The Rockery/Memorial Cairn - Easton, MA
Posted by: NorStar
N 42° 03.980 W 071° 06.262
19T E 325898 N 4659283
Quick Description: Frederick Law Olmsted was hired by the Ames family in the North Easton village of Easton to beautify the lands, including the stone monument cairn called the Rockery, in the center of the intersection of Lincoln, Barrows, and Main St.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 9/22/2010 12:45:08 PM
Waymark Code: WM9R3M
In the North Easton section of Easton, is a small but prominent green space in the center of the intersection of Main Street, Lincoln Street, and Barrows Street. This green space is dominated by a stone structure that is known as the Rockery, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
The structure was built in 1882 as a memorial to the soldiers of Easton who died in the Civil War. Olmsted suggested to Oliver Ames, one of the Ames family that owned the Ames Shovel Shop in the village, that a monument cairn was one of the best designs since it was lasting and provided more interesting shapes compared to the more traditional monuments of stone and bronze.
Over time, the monument went into direpair and at one time was lowered. But restoration activity in the last few years restored the structure to its previous height.
The green space is smaller than the usual common. The stone structure takes up most of it. There is an archway where a person can pass under on the way to the stairs and to the top. The top has an observation deck where you have views of the nearby buildings, many of which were designed by H. H. Richardson about the same time. On the east side of the monument is a plaque identifying the monument as designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Olmsted also designed the landscape around Ames Memorial Hall on Barrows Street, making use of the natural rock outcrop.
As an added fact, the F. L. Olmsted school in Easton is named after the famed landscape architect.
F. L. Olmsted School: