The first steps – October 04 2006
Made it over North Adams’ Infamous Hairpin Curve
Greetings from Route 2…
See? There really is a Florida, Massachusetts
On the open road…
Horses grazing near Charlemont
Stove Black Richardson, Proprietor of Good Time Stove Company on Route 112 in Goshen. His shop is chock full of stoves from the 1800’s, now repaired and shiny and just like new. There are only three or four other people in Massachusetts who can do what he does. Above, he is standing next to a photo from when he first opened the business in 1973. Below is a photo of him and his daughter, Sara. Sara is now 29 and is taking up the trade.
Unfortunately, this photo does no justice to his impressive showroom..
I met Bernie on the North Hampton Rail Trail. He saw me carrying my pack and asked if I was joining the Army. We began to talk, and he mentioned that he had been in the Army himself. I pointed out he was wearing a Navy T-shirt. “My son is an officer in the Navy,” he said. So do you have to salute him? I joked. “He’s a Commander in the Navy, I made it to Private First Class in the Army. I figure we’re about even.”
One of the more interesting mailboxes I’ve walked by…
Detail from a headstone in Ware, Mass.
The Kenwood Diner in Spencer. This is in the style of an old converted railroad car.
An Old Post Road marker. In 1672, King Charles the Second ruled that a system of roads be built to link the cities and colonies together to facilitate mail and communication. One hundred years later, the first postmaster of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, came upon the idea of laying markers at one mile intervals along the routes. Mail could then be metered and charged according how many miles it was going away from its destination. There were several post roads; some fell into disuse, but many became the roads we use today, like Route 9. The marker pictured above could be one of the original mile markers from about 1770. There are still a few stones around; the Brookfields have a few; the one above is from Spencer, and probably the most famous is located in Harvard Square in Cambridge.
There’s also a story that General Henry Knox once had to carry sixty cannon from Fort Ticonderoga in New York, along what would become Route 9, to help the forces in Boston. Those cannons are heavy, though. I think he might have had help.
The West Brookfield Historical Commission has a good webpage on Route 9 and the Old Post Road.