One of the major hobbies for the people of Stow is church! And you have several churches to choose from. Here is our oldest and most liberal church, the First Parish Unitarian Church. Back in 1683, the settlers of this area invited a minister to start a church on this spot--only once they had a preacher and a church building could Stow be incorporated as an actual town. This is currently Stow's only "welcoming" church--gay and lesbian folks are openly welcomed.
Provincial tho' it may be, one could argue that the heart of Stow is here, at its library. It's always bustling with chatty locals, and be prepared for the librarians to make comments about the things you take out. Friendliness abounds, but the book selection is sadly meager. Sigh... someday we'll have lots of DVDs too, just like those spoiled punks in Wayland...
My church is the Union Church of Stow, a member of the United Church of Christ. It has been around since 1905, and as you can see from the photos, it hasn't really changed much. The biggest change to its appearance came just a few years ago when a handicapped ramp to the front door was added.
The church has a small but dedicated congregation. They are incredibly friendly folks who are always on the look out for fresh meat to recruit for some committee, Sunday school teaching, or singing in the choir. Our beliefs are very open and liberal, but it is not a "welcoming" church, something that I hope will change in the very near future.
Once upon a time, a trolley connected many of the towns of Greater Boston. But of course today all this convenient public transportation has been replaced by the mighty automobile. All that's left in Stow is the picturesque little trolley stop. It would almost be a pleasant place to sit if it weren't for all the traffic whizzing by.
Stow has several lovely old cemeteries. The Lower Village Cemetery has some of the oldest tombstones, but it's location near the shopping center, stuck between two busy roads, makes it a less than idyllic spot to relax, picnic, or admire the old tombstones.
Apple picking in this rural little town is a great way to get away from stress. People are a whole lot friendlier the further from Boston you go, and the apples are a whole lot yummier tasting when you pick 'em off the tree.
Bring your children on the weekends for the Hayrides and farm animals. Go on week days to avoid children (yes, I'm guilty as charged...).
FROM THEIR WEBSITE:
Shelburne Farm is the oldest Pick Your Own apple orchard in eastern Massachusetts. During the fall the farm invites the public to enjoy lovely New England fall days while picking peaches, pumpkins, and over twenty varieties of apples.The Apple Shop is stocked full of goodies including fresh picked apples, sweet cider, Vermont and Massachusetts cheeses, jams, jellies, and condiments, frozen apple pie and apple crisp, and many other country items. Just for kids - the apple shop now has a complete line of farm toys, including miniature tractors.
Despite Stow's tiny size, we have a quite dignified war memorial in the center of town, listing the names of all who fought and died in America's wars, all the way up to the Gulf War. I suppose more names will be added shortly.
For most Bostonians, Stow is known primarily because of apple picking. Every weekend in the late summer and early fall, the roads are clogged with cars of city folks looking for an idyllic afternoon in one of Stow's picturesque little orchards. Don't get me wrong--they are indeed lovely, and picking apples is a very pleasing activity. Even I like doing it, and I live here. But come on a weekday, or first thing in the morning on the weekend. You don't want crowds of city folk to ruin your peaceful outing.
Honey-Pot is the largest and most popular orchard in Stow. In addition to apple picking, there is a shop that sells various apple products (the cider is very good), and hedge maze, and a petting farm.
The Delaney Project is the knickname given to the Delaney Flood Control and Wildlife Management Area, a refreshing and quiet patch of forested land surrounding a man-made lake near the center of Stow. There's a small parking area just off the road, leading to a small path that then forks out to many more little paths. Serious hikers won't find anything exciting here, but if you just want a pleasant stroll with your kids or a nice place to jog or run around with your dogs, this is a great place. It also welcomes horses and has a few jumping posts set up for intrested riders. If you do come with your dog (and most people do), please pay attention to the large sign by the parking lot that requests dog owners to pick up their dogs' doo-doo. Sadly, most dog owners ignore this, and the main paths can be a bit poopy.
On the west side of Crescent Rd. (it turns into West Acton Rd.), a fairly pleasant residential street, is this lovely old cemetery. Most of the tombstones date from the 19th century, and most are in beautiful condition. It's a lovely and peaceful place for a picnic or just a short stroll to appreciate these charming reminders of Stow's past residents.
I've never golfed, even though my town is riddled with golf courses. The most well known is Stow Acres, and fairly popular country club in a beautiful, woodsy setting. I enjoy going for walks by Stow Acres, and the people seem to enjoy golfing there.
St. Isidore Catholic Church has the largest congregation in Stow--arrive early if you're worried about parking nearby.