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Massachusetts Travel >>> North Easton MA
Exploring Historic, Quaint North Easton Village MA
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Oakes Ames Hall, North Easton MA

Oakes Ames Memorial Hall

Article and photos by Eric H. 

North Easton, MA, exudes a quaint, quintessential, historic, village-like New England feel. This appealing southwest suburban Boston neighborhood, located within the beautiful Town of Easton, features old-fashioned shops and businesses, a concentration of big, old Colonial and Victorian homes, appealing tree-lined side streets and majestic churches that date back to another era.

North Easton was settled in 1694, incorporated in 1725 and became well-known for the Ames Shovel Company. The Ames Shovel Company provided shovels for the Union Pacific Railroad, which opened the west! The 19th century shovel business prospered so much so that it became the world's largest supplier of shovels, according to Kerri Nichols, program director of the Easton Chamber of Commerce. Oliver Ames the most famous family member -- he served as Massachusetts governor from 1887-1890.

Famed architect H.H. Richardson gave North Easton Village its historical "look," with late 19th century Romanesque-style buildings like the recently renovated Ames Free Library, Oaks Ames Memorial Hall (for meetings), the former Old Colony Railway Station (current home of the Easton Historical Society) and the Ames Gate Lodge (I think it is still owned by the Ames Family). Beautiful churches complement the area including the Gothic revival style of the Ames-built Unity Church, as well as Immaculate Conception Church.  Frederick Law Olmstead, a landscape architect who designed Central Park and the Emerald Necklace, was commissioned to do the landscaping around Oak Ames Memorial Hall, designed the downtown Rockery (a memorial for North Easton's citizens lost in the American Civil War that was restored a few years back), and helped to landscape many estates in Easton, according to Nichols.

Historic North Easton MA
The Rockery leads to historical homes and buildings

Catholic Church, North Easton Village, MA
The beautiful Immaculate Conception Church

Easton Historical Society, Easton, MA

The Easton Historical Society is located in the former Old Colony Railway Station

Ames Public Library, North Easton, MA

Ames Free Public Library

Along with the historic Ames buildings and Olmstead landscaping, the downtown district features an absolutely terrific Children's Museum located in an old fire department building, a traditional barber shop, the phenomenal The Farmer's Daughter farm-to-table restaurant for breakfast and lunch, the old gas station look of Borgeson's, the scenic Shovelshop Pond, the attractive Frothingham Park for recreational activities, and the 154-acre sheep pasture for quiet walks. North Easton also has an eye of upgrading its downtown with a 250-seat lunch and dinner restaurant  eatery with a function room and rooftop deck planned, and the Shovel Shop Pond buildings currently being leased to businesses.

Farmers Daughter, Easton MA
The Farmer's Daughter farm-to-table restaurant

On the outskirts of North Easton Village is Stonehill College, a highly regarded Catholic college located on 375 idyllic acres. For the sweet tooth, there's Hilliards House of Candies, featuring made-on-the-premises chocolates, various other candies and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor (served the Friday after Easter through the end of October).  

Childrens Museum of Easton MA
The Children's Museum of Easton

North Easton brings back the small-town neighborhood feeling of yesteryear with an old-fashioned downtown and "Leave it to Beaver"-like tree-lined side streets with pleasantly modest ranches to spectacular old Colonial and Victorian homes. On those side streets, neighbors share friendly conversation outside, families take walks together along the network of neighborhood sidewalks, and residents constantly, and proudly, work on their homes to help maintain the overall classic village look.

Barber Shop and other downtown businesses, North Easton Village, MA

2009 picture of North Easton Village. A huge renovation is in store with a 250 seat restaurant being planned!

Hilliards House and Candy, North Easton, MA

Hilliard's House of Candy, a wonderland of chocolates and other candies (as well as ice cream in season), made-on-the-premises

The fact that North Easton is close to urban Brockton and the very busy Stoughton is astounding, as this neighborhood seems like the type of nice place you'd drive through in the country en route to a vacation destination. Ultimately, North Easton Village is worth a visit as a nice respite from Boston, Providence, or virtually any Boston suburb.

Editor's note: congratulations to Easton for placing 37th in CNN/'s Best Places to Live 2009.
With its unique and well-maintained historical buildings, beautiful conservation land, old-fashioned downtown, excellent schools and community spirit, we agree that Easton deserves a spot in any "best place to live."


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