By Mackenzie Kegans, Reporter
Massachusetts natives are no stranger to being surrounded by rich history, and are always coming up with new ways to appreciate the space around them. The town of Princeton and it’s community members are celebrating their own history with a 250th anniversary scavenger hunt over the summer.
The event titled “Then and Now – Can You Find It?” ran its course over the past month and featured eight locations and cryptic clues to find them. The locations can be found scattered all over Princeton, but no exact directions are given besides coordinates.
Even though the scavenger hunt started this year, some Princeton residents may remember a different 250th anniversary celebration in 2009.
The reason for this can be found hidden in plain sight on the town’s flag. While Princeton – then called Prince Town – was declared a district in 1759, the town was not officially part of the commonwealth until 1771, hence the reason for two celebrations. One anniversary to celebrate the founding of Princeton, and another to commemorate the incorporation of the town into Massachusetts.
Princeton resident Zoë Landolt is participating in the scavenger hunt. She’s lived in Princeton for most of her life.
“I didn’t know there were so many places with this much history,” she said. “It’s a great way for the town to come together.”
Reaching the locations varies in difficulty. Some can be found while driving through the center of town, while others require hiking deeper into the heavily wooded surrounding areas.
One of the most well-known historical landmarks in Princeton is one of the hardest locations to find on the game card. While the location is popular it’s not so easy to reach, and can be found after walking briefly on a marked trail. The area represents an important moment in history for the town.
During the King Philip’s War in 1676 Mary Rowlandson was released from her captor back to her husband (a minister in Lancaster) atop a tall granite ledge. Without giving away any spoilers, this ledge was later given an official name and is owned by the Trustees of Reservations and open to public exploration.
The scavenger hunt event started July 1, and will continue running throughout the summer. Any interested participants can pick up a game card at the Princeton library or download it on the Princeton Historical Society website.
The Historical Society hopes to run this event annually and add eight new locations every year. They hope that by the summer of 2023 there will be 24 total locations, which will allow for experienced participants to find new locations, and for new players to find both new and old places.