If you know the origin of a Burlington street name, your wisdom is appreciated. Some are obvious topographical references and aren’t worth pursuing (Rocky Hill etc.) And some have obvious historical roots (Winn). It’s the myriad other names that need clarification (Winona, Van Norden etc.). Please email the information to BurlingtonRetro@gmail.com.
Alma Rd — Alma Bird, president of the town’s American Legion Auxiliary organization in the 1950s and 60s. Her husband was Benjamin Bird. This was one the first streets built with an organized house numbering system that we take for granted now. The first nine fully-numbered streets: Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.
Amherst Rd — Part of a college-themed neighborhood including Dartmouth, Princeton and University.
Angela Cir — Angela Ruping, daughter of developer Hubert Ruping and current Locust Street resident.
Ardmore Ave — Became a public way in 1940.
Arlington Rd — The entire high school driveway was Arlington Road before the high school existed. Turning back the clock even more, it was actually a section of Cambridge Street. But that section was too curvy, so the state highway department created the straighter section we know today, leaving Arlington Road as a separate roadway. In sum, it’s called Arlington Road because it was once a section of the main road to Arlington (and Cambridge).
Arthur Woods Ave
Barbara Cir — Daughter of builder Joe Roberto.
Barnum Rd — David Barnum owned a mill building on Mill Street not far from the current Barnum Road, just a short walk behind Fox Hill Elementary School.
Baron Park Ln
Bassett Ave — James N. and Dorothy E. Bassett owned property in the area before Route 128 arrived.
Beacon St — Was originally a driveway to Crawford Farm (now Beacon Village) and ended there. More here.
Belmont Rd — Frank and Joanne Riccardi at 5 Belmont Rd. were the first homeowners on the street. They hailed from Belmont, MA.
Bennett Ln — The Bennett family traces back to the first days of Burlington and claimed big chunks of town, including Bennett Hill (Center Street). Alas, the name survives only in the form of this tiny road.
Benson Way — Arthur E. Benson, the property owner until his death in 1998.
Blanchard Rd — David Blanchard built a house there for his bride, but the marriage never happened. Before 1900, this was informally known as Babylon Road.
Bradford Rd — This was one the first streets built with an organized house numbering system that we take for granted now. The first nine fully-numbered streets: Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.
Brown Ave — Roger and Melissa Brown of Lexington Street. Their driveway is now Brown Ave. and their (renovated) house is now 3 Brown Ave.
Burlington Mall Rd — Opened November, 1968 as a single-purpose shortcut from Cambridge St. to the three-month-old Burlington Mall.
Burton Rd — Burton Blake, who built 5 and 9 Peach Orchard Road and lived in both houses at different times. He drew up the plans for Burton Road, and his brothers built the houses.
Butters Ln — James Butters lived nearby in a large house at the corner of Cambridge Street and what is now Terry Ave.
Cambridge St — Road to Cambridge. Older residents still call it State Road or even the “state highway.” It was indeed considered the highway before Route 128 arrived in the early 1950s.
Carol Ave — Carol Murray, part of the Murray family of developers.
Carter Rd — James, Jonas, Joshua, Samuel and William Carter were among the first residents of Burlington when it incorporated in 1799. The area was originally known as Carter Row. Another Carter, Benjamin, owned a house near the other end of Wilmington Road. He sold it to the Busteads, who used it as home base for their dairy business. More here.
Chandler Rd — Clyde Roy Chandler and Doris (Perkins) Chandler raised a family in what is now 7 Ellery Lane, when Ellery Lane was merely their unpaved driveway from Chandler Rd. Three Chandler family members were Burlington school teachers in the late 1920s: Madeline, Marguerite and Madeline. The family sold to J. Ellery French. The French family later subdivided the area into today’s Ellery Lane and RedCoat Lane.
Cheryl Ave — Part of a neighborhood originally dubbed “Sherwood Forest” by its developer. A nearby road is named Robin Hood Lane.
