Before Google maps: Six hundred miles of highways
July 15, 2014 1:51 PM Subscribe
The photographs in this set depict roads and highways in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1892 to 1893. The photos accompany the "Report of the Commission to Improve the Highways of the Commonwealth" published in February of 1893.
Until the early 1890s, roadways in Massachusetts were maintained by local authorities. Poor road conditions were seen as an impediment to commerce. Therefore, in 1892, the legislature established a commission to improve the highways in Massachusetts. As part of their report, the commission photographed roads around the state to illustrate their condition.
Many of these locally maintained roads were old stage routes and were improved to create the basis of the state highway system.
- MA State Library
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