Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills: five interpretive walks in Plainfield,
Exploring the Plainfield Landscape: get outside and have a
Our goal is to engage children of all ages in historical
and ecological exploration: cellar holes, mill foundations,
historical water use and management, and the forest that
created the Hilltown landscape.
Left: Which painter? Satellite image of Guyette farm showing
the checkerboard of stone walls. Source: Google Maps.
In Plainfield (pop. 600), the familiar New England
landscape of fields and farms dotted with white houses and
red barns is, quite literally, history. The town remains one
of the more remote and less developed in Massachusetts, and
more than seventy percent of its land is under some form of
development restriction. But within and around today’s tiny
remote village exist the bones of an older, busier
landscape: a veritable ghost town of rural New England when
it was a proto-industrial frontier. Small streams run across
now-crumbled dams; stone walls still lined with sugar maples
flank highways and byways. Those who venture out on foot or
by snowshoe ‘discover’ cellar holes, mill foundations, tiny
cemeteries, and ancient apple orchards. The landscape is
history as much as history shaped the landscape.
Welcome to Plainfield. We hope you willl enjoy yourself.
Plainfield Historical Society
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| This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Foundation for