By Kate Merrill

WALTHAM – (CBS) – The keys to the past are quietly nestled inside a 50-acre estate in Waltham.

Gore Place was built as a summer home in 1806 for just $24,000. And as soon as you enter, you meet the family. And if you haven’t heard of them, you haven’t been paying attention to Massachusetts history.

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“The Gores were influential people in their day. He was the seventh governor of Massachusetts. He was a U.S. Senator, the first U.S. Attorney for the Commonwealth,” Gore Place director Thom Roach told WBZ-TV.

But in an historically rich state like this, even the influential can be over shadowed.

Roach said there is a lot to learn here, even for the most experienced history buffs, from exploring the details of the time period to the architecture of the mansion, where ceilings are more than 17 feet high.

Inside is a real trip back in time – in the bedrooms, the billiard room, even the hidden closet under the stairs where there’s a toilet.

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But it’s the 50 acres surrounding the home and how they use it that really makes this spot stand out.

If you’re looking for a remote spot to snowshoe this is your place and they even offer the rentals. Lots to offer and still do, during a pandemic and it’s a secret they would love to get out.

“Its long been called a hidden gem and I know the Board of Governors want people to know about Gore Place,” Roach said.

The indoor tours are on hold, but the grounds are open to the public dawn to dusk and the stargazing programs are proving to be the most popular on the weekends. They also offer a farm stand, sheep, and outdoor tents for events in the spring.

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Kate Merrill