Shelburne — Early Roads
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
Among the earliest roads laid out was one from Greenfield bounds to the east road leading to Coleraine, in 1769; in the same year also one from Daniel Nims' farm to Coleraine bounds. In 1771 one from Charlemont road, on Dragon Hill, to the meeting-house, one from Ebenezer Bardwell's to the county road, and one from Charlemont road southwest to Daniel Belding's farm. In 1772 one from John Hawks' to the meeting-house, one from Josiah Severance's to the meeting-house, and one from the Bernardston line south. Other early roads were one from Conway line, by Lieut. Foster's house, across the Deerfield River to Charlemont road, "east of Lieut. Pool's saw-mill;" one from the log meeting-house to a road leading across Moses Smith's lot; one from the Charlemont road to John Eaton's (or Heaton's) lot, and then to Deerfield River; one from Charlemont road, on Dragon Hill, by Isaac Forster's and Dr. Long's, to the road leading from John Boyd's to the meeting-house; and one from the meeting-house by John Anderson's and Elijah Severance's to a road leading from Mr. Fisk's to the Charlemont road.
In 1779 it was proposed to bridge the Deerfield River between Shelburne and Conway, and the General Court was petitioned to grant a lottery, by which money for the bridge was to be raised. Newton Ransom and Thos. Drury were to be paid £200 for building two-thirds of the bridge, and they were to be paid in wheat, at 4s. a bushel.
This plan for securing a bridge proved a failure, but in 1789 it was tried again, and successfully, according to indications in the town records. Long before this there was a footbridge at the falls, thrown across by Jonathan Wood, the builder of the first mill at that point, for the accommodation of his patrons.
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08 Jul 2005