plants we sell, and seasonally grow cut flowers in our greenhouses for our florist shop as well!

Colonial Gardens Florist And Greenhouses has been hand-delivering premium floral arrangements and gift baskets to help strengthen relationships, give love and support, and celebrate life’s special moments since 1962. From birthdays to anniversaries to commemorating a loved one, and every little “just because” moment in between.


The Farm At Walden Woods

The Farm at Walden Woods is a USDA certified organic vegetable farm. Through growing and selling a range of produce like squash, eggplant, pumpkins, tomatoes and corn, the Walden Woods Project is able to use all proceeds to directly support the Farm at Walden Woods and also fund the Project’s efforts to protect more land within historic Walden Woods.

Gaining Ground, 341 Virginia Road, Concord

Gaining Ground, a nonprofit organic farm in Concord, Massachusetts, grows vegetables and fruit with the help of several thousand community volunteers and donates all of this fresh food to area meal programs and food pantries.

Gaining Ground grows organic produce for hunger relief with help from volunteers of all ages and abilities, who work and learn in our fields. In short, we grow food and we give it away to people who need it. For free. This refreshingly simple approach lets us focus on meeting the needs of our volunteers and the people we help feed. These two aspects of our work are closely intertwined—one wouldn’t work without the other.

We work hard to grow high-quality produce, provide an exceptional experience to each volunteer, serve the needs of our recipients and maximize the generous support of our donors.

Hutchins Farm, 754 Monument Street, Concord

Hutchins Farm is one of the oldest and largest certified organic vegetable and fruit operations in Massachusetts. Organic since 1973, every season Hutchins actively cultivates over 35 acres of vegetables, about an acre of small fruit, and 8 acres of apples. We sell our produce directly to consumers at our farm stand in Concord, MA, and at three weekly farmers’ markets, with a small amount of sales to local restaurants. Our farmstand is located right on the main farm and is open seasonally June – October. 

The main farm is 63 acres, and about half of the fields can be viewed from our farmstand. Unless otherwise noted, all of the produce in the farm stand is Certified Organic and grown here at Hutchins farm. Owned and operated by the same family since 1895, Hutchins Farm has evolved over the years. 

Marhsall Farm, 171 Harrington Ave., Concord

Marshall Farm is a 3rd-generation family farm that sells firewood year round along with our own chicken eggs! Annuals and perennials in the spring! Farm fresh vegetables and cut flowers in the late spring to early fall, specializing in tomatoes. Pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees and wreaths for the holidays.

Kids of all ages are welcome to stop by and meet and feed our goats, chickens and bunny!

Millbrook Farm, 215 Cambridge Turnpike

Family run nursery and farmstand



Rotundo Farm, 737 Bedford Street, Concord

Seasonal farmstand offering fruits & vegetable

Frank Rotundo runs this Family farm that has been in operation since the 1920s.


Saltbox Farm 40 Westford Rd., Concord

Saltbox Farm is a family farm, where our farmers are dedicated to continue pursuits of regenerative agricultural practices ensuring survival and sustainability of this land, while still remaining an intricate part of the surrounding community. 

We believe that the best quality produce comes from the best quality soil, and for that we spend all season building up the structure and nutrients using techniques like cover cropping, crop rotation, and compost and bio-nutrient density applications.

Our focus is on growing for our public Farm Stand out of our barn, our farm-to-table restaurant – Saltbox Kitchen, our Catering by Saltbox, Cooking School on the farm, Brewery, and all the Community Events on the farm throughout the season! 

Scimone Farm, 505 Old Bedford Road

Scimone’s Farm is run by Scimone Family.

The Frank Scimone Farm has been in business for 80 years. Father Frank Scimone began farming in Concord in 1923 and was married to Grace Josephine Scimone and had four children Domenica, Tony, Angelina, and Frank. Scimone’s Farm, established in 1923, is a family run farm that produces great corn and a variety of produce. They sell their products at their farm stand in Concord.

Silferleaf, 460 Strawberry Hill Road 

PYO certified organic raspberries, open daily from September 1 through October 21.

Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Road, Concord

To nourish the body and soul of our customers by providing healthful food of superb flavor in surroundings of beauty. Through the use of sound and efficient farming practices, we strive to maintain our land and animals in good health, and provide a good living for our employees and a reasonable return to the owners.

Explore the many wonderful farms and farm stands in Concord & Carlisle!


