Tickets are now on sale for Union Historical Society’s two Come Spring Bus Tours, which are part of the town’s Founders Day celebrations. The tours depart from the Old Town House on Town House Road at 5:30 p.m. on Friday July 19 and at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday July 20. Tickets are priced at $10.00 and the tour takes place rain or shine.
This popular narrated 2-hour bus tour follows the Georges River Scenic Byway and identifies sites where Union’s early settlers built cabins and lived. The names of the settlers are documented in town records and their lives and stories are recounted by Ben Ames Williams in his 1940 historical novel Come Spring. Included in the tour are dismount stops at five historic sites, of which four are located on private property and are not open to the public at other times. After visiting settlers’ gravesites in the Common Cemetery on Ayer Hill, the tour will stop at the cellar hole of the cabin where Philip Robbins’ large family spent a crowded winter in 1776, and then at the homestead of Robbins’ oldest son David. After a circuit over the blueberry barrens of Clarry Hill, tour participants visit the site of the “Royal Mess”, the bachelor home of Jason Ware, Joel Adams and Matthias Hawes, overlooking the hillside where Adams and his wife Mima Robbins built their home. The fifth stop is at the Ebenezer Alden House on Common Road to see Alden’s barn and his store, which was opened in 1800 and operated for a century by the Alden family.
Come Spring Bus Tour tickets may be purchased at the Robbins House on Union Common, headquarters of Union Historical Society, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, or by calling 785-5444 and leaving a message. The tours usually sell out and advance purchase is recommended.