The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is pleased to announce the completion of the project to preserve and stabilize the historic milestone markers along the Old Upper Boston Post Road in the state. These Colonial-Era artifacts are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and records indicate that the earliest markers were installed in Boston, Brighton and Brookline in 1729. Several markers were installed along the Upper Boston Post Road under the authority of a 1767 Massachusetts Council order. Others were installed by private citizens or local governments.

“We are pleased that this important project to preserve our state’s history has been completed,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “These markers tell an important story of how people traveled centuries ago, of the routes that were valuable for commerce and the kinds of navigational tools our ancestors relied on before automobiles were in anyone’s imagination.”

“MassDOT’s Environmental Services Division is pleased with Daedalus, Inc.’s diligent conservation work to restore the Upper Boston Post Road milestone markers,” said MassDOT’s Historic Resource Specialist Mary Hafferty. “This complex project began in 2011, when Milestone Marker #6 in Brighton was damaged by a truck. Shortly afterwards, MassDOT began to explore the possibility of conserving all the known milestone markers in need of repair along the historic roadway corridor. It has been a very rewarding experience working with the conservator, municipalities, historical commissions/societies and private citizens throughout the Commonwealth to complete this project.”

In early 2014, MassDOT engaged Daedalus Inc., a sculpture and monuments conservation firm based in Watertown, to survey, clean and repair the historic milestone markers. Of the total 40 markers listed in the National Register in 1971, Daedalus Inc. identified 29 as needing preservation or stabilization work. Work began in 2015 and was completed in May of 2018. Daedalus Inc.’s scope of work included reversing inappropriate repairs to deter spalling, removing organic matter and spray paint, filling cracks caused by moisture infiltration, resetting markers in foundations, removing vegetation to ensure proper drainage and relocating markers which had been moved away from original locations. All of the preservation project work followed guidelines outlined in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Preservation.

The 29 milestone markers preserved as part of this project are located in the following communities: Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Leicester, Spencer, East Brookfield, Brookfield, West Brookfield, and Warren.

The project was funded by MassDOT and the total project cost to rehabilitate the 29 markers was $116,600.

Here is a list of each National Register-listed milestone marker along the Upper Boston Post Road and its location, text and material if known.  Each of these markers was preserved and/or stabilized unless otherwise noted.

These photos depict before (left) and after (right) preservation of Milestone Marker #54. Before the Milestone Marker was in storage at the Leicester Public Library. It was then relocated onto the Leicester Town Common/Washburn Square. [Submitted photo]

The Parting Stone is located at the intersection of Roxbury Street/Center Street in Boston. This granite stone has an unusual three-sided configuration. The primary elevation is carved with the inscription “The Parting Stone 1744 P Dudley”, and the secondary sides are carved with the inscriptions “Cambridge Watertown” and “Dedham & Rhode Island”.

  • Milestone Marker #4 is located on Huntington Avenue in Boston. This Roxbury puddingstone marker is carved with the inscription “Boston 4 Miles 1729 PD”.
  • Milestone Marker #5 is located on Harvard Street in Brookline. This granite marker is carved with the inscription “Boston 5 Miles 1729 PD”.
  • Milestone Marker #6 is located on Harvard Avenue in Brighton. This slate marker is carved with the inscription “Boston 6 Miles 1729 PD”. This milestone marker was repaired in 2012 and subsequent reinforcement repairs were completed in 2015.
  • Milestone Marker #7 is located on North Harvard Street in Brighton. This marker is comprised of an undetermined type of rock, and it is carved with the inscription “Boston 7 Miles 1729 PD”.  Marker #7 was removed from its concrete encasement as part of the preservation work.
  • Milestone Marker #8 is located in the Old Burial Ground in Harvard Square, Cambridge. This granite marker is carved with the inscriptions “Boston 8 Miles 1734 AI” on the front and “Cambridge New Bridge 2 ¼ Miles 1794” on the back.
  • Milestone Marker #33 is located on East Main Street in Northborough. This granite marker is carved with the inscription “33 Miles to Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #35 is located at Dean Park on Main Street in Shrewsbury. This granite marker is inscribed with “Boston 35 Springfield 65 Albany 165”.
  • Milestone Marker #43 is located on Main Street at the I-290 ramp in Shrewsbury. This granite marker is carved with the inscription “43 Mile to Boston”. Marker #43 has been moved to a more accessible location on the Shrewsbury Town Common adjacent to Main Street.
  • Milestone Marker #47 is located on Lincoln Street in Worcester. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “47 Miles from Boston 50 Springfield”.
  • Milestone Marker #48 was formerly located at the Worcester Historical Society, but, as part of the project, has been reset at Wheaton Square Park on Salisbury Street in Worcester. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “48 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #53 is located on Main Street in Leicester. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “63 Mile from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #54 was formerly located inside the Leicester Public Library, but has been relocated to Washburn Square in Leicester, which is within the vicinity of its original site. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “54 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #56 is located on Main Street in Leicester. The brownstone marker is heavily eroded, so its carved inscription “56 Mile from Boston” is no longer legible.
  • Milestone Marker #57 is located on Main Street in Spencer on the Spencer Country Inn’s property. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “57 Mile from Boston”. This brownstone marker is in good condition, so no work was necessary.
  • Milestone Marker #58 is located on Main Street in Spencer. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “58 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #59 is located on Main Street in Spencer in front of the Spencer’s Shoppers Village. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “59 Mile from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #60 is located near Saint Mary’s Cemetery on Main Street in Spencer. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “60 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #61 is located on West Main Street in Spencer. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “61 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #62 is located on East Main Street in East Brookfield. The brownstone marker has been completely re-carved by others, so no work is necessary.
  • Milestone Marker #63 is located on North Brookfield Road in East Brookfield. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “Miles from Boston 63”.
  • Milestone Marker #64 is located along East Main Street in Brookfield. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “64 Miles to Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #65 is located along East Main Street in Brookfield. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “Miles from Boston 65”.
  • Milestone Marker #66 is located near the Old 1714 Burial Ground in Brookfield. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “66 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #67 is located near the intersection of Forest Hill Road/George Allen Road in West Brookfield. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “67 Miles from Boston to Springfield”.
  • Milestone Marker #68 was repaired at Daedalus’ studio and reset on the West Brookfield Town Common. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “68 Miles from Boston to Springfield”.
  • Milestone Marker #69 is located on West Main Street in West Brookfield. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “69 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #70 is located near the intersection of Main Street/Patrick Street in Warren. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “70 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #71 is located on Washington Street in Warren. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “71 Mile from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #72 is located on Winthrop Terrace in Warren. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “72 Mile from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #73 is located along Baypath Road in Warren. This brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “73 Miles from Boston & 24 to Springfield”.
  • Milestone Marker #74 is located on Reed Street in Warren. The brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “74 Miles from Boston”.
  • Milestone Marker #99 is currently located inside the Springfield Armory Museum in Springfield. The brownstone marker is carved with the inscription “__ Miles from Boston”.