Recently re-opened after extensive renovations, Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site (located a bit off the beaten track in a residential area north of Boston, Massachusetts) provides a trip back in time to the 17th and 18th centuries when the site was used for producing iron.
A small museum–with a video about the site and exhibits explaining the history of iron-making and other industry in the area–sits near the park’s entrance. A short stroll behind the visitor’s center and museum takes visitors to the main area of the site–a handful of reconstructed buildings clustered around–and with a lovely view of–the Saugus River.
The buildings include an iron forge, blast furnace, and several mills. The equipment in the buildings is all functional (make sure to have the park ranger on duty turn on the water wheels if they’re not running already), making it easy to imagine what the site would have been like in its 17th century heyday.
—Laura Connors, NPCA
If You Go
As with several other sites in the Boston area, Saugus is closed in the winter, so make sure to check season opening and closing dates before planning a visit.