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Deck the tree with Lincoln history

December 1, 2013

LINCOLN – It’s time to decorate for the holidays, and Dave Sale and Dick DiMassie, members of the Lincoln Citizens Celebration Committee, are hoping local residents will support historic preservation with the purchase of the latest town ornament put out by the committee.

This year the ornament is a depiction of the wooden covered bridge near the Manchester Farm Road entrance of Lincoln Woods State Park.
“We think it will bring back a lot of memories for people who have visited Lincoln Woods over the years,” Sale said.

The Celebration Committee has been making the ornaments to fund its projects since the since the celebration of the town’s 125th Anniversary 18 years ago.

The state Department of Environmental Management operates a state lifeguard-protected swimming area at the park’s Olney Pond beach, and walkers and runners can be found following the park’s circular access road on most days of the year, even after snowfalls.

Sale said the funds raised from this year’s ornament will also be applied to the efforts to preserve and restore the old Pullen’s Corner one-room schoolhouse, more commonly known as the “Hot Potato School.”
Sale said the circa 1850 school got its nickname from a teacher who after finding out her pupils didn’t have lunches, arranged for potatoes to be cooked on the building’s pot-belly wood stove.

The school’s preservation plans call for it to be moved to a better location and restored to its period school-use look.

The committee has its annual ornament produced in town by ChemArt at 15 New England Way, and the series always depicts a treasured feature of Lincoln or remembered but lost building or business.

Last year’s ornament was of the former Lonsdale Twin Drive-in Theater, which was razed several years ago as part of plans to restore the Lonsdale marsh to a wetland and trail resource along the Blackstone River.

The certificate accompanying this year’s ornament explains that Lincoln Woods was originally a 71-acre parcel of land purchased for $3,000 from the Stephen H. Smith family of Franklin, Mass. The Lincoln Woods State Reservation, named after President Abraham Lincoln, was founded on the 100th anniversary of his birth on Feb. 12, 1909.

The state increased the park’s size with additional land purchases over the years, creating its current 627-acre configuration that includes 176 picnic tables and 134 fireplaces for picnicking, open spaces that include a summertime soccer field, and parking areas. In addition to the summer uses of Olney Pond for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, the park is also a popular site for rock climbing and bouldering, horseback riding and winter activities such as ice fishing the frozen pond, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when conditions are right.

While referred to popularly in the mid-20th century by a made-up Native American name said to represent “the place of many rocks,” the ornament’s history lists real Native name of the glacial boulder-strewn rolling land and ledge outcroppings as “Caucaunjaivatchuck.”
Olney Pond was created by principal families from the Salyersville, Lonsdale, and Quinsnicket sections who acquired the land initially and sought to put it to productive use as a site for a thread mill on the pond and cloth printing and coloring shop on the nearby Mosshassuck River, or wood lots.

It was a rustic area of Lincoln enjoyed by Providence author H.P. Lovecraft, who was said to have spent whole summer days there. The park was used as a location for portions of the 2011 film “Moonrise Kingdom,” the committee noted.

The committee also highlights the park’s four seasons of use with its selection of a snowy scene for the ornament.

“We have chosen to depict the park in the winter with a wreath on the covered bridge and snow coating the trees and ice skaters on the frozen pond. We hope this ornament will bring back many memories of the days of relaxation spent at Lincoln Woods,” the committee states on the ornament’s certificate.

The ornaments cost $17 each and can be purchased at town locations, including RYCO Trim on Carrington Street, Ted’s Paint and Decorating on Front Street, Larry’s Lincoln Auto Repair on Great Road, Donna Dressler Jewelry & Gifts on Old Louisquisset Pike, The Farmhouse Gift Shop at Chase Farm, Lapel’s Dry Cleaners, Cinemaworld at the Lincoln Mall; and Lincoln Town Hall and the Public Library.

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