1956 map and street list
I’m sure you’ll notice some oddities. Skilton Lane is a dotted line, not a real road. Chandler Road is a lonely dead-end with no streets near it. There’s no Mall Road. There’s only one South Bedford Street because the Mall Road hadn’t come along to force a re-configuration of that whole area. Fox Hill Elementary didn’t exist, nor did Fox Hill Road or any of its off-shoots, Mountain Road continued to Cambridge Street. And the map shows “Old Road,” a continuation of Peach Orchard from Winn Street to Cambridge Street alongside Memorial School. It’s visible in this 1954 aerial:
And I’m sure you’ll notice some errors. For example, Olean Rd. is identified as Orleans. For further information from the same time frame, here’s a 1957 Burlington telephone directory.
What year was the classic Memorial school built? Old Road appears to have been re-purposed into the driveway that leads up between the St Margaret’s Annex and that old shed/workshop type building, and then has been covered by trees (which kids used as a path going from Keans Rd to Memorial School in the ’90s, as delineated by the “big rock” next to the existing gravel path), and then leads directory to what is now Stone Wall drive. Very fascinating. Too bad you can’t take Stone Wall drive to get to Cambridge Street nowadays.
That aerial image came from this post about Kerrigan Farm (now MSMS):
This is great. Thx for the posting. I noticed that Liberty ave. is marked where College Rd. is and vice versa, which is backwards. Also, UNH has some excellent historic USGS maps posted online which include Burlington in some of the quadrants. You can look at them here: http://docs.unh.edu/towns/BurlingtonMassachusettsMapList.htm
That “Old Road” was still there although starting to get grown in by vegetation in the 70s. There were other trails and dirt roads that connected to it where the office buildings on Corporate Drive are now. As kids on Rita Ave we would explore the area and ruins of an old shack and old junk cars and farm equipment that were dumped there. On one hill with a view of the Boston skyline there was a huge granite boulder the size of a truck. The area at the rock was littered with beer cans and bottles. It must have been the high school partying hangout in the 50s and 60s. That hill and boulder were blasted away for one of the buildings in 1980s. We called it the Saw Mill although I don’t know if a saw mill was ever there or even who owned that land before the developer built the office complex and the Condos.
If you could take a look at the street sign I found on Google (my comment is below) at 80 Cambridge St. I’d appreciate it! DId it have a street sign that said, “Suburban…” at that location?
This is extremely geeky of me, but I’m self-quarantining and bored lol Anyway: Around 6-D on the map, there’s a cul de sac off of Lexington St. The writing is hard to make out, but across the way is Frothingham Road, likely making the street Spruce Hill Road.
Here’s where it gets weird: Nathanial L. Frothingham’s mansion, supposedly built in 1853, is on Theresa Ave., a street off of Shady Lane Drive, which is a street off of Spruce Hill Road. If you look at a modern day map, it’s very difficult (if not, impossible) to imagine how the mansion would fit on a little dead end street without the map making the street at least a little bit crooked (as is shown in Sunset Drive.) Any thoughts on this? Is the map just inaccurate there?
I also found a possible modern landmark of the Old Road. On Google Maps, look up 80 Cambridge St. (it will drop you in the parking lot of what is now a Mercedes dealership. Orient yourself to be where you could actually turn onto Cambridge St.) “Look” to the left. There appears to be a green street sign, that looks very old, that says, “Suburban…” It’s in the correct spot, between Arlington Road and the 128 off-ramp. Unfortunately, the photo was taken in 2013 and, in newer Google images from 2019, the sign is gone.
Since “Old Road” is not an offical road name, maybe it was officially called a Suburban route, with a number?