GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2006-03 > 1143071770
Subject: History of Harvard, Mass. 1643-1732 by Henry S. Nourse, 1894 p.39 - p.42
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 18:56:10 EST
The History of Harvard, Massachusetts, 1643-1732, by Henry S. Nourse,
1894. - W. J. Coulter, Printer.
p.40 History of Harvard.
In 1715 Lancaster was "under presentment for want of a Grammer School,"
which is proof that its families then numbered one hundred, at least;
the law of 1647 requiring every town possessing one hundred householders
to establish a grammar school, the master of which should be competent
to fit youth for entrance to Harvard University.
After 1715 the more frequent proprietary action respecting roadways
denotes a rapid increase in population.
The records of roads laid out during the next ten years
in the neighborhood of Bare Hill, Harvard, possess historic interest but the
of the the descriptions and the frequent subsequent
alterations, deprive them of much value for comparison with the loca-
tions of today. The earlier ways were for the husbandmen's convenient
access to the great meadows, or led from village to village; when the
meeting-house was built most of the highways converged to that as a
April ye 8, 1717.
2 Samuell Warner put in a proposission to ye Town requesting them
to Grant a hiway to Pin Hill medow: the Town thereupon made choyce
of Jonas Houghton Sr., David Whetcomb & Jacob Houghton to be a
committee to view ye same & make report to ye Town at their next
April ye 22nd 1717.
4 Ye Town Voted that no land be laid out from Pin hill medow to
Barchill Road without an allowance in it for a hiway of foure rods
Lancaster February the 3, 1717/18. Att the stated meeting for
4. The town in answer to the propozition of Samuell Carter then made
choyce of John Houghton, Esq., John Wilder Sr. & Jabez ffairbank to
be a committy to stake the hieway through Plumtrees entervail as neer
where it was first layed out, as they can, by the best information they
Lancaster - February the1st 1719/20. Att a meeting of the proprieters
first made choyce of Jabaz ffairbank for a Moderator and then in the
first place granted a hiway to Brook Medow & the medows adjasent in
answer to the propozition of Joshua Atherton & Joseph Hutchins to wit:
Pin hill and to a medow of Aaron Willard and a medow called pollopod
and down the west side of Brook medow till it come to the land of John
Willard also then made choyce of Capt. Wilder, Josiah White and Joseph
Wilder to be a committy to lay it out three rods in width and make
report to the propriete.
3 They received and exsepted the return of a hiway att ye Bare hill
medows of a committy to witt: John Wilder, Jonas Houghton & Jacob
p.41 Early Highways.
Houghton which was as followeth: Lancaster May the 15th 1719, we John
Wilder, Jonas Houghton & Jacob Houghton, being chosen 2 committy to lay
out ye wayes from ye Randevo tree to the medows down that Brook as also
up the Brook to John Sawyers and from thence to ye medows att ye North
East Corner of the Town as it is now staked out and marked. Wee have
accordingly done ye saem: and for what land we have taken from John
Sawyer att his house place for ye benefit of said hiway we have
allowed to him two acres of land on the west side ye Brook below
his house provided he leave room for a conveniant hiway between said
land and the hill on the west side of the same.
The following report records the laying out anew of the Lancaster and
Groton highway from Stow Leg southerly through the Still River farms.
