Formerly known as "Creepy-chusetts, Strange-chusetts".

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wright's Tower, Medford

It's the tower on top of the hill looking down Medford part of I-93. Each time I was on I-93 North around exit 33 -- often stuck in traffic jam with Boston honkers -- I always thought how great it would be looking down us the earth crawlers.

Wright's Tower is named after Elizur Wright. A successful businessman in the field of life insurance, he advocated for establishing the Middlesex Fells Reservation in the late 19th century. This 2,575 acres of woodland spans 5 cities. The tower is on the south end of the park, sitting on top of the 243 ft (74m) high Pine Hill.

Before the woodland became the reservation, the area was an active commercial resource. It used to provide timber, gravel, and ice even exported to India. Such trail names as Query Road and Silver Mine Path tell the history of the Fells.

I found little tricky to get to the reservation, but oh boy, it was worth while going there. The late spring finally came, and the pond was filled with life: turtles, snakes (some would cringe with the idea but just a garden snake), Mimicry Ducks, and a pair of geese with fluffy offspring.

While I was taking picture of chicks, kids found out why I wasn't moving even a bit. Holding a camera, they were trying so hard to control the excitement in order to get as close as possible to the birds. I was also quietly surprised how such a lovely place existed along I-93.

I forgot why I went to the Fells...The tower!

You should always follow others; why did I take a rough, rocky trail on the right?

It should only take five minutes to get to the tower, but I somehow ended up wandering in the woods by choosing a rough, rocky trail leads to nowhere; the morale of the story is you should always follow the beaten path. But if I followed the maxim, this blog would not exist (a desperate justification.)

The tower's gate was locked. From outside, it looked more like a fortress; you peek from the slits to shoot arrows and throw god knows what.

I have seen this style of stone cladding before; piling up the dug up stone. The benefit of the style is that not only workers don't need to carry the stone for a distance to ditch somewhere but also they can decorate structures a la Massachusetts. This practical architectural style was popular among on-top-of-the-hill structures built by the Works Progress Administration. Wright's Tower is no exception; as a part of job creation during the Great Depression, the tower was built during the 30's by the WPA. It's 3rd* of the kind I have seen in the state.

It was right after 5 clock, I-93 was clogged with cars just got out from work. Muwahahahaha, it's so great to observe traffic jam!! I finally joined the club looking down you earth crawlers!!

Probably I was the only one with the evil laughter. Everyone on top of the hill was laid back, enjoying the spring that finally came. It occurred to me that this spot would be great during the leaf peeping season, too.

Locate Wright's Tower @ Google Map

Click picture to enlarge

History, Friends of the Fells:
Map, Friends of the Fells (PDF):


  1. Excellent, we're due for a trip to the Fells and will remember to find the tower. Your gosling pictures are really cute!

  2. Hi, Matthew.

    You must go! It's so pretty right now.

    There's another tower in the Fells called Bear Tower. I'm planning to visit there soon because it sounds like my kind of tower...not so popular.

  3. The Bear Tower is a nice easy hike and always open. I'm planning a visit to Wrights Tower soon and must say that I'm disappointed to hear that it is locked up. The Bear Tower is a bit run down, but the view from up top is amazing and you can't see 93 from there.

  4. Hi Kristin,

    It is only my guess, but the closure could be seasonal.

    Keep fingers crossed!

  5. what's so creepy-chusetts about my favorite place? :P

  6. I go up there often and the door has never been unlocked, bring bolt cutters or a grappling hook and rope! :)

  7. Hello Anon,

    Extreme tower climbing!

  8. >>what's so creepy-chusetts about my favorite place? :P

    More like the strange-chusetts direction, I'd say. Why? Those WPA towers are lovingly unusual!

  9. If you go towards I 93 there's a hole in the fence where you can sit on the cliff there is nothing but air between you and 93

  10. When I was in High School in the late 90's, the tower was open. I haven't been back since, but figured it was a matter of time, everything else interesting like this ends up getting locked up because of vandals.

    1. Hi Spelfie,

      A few vandals trashed the opportunity for thousands of people! If the WPA workers back in the time learned about this, they would be totally disappointed...