Project Mass 351: Couple visits every town in MA

Posted: 10/03/12 at 5:35 am EDT      Last Updated: 10/03/12 at 6:39 am EDT

BOSTON (WHDH) -- For 400 years people called the Commonwealth home but who knows all the nooks and crannies of our state? One Massachusetts couple set out to find out.

It started when a North Shore boy met a South Shore girl.

“So we pretend to feud that the South Shore is better or the North Shore is better,” said Gardner.

But Ross Bergen and Lila Gardner wanted an answer.

“What areas have more to do and restaurants and places to see,” said Gardner.

The idea to travel both shores expanded to include the entire state.

“We thought who else has been to all the towns? And how many there were? Most people don't know there are 351 towns,” said Bergen.

Project Mass 351 was born. It took them three weeks to do it, ending in Boston with snapshot number 351.

We took a picture in front of every town hall or police station or fire department and took our time to travel around each down.

They are both between jobs and decided this adventure was the perfect breather.

“It was like a vacation but in our own state,” said Bergen.

After 8 to 10 hours in the car every day, they ended up with a lot of pictures and a lot of memories.

As for the most charming town?

“Erving up in Franklin County. They had a lot of cute antique shops,” said Gardner.

The most surprising town?

“Greenfield, and that was because of the reception we got. We had the president of the chamber of commerce set us up with a bed and breakfast and brought us to the Franklin county fair,” said Bergen.

The most beautiful?

“Nantucket it was really beautiful. Everything was so cute,” said Gardner.

The most interesting, they agreed was the island of Gosnold, located northwest of Martha's Vineyard.

“They have a population of 30 people who live there year-round,” said Bergen.

How about their favorite town?

“I loved Newburyport and Rockport and Gloucester,” said Ross.

As for the battle between North Shore and South Shore?

Lily said, “South Shore always wins.”

So, the couple did not figure out the original problem - but the one thing they did figure out is how to describe Massachusetts in just three words.

“They have everything!” said Lily.

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