Mountain road more like a foot path

Thursday November 15, 2012

Bernard Drew’s op-ed column on the Ashley Falls bridge (Eagle, November 10) quotes from a note written by David Costello, engineer for the Department of Public Works. Mr. Costello wrote that the road over Hoosac Mountain was completed in 1765, but that is a misleading statement. This "road" was little more than a foot path from Charle mont to Adams.

In 1764 Samuel Rice petitioned the General Court and said "that there is a very Great Necessity of a Highway being laid out Up Hoosuck Mountain to accommodate the Public for it is very Dangerous passing the road that is Traveld at Present, Several Creatures have lost their lives." The General Court granted 175 pounds "to any Person that shall compleat a wagon road across Hoosuck Mountain from the Town of Adams to the Town of Charlemont."

But nothing much was done and soldiers in the Revolution still had to go over the mountain on foot. In 1793 the Court of Sessions appointed Colonel Benjamin Simonds and four others a committee "to view the ground for said Road, and to lay out the same if they judge fit & best."




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