About Borderland



In 1906, Oakes Ames, a Harvard botanist, and his artist wife, Blanche, began purchasing land on the border of Sharon and Easton, creating an estate which they later named “Borderland.”

Oakes and Blanche began building a three-story, 22,212-square foot stone mansion on the property in 1910. The home, completed in 1912, still stands today, and its 20 large rooms are furnished much as they were when the Ameses lived there, with many of Blanche’s paintings gracing the walls. A small former guest house also stands on the eastern shore of Lower Leach Pond.


Two years after the passing of Blanche in 1969, the Commonwealth of Mass. acquired the estate and opened it as a state park. It is now operated by the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). For a more detailed history, please visit DCR’s Borderland website.


Recent History

The Borderland Historic District was placed on
the National Register of Historic Places by the US Department of the Interior in 1997.

In 2009, DCR began a major interior and exterior restoration of the mansion, beginning with repointing the masonry and fixing the leaky roof. In 2010, DCR began restoring the interior of the mansion, repainting and refreshing many rooms. In September 2011, at a celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the completion of the home, DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr announced the department was committing up to $500,000 to complete the years-long restoration project.


In recent years, Borderland’s scenery and mansion have served as backdrops for a number of movies and television series. Most recently, many scenes from 2010’s “Shutter Island,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Williams, were filmed at The Lodge on Lower Leach Pond.

*Some information for this section came from DCR’s Borderland page.


General Information

Borderland encompasses more than 1,780 acres and plays host to a variety of outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, disc golf, and fishing. Visit DCR’s Borderland website for more information.

Click here for a DCR trail map of Borderland State Park.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

There is a $2 per car daily parking fee for all parking lots. This fee is payable at the machine at the entrance of the main parking lot on Massapoag Avenue. Annual parking passes to all Mass. state parks are also available for purchase.

Dogs must be leashed while at Borderland State Park. The only area of the park where dogs may be let off-leash is in the fields immediately surrounding the Smith Farm House, located approximately 1.5 miles east of the Ames Mansion.

Friends of Borderland

Board of Directors



Norma Urban

Vice President

Robert Bendt


Jeanette Mitchell


Beth Roll Smith

Tour Guide Director

Thomas Williams


Mark Kozol

Park Supervisor

Ellenor Simmons

Director Emeritus

Oakes Ames Plimpton

Lisa Clarke

Linda Grenon

Joe Harris

James Howarth

Andrea Miller

Linda Tracey-Clifton



Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

Blue Star Museums

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© 2012 by Friends of Borderland, Inc. • 257 Massapoag Avenue • North Easton, MA 02356 • 508-238-6566

Questions and comments may be sent to info@friendsofborderland.org.