#35 at Boston Post Road and Dean Park
What is called the Old Connecticut Path and the Bay Path were used by John Winthrop the Younger to travel from Boston to Springfield in November 1645, and these form much of the basis for the Upper Post Road.
The colonists first used this trail to deliver the mail using post riders. The first ride to lay out the Upper Post Road started on January 1, 1673. (2)
Between Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts, along the Upper Boston Post Road, there are 40 surviving milestones. In 1971, they were added to the National Register of Historic Places. (1)
#43 at West Main Street near I-290
The Franklin Myth
It is said that the milestones were erected in 1753 by Benjamin Franklin when he was serving as Deputy Postmaster General. He attached a homemade odometer to a wagon wheel to measure the miles of the Post Road. Marking each mile with a stake, workers following behind him erected stone markers to indicate the distance from Boston.
In 1971, a detailed study of the Franklin papers at Yale University failed to reveal any references to the roadside milestones. (3)
< In 2016, milestone #43 was moved from the West Main Street on-ramp of Route 290 East to the Shrewsbury Town Common to protect the marker and give it a home where all could appreciate it.
(1) National Register of Historic Places (National Park Service, 2008)
(2) George L. Clark, A History of Connecticut (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York and London, 1914)
(3) Leonard W. Labaree (editor), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Yale University Press, 1971)