Although it was the thoroughfare between the two towns, it was but a
bridle-way made passable for carts and its generous breadth of five
rods was given to afford ample room for a choice of paths, as well
as to reserve material for improvement and repairs:
"They exsepted the returnes of severall hywaies of the Committys
appointed to vew and lay them out - to wit - of the Country rode to
Groton brought in by Capt. Wilder, Josiah White and Joseph Wilder as
followeth - February ye 9, 1721/22. Then prossed on said service first
began at ye north line of Lancaster township and marked a small white oak
tree and from thence to a white oak neer ye Corner of Seth Walkers land
from thence to a sump by the side of said Walkers fence from thence to
ye corner of Walkers northernmost lott from thence to ye corner of
Samuell Rogers' land & so along upon ye head of that lott to ye corner of
ye land of Henry Willard to a chestnut tree from thence to a red oak neer
ye brow of ye hill and so to a walnut in the rising of ye Hill and from
thence to a black oak at ye bottom of said hill from thence to a rock
against Henry Willards barn and so bareing ye breth of five rods throug
betwixt ye walls of Josiah Willard as marked out and so along upon ye heds
of the lots of Hezakiah and Joseph Willard bearing ye bredth of
five rods to ye east from their fences as they now stand till it comes
to ye corner of Joseph Willards lott from thence made an angle running
to a small white oak bush standing in Joseph Willards hedge from thence
to a whie oak tree from that to a heep of stones upon Hezakiah Willards
land makeing an angle running across the lott of Jonathan Willard from
a heep of stones to a small black oak - from thence to ye corner of
Capt. Willards wall, said way lying five rods wide to the eastward or
so west of all ye aforesaid marks & so through betwix ye wall of Capt.
Samuel Willard and John Willard bareing ye same width to ye south east
corner of Capt. Willard's wall & then with a straight line to a small
p.42 History of Harvard.
marked at a rock where ye former committy left, marking the way lying to
the south east of sd line and also marked a road from sd road down the
north side of Jonathan Willard's lott to ye head of ye lott of Joseph
Atherton of three rods wide - said return was excepted by a vote
exsepting at Capt. Willards at his request it was allowed to go down
near his house, he promising to leave the hiway there by considerable
then five rods.
Joseph Wilder, Clerk.
The highway next described starts from the Lancaster and Groton road near
East, Warren Houghton's and in a devious way runs to the Boston road in the
northeast corner of Bolton and most of the distance in that town:
3 A hiway petitioned for by Capt. Willard - a Report thereof was made
by Hooker Osgood, Ebenezer Wilder and Jonathan Houghton who informed the
propriety that they judged the said way should go by David Whetcombs &
so in to the bay road & that it should leave Groaten road at ye south
side of Joseph Hutchinses lott and to run along by ye sd Hutchinses
lott till it came over ye brook at Round medow - Joseph Hutchins also
appeered and offered ye Propriety to give so much land as would be nes-
essary for ye hiway in that place according to ye report of ye committy;
but at ye request of Thomas Houghton, the way was granted by his door & was
to lye south of his house so far as that ye north side of ye way
should be three rods from his door and said way was exsepted and
confirmed to be three rods wide exsept where it passes through ye
land of Jacob & Henry Houghton and there to be but two rods - said
committy reports that they began to marke at ye land of Thomas Houghton
and ran through it by his house sixty seven rods & a half and through
Ephraim Houghtons land sixty four rods & through Edward Houghtons land
100 rods and through James Athertons land fourty six rods and through
Jacob Houghton & Benjamin Athertons land ninety eigh rods and then it
ran upon common land till it crosses the road that passes to Barehill.
February ye 25th we began at Barehill road and went through ye land of Jacob
Houghton seventy rods and through ye land of Henry Houghton by his
house eighty two rods and then we ran in common till we come to the land
of Hezakiah Whitcomb's in his land we ran one hundred and twelve rods
through the land of David Whitcomb's twenty eight rods and then we ran
in common land and in land of David Whitcomb & ye heirs of John Whitcomb
deceased, in which there was allowance made for a hiway in ye laying out of
said land: and then we ran through a small corner of ye land of
Nathaniel Hapgood in to ye Bay road, then we began at the Bay road neer
Joseph Sawyers and marked a higway a cross to ye afore sd road and it
comes in to ye above said road abought 18 rods from David Whitcomb's
barn and ye said David Whetcomb is satisfied for ye damage it doth
to him if he may have the old road which was formerly layd out behind
his field all wich was confirmed by a vote. Said report was signed
Hooker Osgood - Ebenezer Wilder and Jonathan Houghton.
Entered upon Record by Joseph Wilder, Clerk.
To be continued - p. 43
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth