February 14, 2010

2. Benjamin Franklin's Milestones in Fairfield

As noted on the previous post, "The Oldest Road..", the post riders forged the first mail route between New York and Boston. Later the stagecoaches carried the mail. Then, when Benjamin Franklin became Post Master in 1753 he marked off each mile from New York to Boston by inventing or modifying a wheel contraption attached to a cart. At each mile, a stone was set and carved noting the number of miles to the next most populated town. Most of the milestones have been lost, but a number still exist.

In Fairfield there had been 5 stones in 1950, today there are only two visible.
This milestone is in front of a house down the street from where I live. Though this is a poor photo, you can see the L and E in the word miles. It reads 22 Miles to NH .(New Haven) Below you can see it enhanced.

The below photo appears in a book when someone painted over the printing, which since has worn away. The L and E match the placement on my photo of the milestone above it. The milestone in the book only looks narrower because of the angle of the photo, but is the same stone.

I managed to save this one from being lost or destroyed forever. It was beneath heavy grasses by the side of the road that had been part of the original Boston Post Road. I asked the Public Works department to do something to protect it from the ravages of the town's grass mowing machines. They did so by what you can see in the photo. Recently they added two large boulders on either side of the stone to further protect it.
This 22 miles to NH milestone is exactly one mile from the above 23 miles to NH marked milestone. You can barely see the two at the top. It should read 22 miles to NH . The second 2 was broken off.

1 comment:

  1. Love all your posts about these fabulous houses