Borderland State Park

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Borderland State Park
Ames Mansion Borderland.jpg
Ames Mansion
Map showing the location of Borderland State Park
Map showing the location of Borderland State Park
Location in Massachusetts
LocationEaston, Sharon, Bristol, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates42°04′03″N 71°09′13″W / 42.06750°N 71.15361°W / 42.06750; -71.15361Coordinates: 42°04′03″N 71°09′13″W / 42.06750°N 71.15361°W / 42.06750; -71.15361[1]
Area1,843 acres (7.46 km2)[2]
Elevation207 ft (63 m)[1]
OperatorMassachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
WebsiteBorderland State Park
Borderland Historic District
ArchitectAmes, Blanche Ames; Ames, Oakes
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival, Georgian, Colonial Revival
NRHP reference No.97000497
Added to NRHPJune 16, 1997

Borderland State Park is a history and nature preserve with public recreational features located in the towns of Easton and Sharon, Massachusetts. The state park encompasses 1,843 acres (746 ha) surrounding the Ames Mansion, which was built in 1910. The area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Borderland Historic District in 1997. It is operated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, with an appointed advisory council that participates in policy decision-making.[3]


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 man-made ponds. The family's home, a three-story, 20-room stone mansion constructed in 1910, was built largely at the direction of Blanche Ames.[4][5] Her paintings still hang on the walls and much of the original furnishings are still intact. After it remained in the family for 65 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.[3]

Activities and amenities[edit]

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 which supplied the facing stone for the Canton Viaduct in 1835.[6] The park features mansion tours, a visitors center, pond fishing and canoeing, ice skating, sledding, and disc golf.[7] Mansion tours are typically held on Sundays during the months of April through May. The mansion is typically not open to the public other than during these tours, and for special events.[8]

Borderland is the home course for Oliver Ames High School cross country team.[9] Until 2014, it was the site of the Hockomock League Cross Country championship race. It is also utilized by the Old Colony League for its annual cross country meet and various invitational meets on the 3.1-mile-loop (5.0 km) course, and was the site of the World Masters Flying Disc Championships in 1996.

In popular culture[edit]

The park has been used in a commercial, a documentary, and the film Mermaids. Scenes from the Martin Scorsese movie Shutter Island were shot at the stone lodge next to Leach Pond in 2008.[10] Ames Mansion interiors were used as a filming location for Ghostbusters in 2016.[11] A fictionalized version of the park is featured in the novel Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay. Interiors, particularly the library, were featured in the 2019 Rian Johnson film Knives Out as the home of mystery writer and murder victim Harlan Thrombey. Production designer David Crank stated, “The general rule was that both the inside and outside of the house needed to look like the sort of house that Harlan would describe in one of his mysteries. The moment we walked into the mansion we knew right away that it had the personality we needed.”[12][13]


Borderland charges a $5 day use fee ($20 for out of state visitors)[14] which can be purchased in the main lot. Season passes can also be purchased. Note that the machines no longer take cash as a form of payment.

The primary parking lot is located near 259 Massapoag Ave, in North Easton, MA. Alternate parking can be found by the intersection of Mansfield St. and Massapoag Ave in Sharon, MA, as well as at various locations on Mountain Street in North Easton, MA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Borderland State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Borderland State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Archived from the original on June 3, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  4. ^ "Life at Borderland". Borderland State Park. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Archived from the original on August 25, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  5. ^ "Ames Mansion". Places Where Women Made History. National Park Service. March 30, 1998. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  6. ^ "Trail Map" (PDF). Borderland State Park. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  7. ^ "Plan Your Visit". Borderland State Park. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  8. ^ "Ames Mansion Tours". Friends of Borderland. Retrieved 2020-02-23.
  9. ^ Stewart, Louis (September 19, 2013). "Oliver Ames cross-country team runs past Canton". Wicked Local. Gatehouse Media. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  10. ^ Downing, Vicki-Ann (May 1, 2008). "Hollywood, Scorsese sets sights on Borderland State Park". Patriot Ledger. Quincy, Mass. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  11. ^ Stamp, Elizabeth (July 12, 2016). "Go inside the filming locations and set designs of Ghostbusters". Architectural Digest. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "How 'Knives Out' Turned Three Locations Into a Single Mansion of Murder". TheWrap. 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2020-01-04.
  13. ^ Tangcay, Jazz; Tangcay, Jazz (2019-11-30). "Finding the Perfect Murder-Mystery Home for Rian Johnson's 'Knives Out'". Variety. Retrieved 2020-01-04.
  14. ^ "Borderland State Park". Retrieved 2020-06-07.

Further reading[edit]

  • Behrens, Roy R., "The Artistic and Scientific Collaboration of Blanche Ames Ames and Adelbert Ames II," Leonardo Journal 31.1 (1998): 47-54.

External links[edit]