By John Anderson
As part of Auburn’s recent acceptance into the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, a ranger walk will be held at 6:30pm tonight starting at the Hebrew Cemetery off of Stafford St. in Worcester. Ken Ethier, Auburn’s unofficial Official Historian, will lead the walk down to the location of the old stone crusher close to the railroad tracks.
The stone crusher was used in the early 1900’s to make ballast for the railroad lines in the area. Ballast sits under and between the railroad ties to stabilize the roadbed and prevent the rails from moving. This machine crushed large rocks to make the much smaller ballast, and it ceased operation in 1927.
A photograph of the stone crusher can be seen on page 123 of The Auburn Historical Society’s book “Images of American AUBURN” which is available at the Historical Museum on South St.
The rail line in this area was built by the Great Western Railroad in 1839 and was also used by the Worcester Street Railway. Currently, the line is owned by CSX and also hosts AMTRAK trains.
If you are interested in this walk, meet at the parking lot at the end of Havana Rd. which is the second left after Ludlow St. while climbing Dead Horse Hill. Cuba St. is the first left.
To be comfortable on this walk, drinking water, sturdy boots or shoes, insect repellant, and a flashlight are recommended.