Boston Rambles

Boston Rambles

A Rambler Walks and Talks About the Hub of the Universe

Posts filed under History

Westwood, Massachusetts. Mile 14: Shunpiking Ye Waye Through Ye Swamp (WTPR #15)

“Great commotion about the course of the turnpike thro’ Dedham. Many dread it as bad as a standing army, to spunge them of money.” Fisher Ames Diary, May 19, 1802. “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”) ***** This is entry… (read more)

Dedham, Massachusetts. Mile 11: Fellow Travelers (WTPR#13)

“When we had Ridd about an how’r, wee come into a thick swamp, wch. by Reason of a great fogg, very much startled mee, it being now very Dark.” Sarah Kemble Knight from the Journal of Madam Knight. October 2, 1704. *** This is entry #13 from my previous project, Walking the Post Road. I… (read more)

Waltham, Massachusetts: Across The Plains

Upper Boston Post Road Entry #3 (UBPR#3) “Sudbury Road, now Main Street, early laid out as a principal thoroughfare to the western settlements, extended through the comparatively uninhabited plain, important only as a means of communication to distant regions. The fact that the territory was unsettled doubtless accounts for its generous width and straight direction…”… (read more)

Dedham, Massachusetts. Mile 10: Trials and Tribulations (WTPR#12)

“He told me that this place was the most sharping country ever I was in and that this little piddling trick was only the beginning of it and nothing to what I should experience if I stayed there but some weeks.”1Dr. Alexander Hamilton, Gentleman’s Progress: The Itinerarium of Dr. Alexander Hamilton, 1744. edited with an… (read more)

Waltham, Massachusetts: Stuck at the Border or, Pilgrim’s Lack of Progress!

Upper Boston Post Road Entry #2 (UBPR #2) “You will go through the counties of Suffolk and Worcester, taking a sketch of the country as you pass; It is not expected you should make out regular plans and surveys, but mark out the roads and distances from town to town, and also the situation and… (read more)

Mile 0, Boston, Massachusetts: The Origin of the Post Road (WTPR#2)

“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people upon us.” John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity *** This is the second entry from my previous project, Walking the Post Road. I have been slowly transferring the entries over to this project for a… (read more)

Milestone 5, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts: The Art of Walking (WTPR #1)

“I have met but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of walking…” Henry David Thoreau, Walking *** This is the very first of the entries from my previous project, Walking the Post Road, which I have been slowly transferring over to this project for a number of… (read more)

Watertown: Circling The Square.

Upper Boston Post Road Entry #1 (UBPR #1) “Main Street through Weston, Waltham, and Watertown to Mill Bridge over the Charles River was the Ancient Post Road, originally called the County Road, and later the Sudbury Road.” Stephen Jenkins, The Old Boston Post Road, (1913), p. 371. *** Watertown Square is less a square and… (read more)

West Roxbury: The Arc of the Moral Universe (WTPR#11)

“ I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.” Theodore… (read more)

Jamaica Plain & Roslindale: Steeple Chase (WTPR#10)

“In answer to the petition it was clearly voted…that the petitioners together with all such as dwell on the south side of the afores’d line who are willing to joyne with them, and do embody so as to maintain an able learned Orthodox minister amongst them, shall be freed from any charge to the minister… (read more)