Stone Structures of Northeastern United States Logo (c) 2008 Historic Structures Link Native American Structures Link Stone Quarrying Link
Milestones & Guideposts of Massachusetts & New Hampshire


Handbook of Stone Structures

Land of a Thousand Cairns

Root Cellars in America

Stones of Dogtown & Beyond

America’s Stonehenge Deciphered

Guide to America’s Stonehenge

America’s Stonehenge DVD

Stories Carved in Stone

The Art of Splitting Stone

Guide to New England Stone Structures

Milestones & Guideposts

Milestones & Guideposts
of Massachusetts and Southeastern New Hampshire

By Mary Gage and James Gage

Across Massachusetts, roadsides are dotted with small stone markers giving the mileage to major cities. These ancient road signs called milestones aided travelers during the 1700’s and 1800’s as our road signs today do with their mileage and destination information.  Although, these old milestones no longer serve a useful purpose in our modern age of highways, they continue to fascinate us.  This fascination has led to the preservation by local communities of at least 129 milestones in Massachusetts and a number of milestones in New Hampshire.

Milestones were for the most part commissioned by private citizens and made by local or itinerant stone carvers. With the exception of the turnpike milestones, no two milestones are alike. There are differences in the type of stone chosen, the wording, and the lettering styles of individual carvers. These differences give the milestones personality and character. This sense of character is one of the endearing aspects of these humble road signs that continues to draw us to them.

Although some of the milestones like those around Boston and those along the famous Upper Post Road are well known, many are not. The authors have spent a number of years combing through old books and newspapers and traveling through the state in search of these local historical treasures. This book draws together all of their research in an effort to provide a comprehensive inventory of Massachusetts milestones. In addition, it includes milestones the authors have found in their travels through southeastern New Hampshire.

Trade paperback 170 pp. 200 illustrations 8.5 x 11 inches
ISBN 978-09816141-7-5

Available from: (Publisher)
Jabberwocky Bookstore, 50 Water St. Tannery Marketplace, Newburyport, MA


1. The Origin of Milestones
2. The Origins of New England’s Milestones
  1707 Boston, Massachusetts – First and Second Milestones
  1708 Newbury, Massachusetts – Third Milestone
3. Milestones of the Great Eastern Road & the North Shore of Massachusetts
  Brief History of the Great Eastern Road
  1708 – 1710 Era
  1735 Era
  Other Great Eastern Road Milestones
  Another Road to Portsmouth
  Miscellaneous North Shore Milestone
4. The Boston Stone
5. Boston and the South Shore Milestones
  Paul Dudley Milestones 1729 – 1735, 1744
    The Road to Cambridge (Lined with Dudley Milestones)
    The Road to Dedham / Providence, RI (Lined with Dudley Milestones)
    Parting Stone – 1744
  Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  Upper Road (Upper Way) to Milton Bridge & Dorchester Lower Mills
  Lower Road (Lower Way) to Milton Bridge & Dorchester Lower Mills
  Milton Bridge / Dorchester Lower Mills
  Road to Quincy Meeting House through Milton & Quincy, and South to Braintree 1722 - 1730
  1920 Pilgrim Tercentenary Milestones
  Road from Plymouth to Cape Cod
  Miscellaneous Milestones
  Road to Taunton 1776
6. Post Roads
  The Benjamin Franklin Milestone Story
  Lower Post Road
  Middle Road – Dedham to Hartford
  Upper Post Road – Watertown to Shrewsbury
  Upper Post Road – Worcester to Palmer
  Upper Post Road – Wilbraham, Springfield & Longmeadow
  Milestones on the West Side of the Connecticut River
  Three Roads Split off of the Upper Post Road
    Wayland-Framingham-Southborough Road
    Road to Norwich and New-London by Way of Worcester
    Road to North Hampton
  Miscellaneous Milestone
7. The Bay Path, Connecticut Path and the Bay Roads of Massachusetts
  The Bay Path
  Bay Roads
  Old Connecticut Path
8. Northwest of Boston
9. Turnpike Era
10. New Hampshire Milestones
11. Guideposts
  Massachusetts Guideposts
  New Hampshire Guideposts
Appendix I – Master List of Surviving Milestones
Appendix II – Biographical Information on the Men Who Commissioned the Easton MA Milestones
Photograph Credits


Copyright (c) 2005-2007, James E. Gage & Mary E. Gage. All Rights Reserved.