Borderland State Park
Borderland Historic District
|Nearest city||Easton and Sharon, Massachusetts|
|Architect||Ames, Blanche Ames; Ames, Oakes|
|Architectural style||Late Gothic Revival, Georgian, Colonial Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||97000497|
|Added to NRHP||June 16, 1997|
Borderland is a Massachusetts state park located in the towns of Easton and Sharon. The 1,782-acre (721 ha) park is operated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. An appointed Advisory Council participates in policy decision-making. The area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Borderland Historic District in 1997.
In 1906, Oakes Ames, a Harvard botanist (son of Massachusetts governor Oliver Ames and grandson of U.S. Representative Oakes Ames), and his wife Blanche Ames Ames (daughter of Mississippi governor Adelbert Ames, but not related to Oakes Ames), an artist and feminist, purchased land on the border of Sharon and Easton. There they built a mansion which still stands and created a nature preserve with woodland paths and roadways and made-man ponds.
After remaining in the family for sixty-five years, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts acquired the Borderland estate in 1971, two years after the death of Blanche Ames, and opened it as a state park.
Activities and amenities
- Mansion: The family’s home, a three-story, 20-room stone mansion constructed in 1910, was built largely at the direction of Blanche Ames. Her paintings still hang on the walls and much of the original furnishings are still intact. Tours are offered on the third Sunday of the month from April to November between 1 pm and 3 pm ($3 per person as of 2013).
- Visitors Center: The main entrance and visitor center are located in Easton. Trail maps and information are available.
- Trails: The park has more than 20 miles (32 km) of wooded trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Trails include a portion of the Bay Circuit Trail and the Quarry Loop to Moyles Quarry (a.k.a. Canton Viaduct Quarry) which supplied the facing stone for the Canton Viaduct in 1835.
- Photography: The mansion and other structures, ponds, woods and wildlife offer many opportunities for photographers.
- The park also offers fishing and canoeing in the ponds, winter ice skating and sledding, and a disc golf course.
Sports and popular culture
In recent years, Borderland has served as the home for Oliver Ames High School cross country running, representing the school's home course. It is also utilized by the Old Colony League for its annual cross country meet. The park also hosts the Hockomock League Championship meet and various invitational meets on the 3.1-mile-loop (5.0 km) course. In 1996, the World Masters Flying Disc Championships were held at Borderland.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Norfolk County, Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Bristol County, Massachusetts
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Borderland State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Conservation and Recreation. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- "Life at Borderland". MassParks: Borderland State Park. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Conservation and Recreation. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- "Ames Mansion". Places Where Women Made History. National Park Service. March 30, 1998. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- "Plan Your Visit". MassParks: Borderland State Park. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Conservation and Recreation. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- "Trail Map". MassParks: Borderland State Park. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Conservation and Recreation. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Behrens, Roy R., "The Artistic and Scientific Collaboration of Blanche Ames Ames and Adelbert Ames II," Leonardo Journal 31.1 (1998): 47-54.
- Friends of Borderland State Park
- Borderland State Park Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Ames Mansion: Blanche Ames Ames (1878-1969), Inventor, Illustrator National Park Service: Places Where Women Made History