East of the village of Ipswich, out on Crane Neck, is the property known as Castle Hill and the Crane Estate.
Before you get there you pass Russell Orchards.
Blue sky and foliage coloring up. Now that's how I had pictured this trip!
I just love seeing pumpkins in October.
This place is buzzing with activity on October weekends, but we had it almost to ourselves.
Inside, the fragrance of fresh fried cider doughnuts filled the air.
The orchards here produce many types of apples.
Some are pressed into cider using this very mechanized process.
We came away with a few goodies to enjoy later, and then we were off to Crane Beach.
It's a long sandy beach, the kind we see on the Pacific coast, but that are much more rare on the North Atlantic coastline. This beach would be very crowded on a warm summer day.
And up there on Castle Hill is the mansion that belonged to Richard Crane, who purchased the property in 1910 as a gentleman's farm. Before that it had been farmed by settlers since 1627, when it was claimed by John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who of course took it from the Agawam Nation of Native Americans.
The house was not open on Mondays, but we preferred strolling the grounds anyway. The landscape is an Olmstead design. There are views out to the sea.
The long walk.
Not all of the hardscapes have been maintained, but the sunken Italian garden was lovely.
More iris in bloom!
Then look what we discovered below the mansion, hidden from view from above down the Long Walk. This is called the Casino, which in Italian means the guest house.
From the drive up Steep Hill, we found the end of the Long Walk and the view out over the sea.
Tom loves trees, and especially the cones and nuts they drop.
He filled his pocket with acorns.
Before we left for our next destination we enjoyed a little tailgate snack courtesy of Russell Orchards.