Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Charles River Link Trail

This is a hiker.  It's Don, one of my fellow Trail Hikers.  Today we walked around the Charles River Link Trail, Medfield, MA.  It's on the grounds of the old Medfield State hospital.

I'm amazed when I look around the old hospital grounds.  I try to picture the bustling life that once lived and worked there.  Time marches on.  It started in 1892 as the Medfield Insane Asylum.  It was the state's first facility for dealing with chronic mental patients.  It was built to be a village with little cottages.  The name was changed to Medfield State Hospital in 1914. The property was pretty much self-sufficient.  It raised its own livestock and produce, and generated its own heat, light, and power.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and was officially closed in 2003.

It saddens me to see such grand, brick structures abandoned.  The broken windows and decrepit condition speak despair.  I get the same feelings when I look at the canyons of brick factories in Lawrence and Lowell, or the huge building and parking lot that was once General Motors in Framingham.  The people employed there never would have imagined that these strong, stalwart edifices would one day sit abandoned and condemned as unsafe.

But I wasn't there for the buildings.  We were hiking in the woods around the property.  We went to the area known as the Narrows.  Besides seeing the wooded area,  we also saw a deer swimming against the current of the Charles River.  I took about 5 pictures--none of them any good!

We saw a bluebird, not a usual sight. When we ran into some skunk cabbage I had an urge to pick it up and throw some at people.  That's what my friends and I did when we were children.

But I've matured.  Regardless of what Don's antics are in the picture.

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