estate transactions, other than the land grants, we find William Reed purchased a house and land of Zachary Bicknell for V 13s. 4d. in 1636. This purchase was the site formerly owned by the late James H. Clapp on the Central Trail, opposite the northerly termination of what is now Charles Street. Among the prominent residents at that period along the Plymouth and Duxbury Trail from East Weymouth at the junction of the Central Trail around and near King Oak Hill were Zachary Bicknell, Philip Reed, Richard Porter, Thomas Dyer and Stephen French, whose name is found on so many of the early sealed documents, From these different points and connections in the northerly part of the town, the settlements extended southerly, on the Pleasant Street, Central and Bay Trails, the entire length of Weymouth, and also into Abington. Fvidences exist of the settlements on the Central Trail, near the Abington line, between the New Bedford Turnpike and Union Street; also east of Union Street, on the trail leading from the Central to Accord Pond, both now entirely abandoned.
At the time of the establishment of the Second Church in the South Precinct, 1723, it was decided to erect the church on the Central Trail, on the site now occupied by Josiah Martin, Esq., and a cemetery was commenced and connected with it, used for a while, afterwards abandoned. It was afterwards changed to its present site on what is now Columbian Square. It was at this period that the streets which now center near the church or Columbian Square were opened. From a point on the Central Trail, near the house of the late John S. Cobb, Pleasant Street was extended to the church or Columbian Square. AL another point on the Central Trail, about half a mile south of the village, at the sharp curve in Union Street, this trail was turned to center at the church or square, Meeting House Lane (now Columbian Street) and also that portion of Pleasant Street extending from Independence Square to Columbian Square were at this time opened, all centering at the church or square from four different points. On the Bay Trail, which was the most important one in all New England, the settlements and clearances were on a magnitude far surpassing all others; tracts of land of nearly one hundred acres were walled and fenced, and cattle lanes were laid out with substantial walls. The lowlands were ditched, cutting heavy crops of grass, where now can be found cedar of more than a century's growth. One farm alone along this trail had an area of six hundred acres in the early part of the eighteenth century. According to the early sealed documents the price of land along this trail at that period exceeded that of some of the cultivated land of the village at the present time. From this Bay Trail, connection existed with the Braintree ponds, direct from Weymouth Great Pond to Cranberry Pond, and along by the old mill sites now abandoned.' Tradition says, and without any doubt, the last Indian in Weymouth lived and died on this trail. Connection no doubt existed throughout the towns northerly of Weymouth through these old trails.
THE ROADS OF WEYMOUTH
13Y MARTIN E. HAWES
I le %N ho undertakes writing up the history of the roads of a town, especially when the history of these roads covers a period of nearlv or quite three hundred years, and the several roads have in many instances been produced under adverse circurnstaric" with little or no record of their locality, and for generations stood without defined bounds or lines of demarcation, while others of later date have all t lie merit of high art in road building, has no ligh t task. Such was III(, story of Weymouth road-, when the writer began this task on April 30, 1920, with the food hope of producing a complete history of t lie roads of "the town in which we live."
The white man who came here in 1622 and 1623 to make for himself and family a home, found waiting for him hills, vallevs and broad fields of land capable of high cultivation and produciion of immense crops. He found great forests of oak, pine, maple, cechir, birch and other woods adapted to all building and domestic uses. Ile found lakes and ponds from which flowed rivers with water power of no mean capacity only waiting for the water wheels of industry, and above all, he found4bat for which he came, - "freedom to worship God;" but some of the most needed things were not there, viz., the church, the school, and the road.
~%e say roads were not there, and yet well defined on the terrilory from the southern bounds to the ocean line was the basis of :he~ roads of Weymouth, viz., several well-worn ladian trails. The rails showed the difficulty under which they were made. The Indian had no means by which to remove boulders and rocks or to level the hills, and for these reasons he did the next best thing and that was to go around the obstacle. The white man took up these trails, and from them came all the main roads from north to south in the town.
Little by little roads grew, but all the while with no names, and, in many instances, no definite knowledge of where certain roads began or ended. There were even some isolated homes far from any main road on some lane with a sign at its end, "Put up the bars when you go out-" The town began to see the necessity of something more definite in road matters, and in 1837 a committee was appointed to systematize conditions by fixing the limits and naming every road in town.
NAMES OF THE SEVERAL STREETS AND LANES or THE TOWN OF
WEYMOUTH AS ADOPTED MAY 8, 1837
The street leading from the Braintree line, near Ezra Loud's and running by Dr. Timothy Gordon's to the Hingham line, shall be called Commercial Street.
