Spectators gather to watch near-total eclipse at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge

Avery French of Rindge, left, Adelaide Brown of Fitzwilliam, Emmett French of Rindge, Carson Desmarais of Rindge, Elaina Desmarais of Rindge and Asher French of Rindge view the eclipse from the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge.

Avery French of Rindge, left, Adelaide Brown of Fitzwilliam, Emmett French of Rindge, Carson Desmarais of Rindge, Elaina Desmarais of Rindge and Asher French of Rindge view the eclipse from the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Michael and Charmaine Hartman of Fitchburg found a good spot in the Cathedral of the Pines parking area to view the eclipse.

Michael and Charmaine Hartman of Fitchburg found a good spot in the Cathedral of the Pines parking area to view the eclipse. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Kaliegh Driscoll and Nick Murach of Winchendon, Mass., view the solar eclipse from the back of their car at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge.

Kaliegh Driscoll and Nick Murach of Winchendon, Mass., view the solar eclipse from the back of their car at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Spectators view the near-total solar eclipse from the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge.

Spectators view the near-total solar eclipse from the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Riya Virostko of Townsend, Mass., and Malani Nunez of Westminster get a good view from the hood of a car.

Riya Virostko of Townsend, Mass., and Malani Nunez of Westminster get a good view from the hood of a car. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Riya Virostko, Mehdi Virostko and Malani Nunez are ready for eclipse viewing with their eclipse glasses.

Riya Virostko, Mehdi Virostko and Malani Nunez are ready for eclipse viewing with their eclipse glasses. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Emilia Amoling of Sterling, Mass., views the eclipse.

Emilia Amoling of Sterling, Mass., views the eclipse. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Fred Williams of Bristol, R.I., takes photos of the eclipse, using a dark filter.

Fred Williams of Bristol, R.I., takes photos of the eclipse, using a dark filter. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Emilia and Henry Amoling of Sterling, Mass., watch the eclipse reach near-totality.

Emilia and Henry Amoling of Sterling, Mass., watch the eclipse reach near-totality. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 04-11-2024 8:33 AM

Joseph Clayton of Leominster, Mass., was one of many from out of state who traveled to Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge on Monday to see the solar eclipse closer to totality.

“What we saw was the grace of God,” said Clayton. “It makes you feel pretty small compared to what we saw.”

Cathedral of the Pines hosted an array of visitors for the eclipse, which for the southern half of the state neared about 95% totality. While the state has seen eclipses with less coverage before, it has not been in the path to experience a total eclipse since 1959, and won’t again until 2079, making this a once-in-a-lifetime chance for many who gathered to watch the event and the three-minute window of the height of the eclipse for the area.

Joseph Clayton’s wife, Gail Clayton, said they chose to watch the eclipse at Cathedral of the Pines both for the lovely views on the grounds and the prospect of being with a community of people also enthusiastic about the rare sight.

“This is the place to do it,” she said. “We could have been outside in our driveway and seeing probably much the same thing, but this was the place to be.”

Joseph added, “You’re not alone. I think everyone came out to see what the big hubbub was about.”

Ramona Branch of Dublin said she was touched by sharing the experience of watching the eclipse with so many other people.

“This is my first one,” Branch said. “And I’m in awe of it, I really am, the fact that there’s millions and millions of people, doing the same thing on our continent at the same time is very exciting to me.”

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Peterborough voters approve a $11.7 million bond to fund a new Fire and Rescue Station
Resident, officials get into dispute
ConVal’s Kimberly Rizzo Saunders named Superintendent of the Year
New look at Gregg Lake
BUSINESS: Christine Eber opens The 603 Nail Salon in Jaffrey
Former librarian, Jaffrey native, Cynthia Hamilton passes at 92

Branch said her nephew drove from Idaho to St. Louis and then to Arkansas, following the eclipse path with his telescope.

“He made that much effort to be there and to see it. And here I am, I live in Dublin, so I just drove seven miles,” she said with a laugh. “But it’s a beautiful experience to see people drawn together like this. This is the day, and people have rearranged their work schedule and going to school schedule to be here.”

Mike and Terri Langlios, who drove from Templeton, Mass., to see the eclipse, said that the sight was “beautiful.” Mike Langlios said he recalls watching an eclipse from his parents’ porch when he was much younger, but his wife has never experienced an eclipse so close to totality, so they decided to make a special trip to get a good view.

“It’s beautiful. It’s amazing,” Terri Langlios said.

Marcus Washington and Liz Kuper made the trip up from Leominster, Mass., on a motorcycle to get a good view.

“I’ve seen eclipses before, but nothing quite like this, where it gets so dark,” Washington said, shortly after watching the peak of the eclipse. “It was awesome. It was mind-blowing. It still is.”

Kuper added that they had noticed the light and temperature change as the moon covered the sun, even as they were driving to the Cathedral, before the eclipse reached its peak.

“We couldn’t believe how much cooler it got, so quick. It’s amazing how much we rely on the sun and the heat that comes from it,” she said.

Ashley Saari can reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.