Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Take a Hike: Boyden Farm

Take a Hike:  Boyden Farm, with a Tribute to Benjamin Percival

by John Nye Cullity

The Sandwich Conservation Trust will host its March walk at Boyden Farm Conservation Lands Sunday, March 10, at 2 P.M.  This is an easy, level walk of 45 minutes or so, out to the edge of Peter’s Pond and back.  To spice up this straightforward walk, it occurred to me to add a feature: a tribute to Benjamin Percival.

It is impossible for me to separate my love of local history from conservation land work.  When I’m outdoors, I often think of or visualize what the land used to look like, and how it was used, and the generations of people who trod the land before me.  On our Sunday walk, we will honor a special figure from local history – Benjamin Percival.  He was a South Sandwich farmer, selectman, state representative, and most importantly, diarist.  In the course of our walk we will visit the graves of Benjamin and his wife Lydia at Tobey Cemetery.

Benjamin kept a fascinating diary from 1777 – Revolutionary War days – through 1817.  He was born in 1752.  The original document, kept at the Sandwich Archives, was painstakingly transcribed by his descendent Frank Barrow of Denton, Texas during the 1990s.  I believe only 60 copies were privately published.  Our tribute Sunday will consist of us reading several interesting excerpts, with a bit of interpretation by myself.  

If this interests you, please join us Sunday at the Boyden Farm parking lot off of Cotuit Road.  The walk will be cancelled if it is raining.  Call me with questions at (508) 888-7629.

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