Milestones & Guideposts
of Massachusetts and Southeastern New Hampshire
By Mary Gage and James Gage
Across Massachusetts, roadsides are dotted with small stone markers giving the mileage to major cities. These ancient road signs called milestones aided travelers during the 1700’s and 1800’s as our road signs today do with their mileage and destination information. Although, these old milestones no longer serve a useful purpose in our modern age of highways, they continue to fascinate us. This fascination has led to the preservation by local communities of at least 129 milestones in Massachusetts and a number of milestones in New Hampshire.
Milestones were for the most part commissioned by private citizens and made by local or itinerant stone carvers. With the exception of the turnpike milestones, no two milestones are alike. There are differences in the type of stone chosen, the wording, and the lettering styles of individual carvers. These differences give the milestones personality and character. This sense of character is one of the endearing aspects of these humble road signs that continues to draw us to them.
Although some of the milestones like those around Boston and those along the famous Upper Post Road are well known, many are not. The authors have spent a number of years combing through old books and newspapers and traveling through the state in search of these local historical treasures. This book draws together all of their research in an effort to provide a comprehensive inventory of Massachusetts milestones. In addition, it includes milestones the authors have found in their travels through southeastern New Hampshire.
Trade paperback 170 pp. 200 illustrations 8.5 x 11 inches
Jabberwocky Bookstore, 50 Water St. Tannery Marketplace, Newburyport, MA