Wachusett Dam & Reservoir


The Big Roads

I had occasion to deliver this lecture recently at a local library. As it was well received I decided to post the slides just as I delivered them.

                                                  The Big Roads 

There were State highways, county roads, town roads, private roads… all the way down to cow paths. It all depended on who paid to build and maintain them, an important distinction as we shall soon see.

Local roads were usually contained within a given town whereas the county roads connected adjacent town centers and the (numbered) state highways ran for miles through whole counties connecting large population centers.

The Wachusett Reservoir would submerge about 17 miles of local roads, and disrupt traffic and commerce.

Provision had to be made to keep the towns connected, without interruption, and the cost of replacing the roads had to be contained within the project.

We shall see how this gigantic puzzle was unraveled and how the highways we see today, Routes 70, 110 and 140 north and south, came into being.

Locals might scratch their heads over how to get around without them.     



The Modern Roads

1895 Roads

Boylston Road

Metropolitan Road

Shrewsbury Road

Beaman Street

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