Concord-Carlisle Community Chest partners with Concord Together to create the Business Fund

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest announces the availability of grant funds to local businesses. 

The Community Chest has partnered with Concord Together to create the Concord Together Business Fund. These funds will go directly to help small businesses with urgent needs in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Visit for more information or click here to apply.  

Concord Together is a collaboration led by local landlords and business owners to curate and focus town-wide efforts to protect, promote, and preserve our vital small business community.  We aim to support vulnerable small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis with meaningful action – providing financial grants, offering marketing tools and ideas, linking out to a range of resources, and by encouraging town-wide patronage and support of the shops, restaurants, and tourist destinations that are such a key part of our cultural heritage.
ALL ideas, volunteers, and skill sets are warmly welcome.  We created this initiative on the foundation of a central idea – together we are stronger.  Concord, Together.

For more information contact:

Sharon Spaulding, Spaulding Management LLC,

John Boynton, Bradford Street LLC,

Jane Obbagy, Concord Chamber of Commerce,

Jennifer Schunemann, Discover Concord,

TOP 10 spots for a great family photo or Senior photo in Concord


Cover photo courtesy of Sheridan Kahmann Photography

Walden Pond

Colonial Inn

North Bridge

Whites Pond

The Old Manse

Minuteman National Park Visitor Center Gardens

Sheridan Kahmann Photography

Monument Square

Verrill Farm Fields

Verrill 6

Concord Library lawn

Library 5

Great Meadows




Summer Arts @ Home offers 8 weeks of themed art activities designed for either 5-9 year olds (K-3) or 10-14 year olds (4-8).

Each week’s “Treasure Box” includes 10 activity sets designed by our experienced teachers, with all materials available for easy purchase (or you can use materials you have at home).

Other options include Ceramics (including clay, glaze and firing services at The Umbrella), Adventure (community projects, outdoor challenges, treasure hunts, adventure prompts), Cartooning, and Teacher Time (live 1-hour online teacher session).


This interactive camp with instructor Katie Speed is for kids 10-14 years old (4-8 Grade) who love to perform. Each two-week session offers opportunities to learn, experiment in and perform different aspects of stagecraft — both independently and with the teacher — culminating in a final, virtual ensemble performance.

July 6-17: Write, perform, and film a Monologue

July 20-31: Learn and film short Dance combinations

August 3-14: Over four live Zoom sessions, study, practice and film various Improv techniques

August 17-28: Learn, rehearse and perform a Musical Theater piece, and film it for a virtual ensemble performance

Based on our popular Ninjas in Nature classes, Ninja Awareness Week (June 29-July 3) offers active kids ages 7-12 a chance to develop skills of nature and introductory arts of the ancient ninja through at-home sensory awareness activities. Students receive a “Treasure Box” of supplies needed for the program, which combines daily Zoom sessions with expert instructors Ken Clarkson and Rob Riman, in support of fun independent “backyard skills missions”. Activities run daily from 10AM-2PM.

Students completing the training will earn a Ninjas in Nature certificate and patch.

Additional sessions TBA starting July 15 can extend learning this summer, including Ninjas in Nature Level 1 and Ninjas in Nature Art.

Find more information at or 978-371-0820 x204.



To learn more about how to use ZOOM go HERE

Sampling of some online classes on the schedule:

  • Painting in the Alla Prima Style with Emily Passman Pastel Drawing Class: Release Your Inner Artist with Janet Schwartz
  • Drawing Without Fear with Kate Hanlon
  • Draw & Quick Paint (Your still life setups & figures from video sources) Ron Krouk
  • Stuart Shils-REFRAMING THE ORDINARY, Drawing Seminar
  • Finding Shape & Color: Painting & Collage-Nancy Gruskin
  • Finding Shape & Color: Painting & Collage-Nancy Gruskin
  • Reconnecting with the Natural World: Elemental Landscape with Amy Wynne ONLINE (2nd Session)
  • Reconnecting with the Natural World: Elemental Landscape with Amy Wynne
  • Color and Light – preparing for en plein air with Jill Pottle
  • Emily Eveleth- The Liberated Hand, Painting & Drawing
  • Five Day Sketching with Pen & Ink with Emily Passman
  • The White Line Woodcut and Beyond with Kate Hanlon

Village Art Room Offerings

Our Local Farms Mural

Six artists at the Village Art Room have made a paint and photo montage that celebrates farms present and past in the vicinity of West Concord. The montage will be made into a 6 1/2 by 11 1/2 foot mosaic outdoor mural comprised of 299 6×6 inch squares. Each square will be painted by members of our community. The mural is sponsored and directed by the West Concord Junction Cultural District Committee to be completed and presented to the public during Art Week 2020.

