Charlemont — Highways

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      At the meeting of the proprietors, Jan. 17, 1753, Deacon Israel Houghton, Capt. Jonathan White, and Joseph Wilder, Jr., were appointed to lay out highways and other roads in the north part of the township, and Othniel Taylor, Gershom Hawks, and Aaron Rice were to perform a like service in the south part of the township. The same year Capt. Moses Rice was allowed "to work six pounds, thirteen shillings, and eight pence of his first year's tax, on the land belonging to him and his sons, in making convenient ways to the mills that his son Aaron hath built and engaged to build for the highway he hath marked into the centre of the town."
      In June, 1754, the proprietors voted that Othniel Taylor and Jonathan White "lay out and mend the way up to the meeting-house, and to mend the public road in said town."

      "Voted to accept the town road, from the county road by the river up to ye meeting-house frame, as near the way that is now marked as may be with convenience, and that those that work at said way shall have twenty shillings, old tenor, a day, they working ten hours a day, which shall be accounted a day's work."

      It will be seen from the above vote that what is yet the principal highway—the river road—was located before that early period. In regard to what was called the town road it was voted, in 1763, "to discontinue the road laid out from the river so far as Col. White's house, and order it laid out east and west from said White's house to the county road, as near where it is now trod as may be with convenience."
      In September, 1763, the following bill was rendered:

      "The Proprietors of Charley Mount, Dr. To two days' work in June at the highways in Charleymount, and then in August, 1763, 13s. 4d.                                                       "Timothy Thayer."

      In 1769 "it was agreed and voted to accept the roads laid out by the Selectmen from Deacon Gershom Hawks', upon the line between him and Deacon Aaron Rice, to the foot of the hill, and then, as it is marked, to Mrs. Rice's; and another, as it is marked, from Sylvanus Rice to William Hartwell; and another, front Richard Dana, Esq., and the public lot north of the meeting-house, from the old town road to the west end of the lot, and then as it is marked by the selectmen through the lots belonging to Joseph Wilder and Joseph Butler to Caleb Thayer, through Nathaniel Corbett's lot to Champion Crocker's.
      "Voted that the road from the house of the late David White to the house of Asaph White be five rods wide." £30 were raised for the support of these roads.

      The town has a bridge across the Deerfield, near Zoar, one at Charlemount village, and an interest in a bridge near the Shelburne line, whose support has been a heavy burden, as they have been frequently injured or destroyed by floods. In 1878 the town contained twenty road districts, and the amount appropriated for highways was $1600.
      The Troy and Greenfield Railroad traverses the town on the south side of the Deerfield to a point east of Zoar, when it crosses the stream and passes along on the north side into the town of Rowe, near the Hoosac Tunnel. The company has provided convenient stations at Zoar and Charlemont villages.

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This page was last updated on
15 Jul 2005