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Trip Report Weir Hill & The Addison Museum

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These are a little off the tourist path but locals or repeat visitors might enjoy them.

Weir Hill is a property of the Trustees of Reservations in North Andover.


It has four miles of trails over and around Weir Hill and a couple of other hills as well as along the shore of Lake Cochichewick. When we went it was a drizzly day and about half the leaves had fallen, but it was still pretty. There are several old stone walls on the property that add to the character. There is no admission charge but also no facilities. Parking is along the road by the entrance. It is open year-round, and my friends said it is a nice place to go snowshoeing in the winter.

After the walk in the woods some of us went to the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover (on the campus of Phillips Academy).


I had been wanting to go to the Addison for quite a while and was glad to take advantage of the fact that we were in the area. It is a nice little museum, but I have to say I was mostly disappointed with my visit. I'm not much for modern art, and especially the style on view in "American Vanguards" (through Dec 30). "People, Places, Things: Symbols of American Culture" (through Jan 13) was also a disappointment, as I thought very few of the paintings were actually that symbolic of American culture! I also have to say I had hoped for a better selection from their regular collection in the two galleries they had devoted to that.

The third exhibition, "Pictures Woke the People Up", actually WAS interesting (and I had expected before going to like it least of the 3!). It featured several series of photographs from several points over the last 100 years taken of and/or by an Innuit community in Labrador and the role they played in revitalizing the community. I liked the model ships in the "basement" as well, including one of the Charles W. Morgan (as I had seen the actual ship in Mystic, CT).

Of course, you can't judge a museum like this based on one visit. And the staff were very friendly and helpful, a definite plus. Maybe I'll give in another try in the future.

On a side note, the Phillips Academy campus is of historical significance both because it is the oldest private academy in the US (founded 1778) and because it was the original site of Andover Theological Seminary (founded 1807 and the first graduate theological school in the US; ATS is now part of Andover Newton Theological School, located in Newton). The list of Phillips alumni is impressive and includes both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as Samuel F.B. Morse, Frederick Law Olmstead, Humphrey Bogart, and Jack Lemmon, to name a few. And Harriet Beecher Stowe is buried in the cemetery on the campus.

Andover has a tidy little main street, too that probably is worth exploring. I noticed several eateries and shops that looked interesting as I drove through.

So, again, it's definitely not on the typical tourist track, but it's worth a visit if you are looking for something different.

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