Where will it be installed?

During Art Week 2020, the first week of May, or at a later date if the present health crisis causes delays, the mural will be installed on a wall in West Concord center. The exact location is still being considered.

How to participate

Paint a tile or two at home! We will supply you with everything you need! Pick-up or delivery options available.

Home Delivery Option:

Due to social distancing, we are making this process as hands-off as possible. To have Farm Mural Art Kits delivered to your home, please do the following:

Look through the images of squares here . Choose one or two squares per person. Note down the number of each of the square(s) you would like.

Fill out the mural tile request sheet, or email us at Please include all the requested information to help us keep this project organized.

If the squares you’ve picked out have been taken, we will try to choose similar ones for you.

We will use every caution in filling supply bags, washing our hands and wearing masks. We also suggest that you leave the container of supplies for two days, to be extra cautious about potential contamination.

Pick up in Person Option:

Order ahead online and we will have a bag for you to pick up on the porch of You can pick up on the porch of 21 Winthrop Street. Arrange for a time to pick up using the email on the form.

Painting the Tiles

Once you’ve received your Farm Mural Art Kit, it’s time to paint the tiles! Two sets of instructions are included in the packet you will receive—you can preview them here: General instructions and Tracing the image onto the tile). We also have video instruction on how to trace the image onto the tile—check it out! Have fun!

What does it cost?

The mural is partially covered by a grant from the Mass Cultural Council, by the Town of Concord and by sponsors of the mural. You may paint tiles for free, but a donation to the Art for All program is greatly appreciated if you are able.

Make some music! Here are some options …..

Concord Conservatory (CCM) Offers Introductory 4-Pack for New Students

The Concord Conservatory of Music offers all the benefits of traditional music lessons from the convenience and safety of your home. Through simple, user-friendly technology, skilled CCM instructors come to you live via online music lessons. Your customized Online Lesson-4-Pack is 4 half-hour private lessons at 25% off (valid for new students only and subject to instructor/instrument availability). Limit one/student. All you need is an internet connection, a computer with a mic and camera (standard with most computers). Complete the New Student Inquiry Form to get started:

We’re taking all the summer music online! 

More summer experiences being added daily.Learn from CCM’s experienced instructors on the virtual platform combining high-quality instruction with the excitement of making music with other students who love music. Each program will include Zoom sessions, and other resources to supplement the learning.

Young Guitarist Ensemble
Songwriter Camp
Ear Stories – Story Writing Inspired by Music
Chord Knowledge for Guitarists, how to progress from beginner to advanced chord shapes
Playing Our Musical Earth
Karaoke Camp – The art of learning to sing a live performance
Group Keyboard Summer Exploration
Beginner Vocals – Summer Singing
Track Builders: Introduction to digital composition using GarageBand

IMSCC Summer Programs
Full details and schedules are online! Click here to register.

  • Summer Band, Jazz Workshop & Orchestra with Anna Anderson, Kevin Maier & Chris Noce
  • Trumpet Workshop with Ryan Noe
  • Trombone Choir with Alexei Doohovskoy
  • Small Ensembles: Woodwind chamber groups with Rachel Juszczak and String chamber groups with Sargis Karapetyan
  • Percussion Ensemble* with Timur Rubinshteyn
  • Performance and Audition Classes*: The Joy of Performing (for winds) with Brian Diehl, Audition & Performance
  • Class (for strings) Winds with Sargis Karapetyan
  • Bassoon Reed Making Rachel Juszczak
  • *New programs!

New students are welcome to start lessons this spring. Interested students, please submit a lesson inquiry here.

Questions? Call us at 978-318-1432 or contact Debbie directly at 978-341-2490 x7653.


Concord Town Election Day June 11 – Candidates Forums

Concord Town Election Day June 11

Concord Candidate Forums were videotaped this week – see links below:

Select Board Forum

School Committee Forum

Meet the Candidates:



Henry Dane

What is the biggest problem facing Concord and how would you correct it? The Concord Journal asked the candidates, giving them a 200-word answer limit. 


Every day has its own unique problems. Problems both old and new need a response that is flexible, informed, consistent and, where necessary, creative. This requires experience, judgment and a working knowledge of the legal, political, community and environmental factors that inform every decision.