The street now being built leading from Washington Street, near Capt. Elbridg~ Tirrell's, to Commercial Street, near the store of292 THE ROADS OF NVEYMOUTH
Silas Canterbury & Co. (now Jackson Square), shall be called Broad Street (now extends to Commercial Square).
The street leading from the seashore, near Weymouth Great Hill and over Burying Hill to Commercial Street near the foot of King Oak Hill, shall be called North Street.
The street leading from the seashore, near Edward Blanchard's to North Street near James Thomas', shall be called Sea Street.
The street leading from North Street, near the former residence of Samuel Humphrey, now deceased, sliall be called Neck Street (this street now crosses Bridge Street and extends to the sea).
The turnpike leading from Ferry Point bridge to Back River bridge shall be called Bridge Street.
The street leading from the residence of James Lovell, Esq., deceased, by Asa Pratt's, near the North Meeting-House, shall be called Green Street.
The street leading from Stepping Stone bridge to the end shall be called Phillips Street (this street now extends to Sea Street and has been named Pearl Street).
The street leading from North Street by the North MeetingHouse to Commercial Street shall be called Church Street.
The street leading from North Street, near Rev. John C. Phillips' , by Abner Pratt's to Commercial Street, near Samuel Healey" blacksmith shop, shall be called East Street.
The lane leading from Commercial Street, near the residence of Bela Vining, to Fast Street, near Sylvia Loud's, shall be called Loud's Lane (now Union Avenue).
The street leading from East Street to Back River shall be called Wharf Street.
The lane leading from Commercial Street, near Samuel Healey's blacksmith shop, to Broad Street shall be called Drury Lane (now Madison Street).
The street leading from Commercial Street, near Jacob Lovell's, by Capt. Joseph Pratt's to the Hingham line, shall be called High Street.
The street leading from Commercial Street, near Stephen French's on the east side of Herring River bridge, shall be called Water Strcct.
The street lead;n.- f-cm Commercial Street, near the store of Silas Canterbury & Co. Uackson Square), to James Humphrey's and John Dyer's to Main Street, near the store of Capt. James Tirrell, shall be called Pleasaht Street.
The street leading from Commercial Street, Dear EInathan Bates's, by Jacob Tirrell's to Main Street, near Leonard Tirrell's, shall be called Middle Street.
The street leading from Commercial Street, Dear Ancil Pratt's, by John Di?er's to Middle Street, near the residence of Jacob Humphrey, deceased, shall be called Essex Street.
The street leading from Commercial Street, near Josiah White's to the Tide Mill, shall be called Mill Street (later abandoned).The street leading from Commercial Street, near the store of
Tufts & Whittemore on the Queen Ann Turnpike, to the Hingham line shall be called Washington Street.
The street leading from Commercial Street, near the store of Tufts 8: Whittemore, by Zebul(n Nash's to Main Street, near Robert Cushing's, shall be called Front Street.
The street leading from Washington Street, near David Richard's on the New Bedford Turnpike, to the Abington line shall be called Main Street.
The lane leading from Washington Street to Front Street, near tire residence of Dea. Ebenezer Hunt, deceased, shall be called I In nt Street.
The lane leading from Washington Street to Phillip Torrey's ,hall be called Torrey Lane.
Tire street leading from Front Str~et by Zechariah Bates' to the Braintree line shall be called Summer Street.
The street leading from Front Street, near Thomas Nash's to Summer Street near Dea. John Vining's, shall be called West Street.
The street leading from Br1intree line by Benjamin Tirrell's to Randolph Street shall be called Back Street (now Forest Street).
, rhe street leading from Front Street, near Widow Bates' to Axashington Street near Josiah Tirrell's, sliall be called Winter Street.
The street leading from Main Street, near Maj. Samuel Bailey's to Pleasant Street near Josiah Torrey's, shall be called Cross Street (now Park Avenue, and extends to the main entrance of the Fair Grounds).
The street leading from Main Street, near Lieut. Daniel Loud's lo the Abington line by Poole's Tavern, shall be called Pond Street.
The street leading from Pond Street, near Capt. John Vinbon'~ to th 1, Randolph line and by Vinson's Mill, shall be called Randolph Street.
The street leading from Pond Street near David Shaw's to the Abington line shall be called Thicket Street.
The street leading from Main Street, near Daniel Blanchard's to Pleasant Street near the residence of Noah Torrey, Esq., shalt be Called Columbian StreeL 'know extends to the Brain'tree line.).
, rhe street leading from Pleasant Street, near tire residence of Noah Tnrrey, Esq., by the schoolhouse in the Seventh School Disrict, to the Abington line shall be called Union Street.
The street leading from Pleasant Street, near the schoolhouse in lie Siuth School District, by Dea. Hezekiali Stoddard's to the Hingham line near Randall Thayer's, shall be called Pine Street.
