Northwest Boston Communities

Loving Local Life: Carlisle

Once described by Thoreau as the “city of the woods,” Carlisle, Massachusetts is next on tour for our Loving Local Life series. Our second-to-last stop, Carlisle continues to be a natural community, with over 30% of land remaining under a conservation effort.

Great Brook Farm is a large destination for those around the town, open each day 11 am to dark (dependent on weather) from April to October. A modern dairy farm, Great Brook has 61 flavors of ice cream for visitors to enjoy after exploration of the trails. Perfect for biking, hiking, or a picnic, it is great for family and friends alike.

The Malcom Preserve is another outdoor adventure for those seeking one in Carlisle. This 11 acre reservation includes trails that suggest a minimum of one half hour to explore, with one wheelchair accessible trail spanning one half mile long, lined with crushed stone. The Malcom Preserve also leads to a larger protected landscape of 1,300 acres in surrounding towns.

The Carlisle Cranberry Bog continues the theme of natural enjoyment and agriculture that is prevalent in Carlisle. Cranberries have been grown here since 1904, currently with 19 acres of active production. The bog provides another outdoor experience, especially grand in autumn.

With local companies such as Kimball Farm to stop at for more ice cream, and Ferns Country Store for any of your other needs, Carlisle is a great trip to make, for all!

Loving Local Life: Lincoln

The next town along the “Patriot’s Trail” that we’re stopping at for our Loving Local Life series is Lincoln, MA.

Following with our trend of historical towns, Lincoln is no exception! Lincoln is home to the Thoreau Institute, part of the Walden Wood Project. The Thoreau Institute Library holds over 60,000 items, all pieces of Thoreau-related material. There are conservation efforts, a farm, and plentiful educational elements to the Walden Woods Project, where the Thoreau Library is located.

Lincoln is also home to the Gropious House. The Gropious House was designed by the founder of the Bauhaus design school, and follows the Bauhaus style combining traditional elements of New England architecture. Anyone interested in Historical Architecture (especially in New England) will love a visit here!

The Codman Estate is another historically-steeped element of town. Known to some as “The Grange,” this estate has been passed through generations. Not only is it a landmark to visit, but the Codman Community Farm is a Lincoln staple, which has been in continuous operation for over 150 years.

If the farm has peaked your interest in heading to the great outdoors, the Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary is another great place to go. Drumlin Farm is a working farm, with 206 acres total, and four miles of trails to explore, with two Universally Accessible trails.

For something with a bit of indoor and outdoor choice, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum makes a great local day trip! deCordova is a welcome place for new visitors and return guests alike, supplementing the 3,500 piece Permanent Collection in several media with ever-changing Upcoming Exhibits.  

Finally, no visit to Lincoln is complete without a stop at Ponyhenge. An eclectic display, a local property owner found that each time they went away they would return to a new pony figure or statue left on their land. When driving, pull off at 39 Old Sudbury Road in Lincoln and look across to find this display to complete your tour!

Loving Local Life: Bedford

For the second week of our Loving Local Life series, we’re highlighting Bedford, Massachusetts. This history-steeped town is another we are fortunate to be a part of!

With the oldest known flag in the United States, Bedford remains a part of history, often associated with the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The Pole Capping, an ‘act of defiance’ predating the revolution, is reenacted in April each year to commemorate the participation of the town in this historical event. Similarly, Bedford Day is another annual event, occurring each September, celebrating the incorporation of the town. The Bedford town website has extensive information about the history and events in the community (click here for A Citizen's Guide to Bedford). 

With our office centrally located, and many active Realtors® who work and live in Bedford, we’re in a great place to be a part of all the festivities. Bedford is family-friendly, active, and has a lot to offer those passing through.

In fact, Bedford has many visitors by chance! With the Rail Trails converging at Depot Park, residents and tourists from far and wide get some exercise. This great addition to the town and surround communities brings great value to those who take advantage of the easy, fun opportunity. With three trails, those going for a ride, walk, or run can choose where they visit each day. Of the three options, the most notable in length is the Minuteman Bikeway, at 10.5 miles long and begins in Bedford passing through adjacent towns, reaching West Cambridge.

Springs Brook Park is another element of the town, with a water park, a playground, and a yearly events schedule. In the past there have been magicians, yo-yo tricks, reptile events, and more. During the summer, there are also Fourth of July events and swimming lessons!

The Chip-In-Farm is a local company, open year-round. The farm sells locally sourced food as well as fertilizer during the spring and fall. There is a petting zoo for visitors to enjoy, birthday party accommodations, and a farm camp for kids during the summer.

Loving Local Life: Concord

In the coming weeks, we’ll be doing a series focusing on the towns we serve and why we love them! Check back each Monday for a new town.

This week, we’ll start where we got our start! You guessed it – Concord, Massachusetts.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon filled with history, nature, or literature, you can find it here! Minuteman National Historical Park brings history alive where the first battle of the Revolution began. The park has a rotating schedule of events, a Junior Ranger program that you can guide yourself through and earn a badge, as well as programs for parents and teachers alike.

