Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills

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Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills: five interpretive walks in Plainfield, MA

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Exploring the Plainfield Landscape: get outside and have a look!

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


| About Us | Contact Us | 2007-2012 Plainfield Historical Society
| This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.