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Janice A. Brown,
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Motorcycle Hill Climb, Auburn Massachusetts, October 1935
This entry was posted in History and tagged Auburn, biker, hill climb, Massachusetts, motorcycle, race, Webster. Bookmark the permalink.
i live in auburn love the history i want to.gimd it and climb it now!
Thank you Josh. The Auburn MA Historical society recently put out a book that includes this and other photographs, though they entirely messed up and credited the photo with the wrong name. My father Berwin Webster took this and many others over a course of several years in the 1930s and 40s in New England.
Do you know where in Auburn this was?
Michelle, no sorry I don’t know where in Auburn MA it took place. My dad carefully marked all of his photographs, with the place and date so I know this is Auburn MA. The photograph was taken almost 20 years before I was born so I have no personal knowledge of the location and my father died several years ago.
Just behind the Auburn Driving Range which is situated at the junction of Southbridge St. ( Rt.12 ) and Water St.. The hill is still there and carved out from all of the events that took place there. It is also way steeper than it appears in the photos !
I grew up on Water St. in Auburn in the 60’s and 70’s. We played in those woods (back in an earlier time when parents could feel comfortable letting their children run off and play in the woods!). We called it Motorcycle Hill and had heard that they used to run motorcycles up it. And yes, it is much, much steeper than it appears in the photos.
I remember one winter after a snowstorm followed by an ice storm … the snow was covered by a thick crust of ice, so thick we could walk on it. We took it as a challenge to climb that steep ice glazed hill. We had to chop holes in the ice cover for footings and made our way to the top of that hill, one step, one hole at a time. When we reached the top we felt like we had just conquered Mount Everest!
In the warmer weather we would make our way to the other side of the hill, in front of the driving range, to look for stray golf balls. We would play an exciting cat and mouse game with the older teenage boys that worked at the driving range as they tried to catch the little scoundrels stealing golf balls in the woods.
At the base of Motorcycle Hill there was a small stream running through the woods with a large concrete structure. We called it the Old Mill. I sometimes wonder if it’s still there, or if it has been overtaken by suburban sprawl.
Thank you Janice for posting those pictures! It brings back such wonderful memories of a place and time that seems so far away. I’ve never commented on a blog before but when I saw that photo I couldn’t resist. And thanks also for the tip on the book from the Auburn Historical Society. I will definitely look into that.
If anyone out there has some information on the Old Mill structure I would love to hear about it.
Steven, thanks for reading and leaving a comment. My Dad was a motorcycle stunt rider back in the 1930s, just locally and he attended many of those early rallies and took photographs. The Auburn Historical Society book has the wrong name attributing the photographs, which just means I won’t be helping them again with any photos of mine they might wish to use, but the ones of the auburn motorcycle rallies all came from me, taken by my Dad.
Good morning. I own a small salvage shop on the Auburn / Leicester town line in what was once a business called Hillside Tallow then ultimately Venditti Construction. I’ve been collecting photos of town residents’ automobiles over the last few years. I would be humbled to have one or a few of motorcycles as well. If you’d be willing to entertain this endeavor , I’d love to hear from you. My email is JUNQR@HOTMAIL.COM . Thanks, Anthony Brooks
i just came from the site at the foot of water street and there it was. i currently race motorcycle hillclimbs withe the quaboag riders and the new england hillclimbers. it was cool to see it would be even cooler to resurect it and race it
Yes it would walter!! Jack toomey
My uncle raced there in the 30s and 40s. Frank Kobel. Champion hillclimber for Sheldon’s hd.