If you’re interested in the nature aspect of Concord, the conservation land is abundant! The Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge with an entrance on Monson Road includes trails and both a wildlife observation tower and platform. Hapgood Wright Town Forest, or “Fairyland Pond,” is another option for trails and relaxation in the conservation land of Concord.

For more varied exercise in nature, the South Bridge Boat House is open for kayak and canoe rentals throughout the warmer weather.

Nature and literature collide here in many ways, as well. A local (and tourist!) favorite is Walden Pond. This gorgeous location is brought to life throughout the year with the warm and changing air, the fall colors, and the tranquil feeling that accompanies the winter months.

Many choose to continue their literature tour of Concord by paying tribute to our great authors at Author’s Ridge in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, leaving a pen in homage to their legacy. Coming full-circle, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House welcomes visitors to appreciate the history that Concord offers in literature at the “Home of Little Women!”

Even if you’re not looking for a long tour of history, nature, or literature, Concord still has a lot to offer. The community we are a part of here welcomes small business ventures, with local favorites such as The Concord Cheese Shop, celebrating 50 years in Concord this July, and Nesting on Main for lunch and treasures to be found!

Weekend Events in Greater Boston: Memorial Day 2017

Still not sure what you’re doing this Memorial Day Weekend? The towns we serve, and Greater Boston, have a lot of opportunities for you! 

In Bedford, MA the Memorial Day Ceremony and Bedford Memorial Day Parade take place. The events are said to start at 11:15am on Monday, at the Old Burying Ground in Bedford. 

In Lincoln, MA there will be a Memorial Day Barbecue for Veterans. This will be held at Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road, Lincoln from 11:30am - 1pm. However, Veterans must RSVP (contact: 781.259.8811, as per the website).

In Lexington, MA the weekend starts off with the Annual Discovery Day in the Municipal Parking Lot on Muzzey Street/Waltham Street. This event will be held from 1am - 3pm, followed by a free concert by The Nowhere Men from 3:30pm - 5:30pm. The day awaits you with dancing, food, shopping, clowns, and tables from each Town Department. Free parking and Lexpress Rides will also be available throughout the day for your convenience. 

On Memorial Day, Lexington will have wreath-laying ceremonies starting at 8:45am. For a full schedule, visit the town website here

If you are looking for something further out, Boston also has various events this weekend. 

For a summer feel, the Boston Pops present Jaws in concert on Thursday and Friday evening starting at 8pm. The iconic movie will be coupled with live score for an evening to really start the warmer weather.

Throughout the weekend the Memorial Day Flag display will be on the Boston Common. 

While you are in the city, there will also be free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts on Monday, from 10am - 4:45pm.

With all of this in mind, you can plan ahead and enjoy the weekend! 

2016 Residential Tax Rates Greater Boston Towns

The following are the 2016 tax rates for our Greater Boston communities. We are happy to provide this comparison as a real estate resource in Greater Boston for over 30 years. If you are considering a home purchase or rental in the area and would like assistance in comparing these towns on other important factors, please call us at 978-369-6453 or email us at info@barrettsothebysrealty.com. We look forward to assisting you.

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2015 Residential Tax Rates Greater Boston Towns

The following are the 2015 tax rates for our Greater Boston communities. We are happy to provide this comparison as a real estate resource in Greater Boston for over 30 years. If you are considering a home purchase or rental in the area and would like assistance in comparing these towns on other important factors, please call us at 978-369-6453 or email us at info@barrettsothebysrealty.com. We look forward to assisting you.

residential-tax-rates-ma-towns

Data provided from town government websites.

 

Great Events Around Our Towns

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It's a glorious time of year to live in New England! Here are some fun local events to spice up your fall

Nashoba Valley Winery Bolton NVW offers a unique "Vine to Wine" series where guests can see how wine is made from start to finish. Dates for this year's seminars are October 12th, 19th, and 25th. Call ahead to reserve your spot! In addition, they offer numerous seminars on wine tasting and other fun events in their restaurant serving unique American cuisine. http://www.nashobawinery.com/

Harvest Fair Newton Hosted on 10/18 and 10/19, the town of Newton invites any and all to enjoy the riches of fall! With numerous performances to choose from, it's the perfect place to enjoy face painting, sand art, ethnic and American foods along with so much more! For more information go to: http://www.newtoncommunitypride.org/harvest-fair.html

Looking for something a bit more active? Try the:

Sudbury Halloween 5k and Fun Run Sudbury The fun takes place on Sunday, October 26, with the 5k ($27) going off at 11 and the Fun Run ($12) at noon. What better way to bring in the seasons than with a nice run through one of Massachusetts most beautiful towns! Register by October 3rd to be guaranteed a shirt. More info here: https://sudbury.ma.us/recreation/2014/08/30/sudbury-halloween-5k-1-mile-fun-run/

Battle Road Trail Lexington/Concord 978-369-6993 This five mile trail highlights the battle of April 19, 1775 and is free to walk. Walk in the shoes of those who fought in the battle which began the American Revolution. Accessible from any point, see a complete map of the trail: http://www.nps.gov/mima/planyourvisit/upload/MIMA%20Park%20Map.pdf

Not in the mood for a walk? Try the Lexington Liberty ride!