Church Ln — Leads to the United Church of Christ near Simonds Park. That church represented a split from a larger Woburn parish and marked the beginning of Burlington itself.
Corbett Dr — Builder and firefighter Tom Corbett.
Corcoran Rd — Francis A. Corcoran, homebuilder. He built homes on Garrity Road and Crowley Road also.
Cormier Rd — Aurele Cormier, developer.
Cranberry Ln — Borders the Vine Brook wetlands, which used to be a cranberry bog.
Crawford Rd — Before Route 128 arrived, Crawford Farm stretched from what is now Beacon Village to the area of Winnmere containing Crawford Rd. More here. This was one the first streets built with an organized house numbering system that we take for granted now. The first nine fully-numbered streets: Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.
Crowley Road — Margaret Theresa Crowley Corcoran, wife of builder Francis A. Corcoran, who built many homes on Corcoran, Garrity and Crowley.
Daniel Dr — Son of developer Jon Graham, a prolific builder along the Middlesex Turnpike area.
Dartmouth Rd — Part of a college-themed neighborhood including Amherst, Princeton and University.
Davida Rd — Daughter of Burlington developer Jack Moss.
Dearborn Rd — Charles Dearborn, an active figure in town, lived near the common, just downhill from the fire station.
Demone Dr — Developed by the Demone brothers (concrete forms business).
Druid Hill Ave
Edwards Rd — Edward Terrio, son of Paul Terrio, who owned Burlington Motor Mart and lived in the house that is now the VFW Post, when the house was located on Cambridge Street.
Ellery Ln — J. Ellery French, 7 Ellery Lane, a journeyman printer with his own shop near the house. The house is still there.
Fairfax St — Became a public way in 1940.
Florence Rd — Florence Sylvester, daughter of Antonio Sylvester, who had a gas station at the corner of Winn Street and Mountain Road. Frances Road is named after her sister. This was one the first streets built with an organized house numbering system that we take for granted now. The first nine fully-numbered streets: Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.
Forbes Ave — Douglas P. Forbes, civil engineer and planning board member in the late 1950s. His company was Northeastern Engineering Associates.
Foster Rd — This was one the first streets built with an organized house numbering system that we take for granted now. The first nine fully-numbered streets: Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.
Four Acre Dr
Fox Hill Rd
Frances Rd — Frances Sylvester, daughter of Antonio Sylvester, who owned a gas station at the corner of Mountain Road and Winn Street. The family is also the namesake of Sylvester Road and Florence Road. This was one the first streets built with an organized house numbering system that we take for granted now. The first nine fully-numbered streets: Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.
Francis Wyman Rd — John and Francis Wyman were brothers whose land grant covered a thousand acres and extended into Billerica. This back in the 1600s, when the name Burlington didn’t exist. It was merely the Shawshin area of Woburn, and Woburn was merely one section of Charlestown Village.
Fred St — Fred Graham, part of the Graham family that farmed the area before it became residential.
Ganley Dr — Bertha Ganley, matriarch of the Ganley family. More here.
Gardner Way — Alfred and Mary Gardner, farmers. The area became Pine Glen Elementary School and the surrounding subdivisions including Cutting Lane.
Garrity Rd — Bridgett Delia Garrity Corcoran, mother of builder Francis A. Corcoran, who was responsible for many homes on Garrity, Corcoran and Crowley.
Gedick Rd — Paul Donald Gedick and family, who settled in the area. He founded Gedick Brothers Plumbing and Heating, which is now run by his sons, Don and Paul.
Given Dr — Bob Given, a Wyman Street farmer in the early 1900s. His son Ron runs Burlington Landscaping at 21 Wyman Street. Late 1940s neighborhood aerial shot here.
Great Meadow Rd — The home to three imposing communication towers once used by ULAW (Lowell) and now WRKO (Boston). Part of this wetland was a cranberry bog before 1900.
Great Pines Ave
Harvard Ave — Named after Harvard University because the developer, local attorney Jack Moss, was educated there. Across Wilmington Road, he named Moss Street after himself and Jonathan Road after his son.
