Dr. Robert H. Goddard Park.

Goddard Park: Polaris Missile

Field review by the editors.

Auburn, Massachusetts

In 1926 Robert Goddard was considered crazy when he launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket from his Aunt Effie's farm. By 1969, however, the year of Apollo XI and the moon landing, Goddard was a Space Age hero (and long dead). The Auburn Rotary Club felt that the Rocket Man deserved recognition on the landscape, so it built Goddard Park, which opened in 1970. Unable to afford a NASA rocket as a centerpiece, the Club instead settled for a Polaris Missile. Although visually satisfying, the missile is, awkwardly, a solid-fueled rocket.

Dr. Robert H. Goddard Park.

The park is about 1.5 miles southwest of the spot where Goddard's launch actually took place. That spot wasn't available for a park because Aunt Effie's farm had been turned into a golf course (It does have a small monument).

Various embellishments have been added to the park over the years, including benches, a picnic table, and a "true size" replica of the 1926 rocket, which sticks out of a protective open-top plexiglass box. Goddard Park was empty during our visit except for a flock of geese, covering the lawn with their own version of spent fuel.

Goddard Park: Polaris Missile

Address:
51 Auburn St., Auburn, MA
Directions:
I-290 exit 9. Drive east on Auburn St. On the right side, just past the intersection of Southbridge St./Hwy 12, behind the Auburn Fire Department.
Admission:
Free
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Grave of the Smiley Face InventorGrave of the Smiley Face Inventor, Worcester, MA - 2 mi.
First Rocket Launched HereFirst Rocket Launched Here, Auburn, MA - 1 mi.
Deed to God RockDeed to God Rock, Worcester, MA - 4 mi.
In the region:
Edgar Allan Poe Statue, Boston, MA - 41 mi.

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December 15, 2019

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