It isn’t a matter of thinking “outside the box,” but thinking without a box. My approach is that, in all aspects of life, there are no problems, there are only opportunities if you face events with courage and without preconceptions.

Currently, I see the important issues to be: 1. Promoting a user-friendly Town government; 2. Resolving the expensive and unproductive litigation regarding Estabrook Woods; 3. Supporting local retail and service businesses; 4. Pursuing a rational housing policy that doesn’t limit “affordability” to subsidized housing and is not merely reactive to Chapter 40B; 5. Providing in-town transportation and adequate parking to meet the needs of our residents, visitors and the employees of local businesses; 6. Continuing efforts to obtain ownership or control of the Concord Armory for municipal purposes and 7. Improving cell phone service throughout the Town.

All of these problems are important in their own way and need to be addressed.


Matthew Johnson

What is the biggest problem facing Concord and how would you correct it? The Concord Journal asked the candidates, giving them a 200-word answer limit. 


As I’ve held candidate coffees around town, I’ve had the chance to ask many people about their hot-button issues. I expected to hear about traffic and parking because they’re serious everyday problems. Those topics came up, but surprisingly, most raised deeper concerns. Whether they care most about environmental sustainability, economic and cultural diversity, or building mutual trust and social connection, Concordians want more than a pretty, affluent suburban town with great schools and adequate parking. They want to reclaim Concord’s rich heritage of community spirit that once produced revolutionaries, transcendentalists and abolitionists to lead meaningful change today.

How can I build community spirit as a Select Board member? First, I will continue to listen, and foster the town’s common sense of mission. For example, we can rally as a community for the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, and share Concord’s values with the world. Second, I will seek out and appoint competent board and committee members who are committed to our mission. Third, I will balance competing interests, and coordinate efforts to achieve common goals. Concord’s history is still being made, and our public bodies, private organizations, property owners, businesses and citizens can work together to make it better.

Get ready for June 11…

Citizens are Encouraged to Vote Early by Mail

  • Concord Candidate Forums will be Wednesday May 27th 3-4pm for the Select Board and Friday May 29th 1-2pm for the School Committee. Send questions to
  • To be posted subsequently on Minuteman Media Network TV. Videos posted by May 30th. Send questions to
  • Press Release from the Town of Concord. Click here.
  • Application for Absentee Ballot. Click here.
  • Application for early voting by mail. Click here

Vote early or vote at CCHS on June 11.

Concord Museum’s Memorial Day Offerings


To commemorate Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who died in service to our country, The Concord Museum has crafted a special edition of History at Home. 

The program includes an introduction, comments on Ralph Waldo Emerson (whose birthday is today), a tribute to Peter Brooke, and then four vignettes about the Melvin Memorial including a conversation with Harold Holzer, a description of Daniel Chester French’s sculpture, Mourning Victory, a tour of the Memorial itself in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and then a few excerpts from the recent rededication of the Memorial (last June) including a very touching keynote address by our curator, David Wood, and a poem read by Neil Rasmussen.

Check out these links:

Concord Museum Memorial Day Program

History at Home

Memorial Day Op-Ed

Concord Journal Guest Commentary (May 21, 2020 edition)

Our Memorial Day tradition of honoring military men and women who died while serving our country originated in the aftermath of the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971.

Each year my wife and I attend the ceremony in the village where we grew up, smiling at the high school band playing songs we performed at their age; warmed by the remarks made by decorated veterans; and touched by such time-honored rituals as the playing of taps; the 21 gun salute, and the reading of names of those who lost their lives in battle.

This year there will be no parade and yet, it seems, we have so much to mourn including the recent loss of loved ones and those who have risked (and in some cases lost) their lives while caring for others.

In chronicling the history of Concord, my colleagues and I at the Concord Museum are guided by the words of Robert Penn Warren: “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.”

On Monday, May 25, 2020 we will be posting a special Memorial Day video program that we hope will provide solace and perspective to those who view it – uniting us in ways to better face the future.

The posting will feature our Curator David Wood’s keynote remarks last June at the rededication in Sleep Hollow cemetery of the Melvin Memorial which honors the lives of three brothers from Concord who died in the Civil War. Their surviving brother commissioned his boyhood friend, Daniel Chester French, to create a sculpture later called, Mourning Victory.