Haven Terr — A small street, but a big name. The junction of Francis Wyman Road and Bedford Street was the nucleus of a busy area called Havenville. In the early 1800s it had a shoe shop called Pancake of Shoddy Shop, run by Charles Haven. A century later, Jonas Clark Haven had a store there, one of only two stores in the entire town at the turn of the 20th century. The other was on Center Street.
Heritage Way — Used to be part of Ray Avenue until it was dead-ended near the Ice Palace to prevent shortcuts to Burlington Street. Neighbors chose the new name due to the American bicentennial spirit at the time.
Hidden Valley Dr
High Pine Ave
Independence Dr — Originally called Arlington Road Extension due to its proximity to Arlington Road. This caused confusion among mail carriers and emergency services. It was renamed Independence Drive during America’s bicentennial celebration, when lots of streets received patriotic names.
Indian Hill Rd
Irene St — Randomly named by Donald Gedick, who built many of the area’s homes.
Jessica Dr — Jessica Murray, part of the extended Murray family of developers.
Jonathan Rd — Jonathan Moss, son of local attorney Jack Moss, who developed the area. Nearby Moss St. is named for him.
Julia Connors Dr — Mother of 10, and the town’s first school nurse. Retired in 1962. Pic here.
Kelly Farm Way
Laurel Hill Ln
Lido Ave — Lido Construction built that neighborhood.
Lincoln Knoll Ln — Lincoln Brogi had a farm near the junction of South Bedford Street and Cambridge Street. He also ran a knickknack store from his barn. More here.
Littles Brook Ct
Lowell St — It used to join Winn Street and head toward Lowell. But then Route 128 arrived and forced it to dead-end in an awkward corner. Before 1900, Lowell Street was informally known as Swamp Road.
Lt. Litchfield Way — Raymond Litchfield, a prisoner of war in WWII and then a Burlington police lieutenant. The 1944 BHS yearbook dedicated a page to him while he was a prisoner of war.
Luther Rd — This was one the first streets built with an organized house numbering system that we take for granted now. The first nine fully-numbered streets: Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.
Makechnie Rd — Ernst Makechnie, music teacher and blueberry farmer. More here.
Manning St — William Manning and descendants, including George E. Manning.
Maple Ridge Dr
Margaret St — Named after St. Margaret Parish when the church was located at the fork of Center and Winn Streets. It moved into its new and improved building near Route 128 in 1958. More here.
Marjorie Rd — Randomly named by Donald Gedick, who built many of the area’s homes.
Marrett Rd — When Burlington was part of Woburn, Rev. John Marrett created the Second Precinct church on Lexington Street near Simonds Park. That church represented a split from the Woburn parish and, ultimately, a split from Woburn itself. Burlington became a separate town in 1799 largely due to Rev. Marrett’s efforts.
Marvin Field — Ernie Marvin and the Marvin Bros. baseball team, one of Burlington’s original little league teams. More here.
Maud Graham Cir — Burlington town clerk from 1935 to 1969.
Maureen Dr — Maureen Murray-Wall, daughter of Thomas Murray, B&T Construction.
Mayflower Ave — Became a public way in 1940.
McCafferty Way — William McCafferty had a large pig and vegetable farm running from Locust Street, behind Cabral’s Farm (now Sparhawk Drive), all the way to the Mill Pond Reservoir. One of his descendants was Edward McCafferty, the town’s police chief in the 1970s.
McCarthy Dr — John H. McCarthy, pig farmer.
McIntire Dr — The McIntires owned many sections of early Burlington.
McNamara Way — The McNamara family owned a chunk of land near the peak of Mountain Road, before Mountain Road was dead-ended. The commercial part became Wall Street.
Michelle Dr — Michelle Graham, part of the Graham family that farmed that section of town before it became a neighborhood.
