- David Ginisi
So you made the trip from near or far, landing smack in the middle of North Central Massachusetts. You’re in Johnny Appleseed Country.
But where’s Johnny?
Of course, John Chapman — who gained legendary status as a sower of seeds and planter of apple orchards — has faded into history. Born in Leominster in 1774, Johnny spent his youth here before heading west as the fledgling nation expanded. But his hometown still honors him in many ways. Drive around the city, and you’ll see a host of parks, schools and streets bearing Johnny’s name.
Want to meet this legend, up close and personal? A youthful version of Johnny has been welcoming travelers to the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 for years. Stop by for a selfie!
And there’s more! An oversized statue, carved from wood, stands proudly in City Hall, on West Street in downtown Leominster, and a brand-new bigger-than-life bust, carved by a chainsaw artist last summer, now graces the remodeled Visitor Center, providing yet another photo op for visitors. And throughout the year, you’re likely
to run into Johnny —
in the form of a local re-enactor — who is known to stop by fairs and festivals, chatting with visitors and sharing the story of Leominster’s hometown legend.
Want to learn more about Johnny?
The Visitor Center on Route 2 Westbound in Lancaster has a number of books about his life and times, geared to all ages! §