The Story of our Visit to Sudbury USA: Linda Cartier and John Lindsay
Surreal was the best description of our visit to Sudbury Mass., a town that bears the same name as our city, however, thats about all the two centers have in common. It was a very interesting but somewhat disconcerting experience to be in such a different and unfamiliar setting with the Sudbury place name so much in evidence on public buildings and businesses. It all had a somewhat illusory feel, and we are gland we have some pictures to prove we were really there and that this unique community that shares the name of our city (and that of the origional Sudbury in England) does actually exist.
As our municipality is often described as a city of lakes, Sudbury Mass can be best defined as a town of trees as it is situated in a dense New England forest just 20 minutes outside of Boston. Branches of large trees form a canopy over the old Sudbury road (route 20) as you drive into the centre of town along a two lane highway after leaving the busy (Interstate 90) turnpike.
Sudbury Mass was incorporated in 1639, almost 250 years before the first settlers arrived in our northern Ontario community. It was one of the first pioneer settlements in the new world and is rich in early American history. A famous battle between the early settlers and the native population in the area was a turning point in the Indian Wars. It also sent many of its citizens down the road a short distance to Concord where Sudbury "minute men" answered the call of Paul Revere and fought England in the battle of independence in 1775. Some of its famous residents through the years included Henry Ford, Babe Ruth and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Many of the early historical buildings have been maintained or restored including the town hall and several churches and older residences. In front of one of these pioneer homes we struck up a conversation with 87 year old Clay Allen, a long time Sudbury resident who was engaged in his capacity as town sign enforcement officer. He said Sudbury was changing due to population growth with new housing and new schools to accommodate the more than officially listed approximately 16,000 residents.
The name of the town is on practically every business and public place from the Sudbury Town Hall to the Sudbury Plaza to the Sudbury Wine and Spirits Shop as there is evidently much pride in the name of the town. Many of the homes are situated in old and new subdivision type developments located in the forest area that covers most of the town rather like Muskoka cottage country. In leaving the community we actually got lost traveling along the narrow wooded byways.
Our visit to Sudbury USA was just a side trip following several days of business in Boston. Next time in New England we will take more time to explore this unique community, and invite you to do the same if you have the opportunity and to share your experiences with those of us who make this Sudbury our home. For more information you can go to the American Sudbury website at www.sudbury.org or the British Sudbury website at www.sudburysuffolk.com.
Note: Both Sudbury, Ontario and Sudbury MA were named after Sudbury in England. There is another small Sudbury community in Vermont.