Liberty Ride Lexington/Concord For more information: 339-223-5623 Rather than walking, a classic trolley takes you down Battle Road. 90 Minutes in duration, the trail highlights historic sites and attractions throughout the tows.

10 Places to Celebrate the 4th of July 2014 in Greater Boston

July 4th 2014 Greater Boston

Here's a list of places in and around Greater Boston to celebrate the 4th of July in 2014. Ten spots (listed alphabetically) to choose from...some of them have *fireworks*, all of them include *fun*...like parades, live music, food, games and much, much more. Enjoy!!

  • Acton Mass. July 4th Celebration at NARA Park, Acton MA, July 4, 2014 from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm with family fun activities, live music and *fireworks* beginning at 9:30 pm.
  • Arlington Independence Day Celebration at Robbins Farm Park, Arlington MA, July 4, 2014 with musical entertainment provided by the "The Reminisants", refreshments, and of course, the Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks on the giant screen (fireworks start at 10:30pm). The event is free and open to all.
  • Boston Harborfest is favorite yearly destination for 4th of July festivities, running from July 2nd - July 6th 2014. Activities include Scavenger Hunts, Harbor Cruises and the annual USS Constitution Turn-Around. The Boston Pops *Fireworks* Spectacular with this year's performers: The Beach Boys, Megan Hilty, The Phantom of the Opera and The Boston Children's Chorus. And don't forget, you can see the concert on July 3rd but there won't be any fireworks.
  • Chelmsford 4th of July Parade and Country Fair, Chelmsford, MA The fair will be held on Thursday, July 3, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and on Friday, July 4, 2014 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. The parade starts at 10:00 am on Friday, July 4, 2014.
  • Concord Picnic in the Park, Concord MA at Emerson Field, on July 4, 2014 from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm Scheduled to have tethered balloon rides, a bicycle parade, live music, and family activities.
  • Harvard Mass. 4th of July Events at Fruitlands Museum and Harvard Center, Harvard MA, July 2 - July 4, 2014 featuring a parade, live music, field events and *fireworks* on the 2nd beginning at 9:15 pm.
  • Lincoln Independence Day Activities, Lincoln, MA July 4, 2014 Activities include a 2.5 or 4 mile road race, parade, Boy Scout BBQ, concert and *fireworks*. The day's events begin at 7:45 am and continue through the evening
  • Newton July 4th Celebration, Newton, MA July 4, 2014 Scheduled events include children's activities, Open Air Market, amusements rides, live music and *fireworks*.
  • Waltham 4th of July Celebration, Prospect Hill Park and Leary Field Waltham, MA On Friday, July 4, 2014 at Prospect Hill Park from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm there will be a family event featuring children's inflatables, pony rides, animal shows, music, and much more! That evening at Leary Field, Back in Time will be performing at 5:30pm followed by *fireworks* at 9:30pm.

For lots more ideas for places in Massachusetts to celebrate Independence Day, check out massvacation.com.

Photo credit: Beverly & Pack / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Living the Sweet Life in Lincoln

What is more quintessentially New England than maple sugaring? It is underway right now in Lincoln, Massachusetts as the unseasonably warm weather in January and February has caused the sap to run early in the town's sugar maples.

I live in Lincoln and this first sign of spring has become a cherished family tradition. Our introduction to maple sugaring came when we first moved to town and cut down a large pine tree that was towering over our house. We immediately got a call from our neighbor: "Unlike many, we love pine trees," he began. My husband and I panicked. Uh-oh, we'd probably offended our new neighbor by cutting down the tree. But then the neighbor continued,

"We use pinewood to power our maple sugar boiler. Can we come by and cut up the tree and take the logs?"

The next day, the neighbor was sawing and removing the huge tree, saving us disposal costs and making us happy to see it go to such a good use. Soon we noticed his homemade sugar boiler smoking away. Coming from the Back Bay we found this amazingly quaint. I thanked him by baking some cookies; what a great community we had just joined.

The tradition of maple sugaring continued as another neighbor with three children set up an organized maple-sugaring operation on our road. I admired this father who took the time to embrace this long-standing New England activity even though he commuted into Boston on the train with me each day. After work he would change into some New England farmer duds and he and his wife would set the buckets out to tap the maple trees. All of the neighbors with maple trees "loaned" their trees to the effort. For added charm, the taps and buckets were the traditional tin type, not the plastic milk cartons that I had seen used in New Hampshire.

The sap only runs for a couple of weeks, and it is a window that cannot be missed. Our neighbors gathered all the kids in the area and piled them into the back of their pickup. They would drive slowly from one tree to the next on the quiet country road and we would all pick a tree and empty its sap bucket into a bigger drum. Then we returned to the truck to bounce and slosh back to their house and transfer the thin, sticky sap into the boiler. A month or so later, we all received some delicious Grade A maple syrup. Not a bad lifestyle in a town 20 minutes from downtown Boston!

Note: A great introduction to maple sugaring is found at a Sap-to-Syrup Farmer's Breakfast at Lincoln's Drumlin Farm March 17-18, 2012. They offer a pancake and maple syrup breakfast and activities and presentations outlining methods of maple syrup production.