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Five Scituate spots noted
on the state's top 1,000 places

Posted by Molly Connors  July 16, 2010 09:00 AM

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One third of the 12 locations run by the Scituate Historical Society made a recent list of 1,000 notable places in Massachusetts – not bad, says the society’s president, David Ball.

“I would have been disappointed if we only had one or two,” Ball said in an interview.

Of the five Scituate spots to be recognized by the Great Places in Massachusetts Commission, only one – Scituate Harbor – is neither owned nor operated by the Scituate Historical Society.

Others noted were Lawson Tower, the Maritime & Irish Mossing Museum, Scituate Lighthouse, and the Grand Army of the Republic (“GAR”) Hall.

When asked which spot a visitor who only had time for one should visit, Ball said it was an almost impossible question to answer.

“That’s like asking which of your children is your favorite,” he said. So it’s a matter of personal preference really.

Scit GAR.JPGIf you’re a Civil War buff, he said, hit the GAR Hall, a 19th-century structure on Country Way that served as meeting area for Civil War veterans and is the town’s oldest public building.

But, said Ball, if someone is looking for an “unusual structure” that has some ties to Europe, “You’d have to go to Lawson Tower.” [below] Originally a steel standpipe allegedly so ugly that the wife of the owner of the water company couldn’t bear the site of it out, Lawson Tower received a makeover to its appearance, based on either the Stahleck Castle on the Rhine River or spa at Bad Ems, both in Germany.

scitlawson.JPGThose interested in maritime history should definitely hit up Scituate Lighthouse and the Maritime and Irish Mossing Museum, Ball said. The former is rarely open to the public but has easy parking and access as well as an excellent view of the harbor, which make the list of 1,000 because of its natural beauty.

The museum, located at 301 Driftway, hosts exhibits on Scituate’s “many shipwrecks,” as well as part of the story of the Portland Gale, which ripped Humarock off of Scituate, the early workings of the US Coast Guard, as well as the Irish mossing industry, in which people gathered and processed red algae for products used around the world, said the Scituate Historical Society’s website.

The 12-person commission spent more than a year sifting through about 12,000 online submissions to come up with this list, which aims to encourage more tourism to some of the lesser known,areas of the state.

While Boston dominated the list, Ball said the timing of the announcement worked out well for his sites because the hours will soon be changing.

Lawson Tower and the Lighthouse will be open to the public this Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m, Ball said. And in July and August, the Maritime & Mossing Museum is open both Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4.

The tower and lighthouse will also be open for Heritage Days on Aug. 7 and 8 from 1 to 4 and then Aug. 22 and Oct. 17 – also from 1 to 4 p.m. Ball said.

Ball said there is even more for visitors to see in Scituate that did not make the list, such as the Cudworth House, near Lawson Tower, which was built in the late 18th century. But overall, he says he is satisfied with the attention Scituate’s sites got.

“I think it’s a good representation,” Ball said.

For more information about the locations run by the Scituate Historical Society, visit their website or call (781) 545-1083.

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