Middlesex Turnpike — The term “turnpike” implies a toll road, and it was indeed a toll road from 1811 to 1840. The nearest tollbooth to Burlington was just over the Lexington border. The road competed with north/south rail lines and the Middlesex Canal — and lost the battle. People weren’t eager to pay the Turnpike toll.
Middlesex Turnpike Extension
Mildred Rd — The wife of builder Joe Roberto.
Mill St — Led to several mills including one at the end of Sawmill Road in Burlington. More here.
Moss St — Jack Moss, local attorney, who developed the area. His namesake street connects to Jonathan Road, named after his son. Across Wilmington Road is Harvard Street, named after Harvard University because Jack was educated there.
Mountain View Way
Murray Ave — The Murray family of developers, namesake of Murray Hills Inc. This area used to have a row of chicken coops.
Oak Knoll Rd
Old Colony Rd
Old Concord Rd
Olympian Way — The town’s four olympians in the 1984 winter olympics: Peter and Kitty Carruthers and Mark and Scott Fusco. A banner was hung across the Middlesex Turnpike too, but not permanently. Pic here.
Patriot Rd — Was under development during America’s bicentennial celebration, and was named accordingly.
Peach Orchard Rd
Pine Ridge Rd
Princeton Rd — Part of a college-themed neighborhood including Dartmouth, Amherst and University.
Prouty Rd — Augustus Prouty, a Burlington school board member in the late 1800s.
Purity Springs Rd
Rahanis Playground — Turkish pig farmers Stylianos and Lena Rahanis. Story here.
Raymond Rd Ext
Red Coat Ln
Regan Playground — Origin story here.
Ridge Rd — A little nub off Colburn St. with one house on it, number 5.
Rita Ave — Daughter of Tony Marino, who built some houses on the street.
Robert St — Robert Murray, owner of Murray Hills Inc. development company.
Robinhood Ln — Part of a development mysteriously dubbed Sherwood Forest(!) by its developer, attorney Jack Moss. It consists of Nelson Road, Davida Road, Holly Street, Dolores Drive, Laurie Lane, Cheryl Ave.
Rocky Hill Rd
Ruping Dr — Developer Hubert Ruping.
Saint Marks Rd — A driveway to the church parking lot. More about the church’s origin here.
Saint Marys Rd
Sandra Ave — Sandra MacDonald of Wolfeboro, N.H., daughter of builder Roderick MacDonald.
Sandy Brook Rd
Sears St — Montgomery Sears, operator of the trolley line that ran through Burlington. In 1906, he successfully petitioned the town for a shortcut road from Center Street to Winn Street, so people could quickly get to the trolley stop down the hill. That shortcut bears his name.
Seven Springs Ln
Sewall St — Rev. Samuel Sewall graduated Harvard with honors at age 19 and led Burlington’s congregation after the death of Rev. John Marrett, the minister instrumental in creating Burlington in 1799.
Shady Lane Dr
Sheighla Dr. — Sheighla Wall Shea, granddaughter of Thomas Murray, B&T Construction.
Simonds Park — Marshall Simonds, a member of a very old Woburn/Burlington clan, died without heirs in 1905 and deeded his farm to the town, to be used as a public park.
Skelton Rd — A seminal family of Burlington. Among its members was Walter W. Skelton, the town’s first firefighter.
Skilton Ln — Thomas and Daze Skilton were among the first residents of Burlington when it was incorporated in 1799. The road was originally a dead end at the top of the hill, like adjacent Maryvale Road.
Sleeper Dr. — Attorney Donald Sleeper, insurance broker Gove Sleeper, and many other Sleepers lived nearby on Center Street in what is now Grandview Farm/Marion Tavern.
South Bedford St — Heads toward Bedford via Lexington Street and the Middlesex Turnpike. It was bisected by the Burlington Mall Road in 1968, resulting in two South Bedford Streets. One end was nudged to line up with Stony Brook Road.
Sparhawk Dr — Formerly Cabral’s Farm, but the origin of “sparhawk” is unknown.
Spring Valley Rd