, I'he lane leading from Pine Street by Noali Vining's sliall be (Aled Vining Lane (now Oak Street).The lane from Pine Street near Robert Richard's to
The street leading across the southwest corner of the town from the Randolph line to the Abington line shall be called Ann Street. 294 THE ROADS OF WEYmoum
"Good Roads" is a term which can hardly be used in the early history of Weymouth, and as to that matter, there are but few towns of three hundred years ago of which this cannot be said.
Weymouth roads came to the front under many adverse conditions. For many years the town lived under the old school district system, - a svstem which made each district a little monarchy of its own. The district raised money, built its own schoolhouses and hired its own teachers. At its head was the prudential school committee man elected annually. In addition, however, there was elected by the town a so-called high committee which had a general supervision of all the schools in the town.
What was true of schools was also true of roads. The district raised road money and elected a highway surveyor who was personally in charge of the expenditure of this money and a supervisor of all roads in his district. The town at the same time raised money for general repairs of roads and bridges which was expended under the directioi~ of the selectmen. There were difficulties in this arrangement owing to a lack of harmony between the highway surveyors of the different districts, and many were the conflicts between Mr. Selectman and Mr. Surveyor.
This difficulty continued until 1870 when all acts of the Legislature abolishing school districts in towns of over five thousand inhabitants became operative, and there were no longer school districts, neither were there highway districts nor highway surveyors. This was a beginning of a new era in the road history of Weymouth. "Good roads" became the cry of the Nation, the State and every city and town, and Weymouth was not slow in its response.
March meetings and specially called town meetings have appropriated liberally when the call for money for roads has been made, and the half century has seen more than a half million dollars voted for roads, with the result that old crooked roads have been straightened and rebuilt, and new roads have come to the front in all parts of the town to make good the demand for roads for heavy work. The 80 miles of good solid roads which now extend over 11,200 acres of territory are features of our growth, and justify the time and money spent.
From the year 1837, when the town fixed the limit of the several roads and gave them names, up to 1920 nearly every new cad in town was for the dev~lcdwneut of land for local improvement, in the way of building for homes or for industrial purposes.
Weymouth's Great Hill Park is a fine elevation of seven acres of land on the extreme north coast of the town, and is classed as one of the best viewpoints on the New England coast. From the summit of this hill one gets a view of the coastline and islands of the upper harbor, also the North Shore, the islands and lower 'harbor to and beyond Fort Warren and Boston Light, and then far out to the broad Atlantic. Asystern of roads leading to the summit of the hill, trees and shrubbery add to the attractiveness of this grand old spot.
Beals Park at North Weymouth was a donation to the town by the Hon. Elias S. Beals, a prominent citizen of his day. The park has an area of three and one-half acres and is well located in the heart of the village, extends from Sea to Bridge. Streets and is highly appreciated as a rest place and playground.
Webb Park, a tract of about three acres of ]and lying on the N%est side of Webb Street, was a donation to the town by the descendants300 PARKS ANT) PUBLIC SQUARES
of Samuel Webb, who was one of the leading citizens of his time. The people of Weymouth Landing took up the work of its development and have improved the ground to a large extent, making it an attractive place for picnic parties and for games and sports of all sorts, as it is accessible from many points.
Bayley Green is a small plot of land in Columbian Square, where was erected the first meeting-house in South Weymouth, and named after the first minister, Rev. Jame% Bayley.
Bicknell Square is at the intersection of Bridge, Sea and Pearl Streets, North Weymouth.Adams Squar ' e is at the intersection of Church. North and Green
Madison Square is at the intersection of Madison, Commercial and East Streets, East Weymouth.
Jackson Square is at the intersection of Commercial, Broad and Pleasant Streets, East Weymouth.
Commercial Square is at the intersection of Commercial, Broad, School and High Streets, East Weymouth.
Central Square is at the crossing of Broad and Middle Streets, East Weymouth.
Lincoln Square is at the crossing of Washington and Broad Streets, Weymouth Landing.
Washington Square is at the intersection of Washington, Front and Commercial Streets, Weymouth Landing.
Liberty Square is at the intersection of Main, Front, West and Middle Streets, Nash's Corner.
Columbian Square is at the intersection of Columbian, Pleasant and Union Streets, South Weymouth.
Independence Square is at the intersection of Main, Pleasamand Pond Streets, South Weymouth.
Fountain Square is at the intersection of Main and Pond Streets, South Weymouth.At a special town meeting, held May 31, 1922, it was -
Voted: I hat the junction of the following squares be trained as designated in memory of)Aeymoutli boyswho gave up their lives in the serviceof their country in the World War.