David’s remarks were based on one of the brother’s diaries which include his account of being captured by the rebel forces (where he would die in captivity) and of his brothers’ deaths from dysentery and a fatal charge in Petersburg.

While observing a different civil war in his native land in Ireland, the poet, William Butler Yeats, minced no words about the destruction it unleashed which, to me, are reminiscent of our recent experience of this pandemic.

We are closed in, and the key is turned

On our uncertainty; somewhere

A man is killed, or a house burned

Yet no clear fact to be discerned.


Despite the destruction all around him, however, outside Yeats’s window he notices a more hopeful natural phenomenon: honey-bees building a home in a starling’s empty nest.  Seamus Heaney once championed Yeats’s poetic observations for “satisfying the contradictory needs which consciousness experiences at times of extreme crisis, the need on the one hand for a truth telling, and, on the other hand, to credit as a reality the squeeze of the hand, and the actuality of sympathy and protectiveness between living creatures.”

We hope our special virtual Memorial Day observance will elicit such sympathies and our need to protect each other in this, our moment of collective crisis.


Thank you and best wishes on this unique and solemn “stay-safely-in-place” Memorial Day.

Concord, MA 9/15/08 Tourists visit the Concord Museum, on Monday, September 15, 2008. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff); Reporter: Brad Kane; Section: NWWk; Slug: 21nwtouris Library Tag 09212008 Globe NorthWest


I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!

New Englanders love ice cream…. and no better place to get it than right here in Concord & Carlisle!

With the warmer temperatures and new COVID restrictions, you have more options to get your ice cream. Check these businesses for open hours & carryout options.


Bedford Farms, 68 Thoreau Street, Concord



Reasons to Be Cheerful   10 Commonwealth Avenue Concord



Kimball’s in Carlisle    343 Bedford Road (Rte 225) in Carlisle


Or try to make at home….

Mason Jar Ice Cream Recipe (from


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1  1/2 TB granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


Pour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt into a 16 ounce mason jar and secure tightly with a lid. Shake the mason jar until the cream thickens and almost doubles in size, 4 to 5 minutes. It should be opaque and easily coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Freeze for 3 hours, or until hardened. Scoop out ice cream with a spoon and serve with your favorite ice cream toppings.

The New York Times offers the “Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need”:


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring (see note)


In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.


Did you know?

There’s a Simple Trick to Help Brain Freeze… The real word for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. But you can keep calling it brain freeze or frozen headache.
What is brain freeze? In simple terms, you have temperature sensors on the roof of your mouth. When cold objects hit it before your body has time to process, your nerves send a message to your brain that signal heat loss.
This is what brings on that massive headache halfway through eating your ice cream.
To combat brain freeze, hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This will help warm your sensors and get your brain out of panic mode.

We Know How Many Licks it Takes to Get Through a Scoop
The magic number is 50.
We’re just jealous we weren’t the person who got to do the taste test to get that data!


Ice Cream Sundaes Were Actually Made For Sundays
There are two competing stories about the invention of the ice cream sundae. Here is the most popular one.
Ice cream sodas were a popular drink you could buy at the local soda shop. However, religious laws forbade shop owners from selling them on Sundays because people were not allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath.
The owner of Ed Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, Edward Berners, decided to get around this law. One day, he served a customer ice cream soda without the actual soda part, so it was just ice cream and syrup.
Soon, the concoction was sold on Sundays as an alternative to ice cream sodas. However, it became so popular it was sold every day. Berners changed the spelling to “sundae” to avoid associating it with the holy Sabbath.


Which Came First: Chocolate or Vanilla?
If you thought the answer was vanilla, you’re wrong. Chocolate was actually invented first.
We generally assume that vanilla ice cream came first because it’s the common base that creates many other flavors. However, it wasn’t always that way.


Ice Cream Used to be a Luxury
Back in the day, ice cream was seen as a luxurious dessert that only the elite could enjoy. It was considered rare and exotic, and remained this way until the late 1800s.
The elite and rich upper-class society members were the only ones who could afford the imported ingredients and the cold storage.
These were also the days before the commercialization and manufacturing of ice cream. Therefore, it wasn’t as easy to get for everyone, which led to the exclusivity.

There is an Ice Cream Fruit in Hawaii
That’s right. There’s a Hawaiian fruit that tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream. It’s called the inga feuillei, but locals call it the ice cream bean.
It grows on perennial trees in hot climates, and it is enjoyed in many different ways by locals.

*Fun facts from

Enjoy some ice cream, today!