Massachusetts February 12, 2018
11 Amazing Massachusetts Secrets You Never Knew Existed
No matter how long you’ve lived somewhere, there’s always more to discover. This is especially true in Massachusetts. The Bay State’s long and colorful history has given rise to plenty of cool secrets and unexpected stories. Here are some incredible state facts and landmarks that you’ve probably never heard about.
1. Time Capsule Grasshopper, Boston
The grasshopper weathervane on top of Faneuil Hall was placed there over 270 years ago in 1761. Most people don’t realize that this insect is actually a time capsule – each time it has been taken down for repairs, coins and notes for future Bostonians have been added.
2. Sweetheart Memorial, Devens
Situated on the grounds of the old Fort Devens, this heart-shaped stone marker is dedicated to couples who withstand long periods of separation to be with each other. During the second World War, young soldiers and their new brides would take wedding photos at the memorial before the husband was sent overseas to fight. It’s a touching tribute to long distance relationships. (Jackson Road, Devens)
3. Redemption Rock, Princeton
This peculiar rock in the woods of Princeton has a pretty amazing secret past. It was once a neutral zone between early colonists and the area’s native peoples. Famed Wampanoag leader Metacom (also known as King Phillip) negotiated the release of English hostages at the rock, and an inscription was etched into the stone detailing the event.
4. Oozing Whale Skeleton, New Bedford
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is home to a massive whale skeleton that has been oozing whale oil for over 15 years. It’s one of only four blue whale skeletons on display in the world, and the museum has been collecting the drippings into a small beaker. Whale oil will occasionally splat onto the floor or guests. (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford)
5. Martini Junction, Needham
Not many people know that there’s a secret miniature railroad in the woods of Needham. Martini Junction is the passion project of Jim Metcalf and features over 120 feet of track and fairy-size village scenes.
Learn more here.
6. Ponyhenge, Lincoln
This bizarre toy graveyard in Lincoln will definitely make you look twice. Located in a field off of Old Sudbury Road, this ring of old rocking horses and ponies appeared mysteriously in 2010 and has been growing ever since. The horses are occasionally rearranged into strange patterns, and no one knows where they’re coming from.
7. Echo Bridge, Newton
Echo Bridge in Newton may not look like anything special, but it has a musical secret. Something about the architecture of the bridge means that if you stand on a platform beneath the arch, the sound of your voice will be almost magically transformed into a chorus of voices. It’s an acoustic marvel.
Learn more here.
8. Bathtub Marys, Somerville
If you stroll the streets of Somerville, it won't be long until you spot one of the town's "bathtub Mary" shrines. These DIY religious shrines are literally made out of old bathtubs and number in the hundreds.
9. Museum of Bad Art, Somerville
The Museum of Bad Art is just what it sounds like – a collection of terrible art housed in a hidden gallery beneath the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square. The museum prides itself on featuring "art too bad to be ignored." (55 Davis Square, Somerville)
10. The Satanic Temple Headquarters, Salem
The global headquarters of the Satanic Temple is actually right here in Massachusetts. It's located in Salem and also functions as an occult art gallery. Contrary to the popular conception of Satanism, the Satanic Temple is actually a non-theistic (i.e. they don't believe in God or the Devil) organization that uses the symbol of Satan to advocate for the separation of church and state. (64 Bridge Street, Salem)
11. The Lost Town of Dana, Petersham
The town of Dana was drowned in 1938 to make room for the Quabbin Reservoir. Today, you can visit a stone marker near the reservoir that reads "to all those who sacrificed their homes and way of life." The ruins of buildings from the flooded town are sometimes visible when the water level drops. (Dana Road, Petersham)
For more oddball Massachusetts history, check out
this tiny town with an incredibly creepy past.
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