Photographs: Marilyn & Garry Armstrong and The Blackstone Valley
Today I ordered “Milestones & Guideposts of Massachusetts and Southeastern New Hampshire.” I know I’m an eclectic reader, but sometimes I’m so eclectic I surprise even me. The worst part of my passion for odd yet historic books is they are expensive. There are no bargains on the only book ever written on this subject. The pictures are all black and white — and not very sharp. You can’t get it for Kindle, either. Not that it would make much sense as an e-book.
No, this is one you need to hold in your hand as you walk through a strange alley in Boston or the edge of a woods in the Valley.
Still, I couldn’t help myself. New England was one of the first places on the continent infested with Europeans. Being of a practical turn of mind, instead of building new roads, they followed Native American trails and set up milestones and guideposts to point the way to the first couple of “cities” in the area: Boston and its harbor (aka “the Bay”) and Springfield.
Once you passed through Springfield, you were in the wilds of Connecticut … or whatever it was called back then. After you got to Boston or the Bay, you stopped … or got on a sailing ship.
I’m hoping to track down some of these spots. There are quite a few milestones nearby. I know there is one in Uxbridge — I found it quite by accident one day while getting lost. I never found it again. There is another in Mendon and a bunch various parts of Worcester County and of course, Boston. Some of these are now alongside major roads.
The Native American paths originally marked eventually became roads and later, highways. Some are in an alley in Boston. Others are hidden in a woods or in someone’s yard. Not all are mapped. For all I know, there might be one buried in our woods.
On days like this, I muse on what the history of this area would be had Europeans not invaded it in the 1500s. If, instead of conquest, societies had melded and produced a decent world for all of us.
It’s a forlorn hope, I know, but it didn’t have to be this way.
October has been too warm and rain for the first couple of weeks, wet and windy since then. We had some pretty colors yesterday and today, but for the end of October, there’s a lot of green on the trees.
It has been pretty, but we never really hit our stride. Nonetheless, we did take a lot of pictures of the Mumford in Uxbridge and the Blackstone everywhere.
About The Changing Seasons
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.
If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:
The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):
1 – Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
2 – Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them
The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):
1 – Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
2 – Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.
If you do a ping-back to Su-Leslie’s post, she will update it to include your links.