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Category Proposal: Franklin Mile Markers

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Back in the mid 1700's, Benjamin Franklin (who was serving as Postmaster General at the time) was assigned the responsibility of establishing mile markers along several important postal routes. The routes were marked with engraved stones, a number of which can still be found today.

 

franklin_marker_15.jpgfranklin_marker_70.jpg

 

From what I have been able to determine, there are two main routes along which these stone markers are located. The first route runs northeast from New York City, through Connecticut, up into Boston, although it actually splits and follows several different tracks. The second route can be found on Long Island, along what is know today as Route 25.

 

I have been unable to find much in the way of specific documented locations of existing markers, although the location of some of the stones can be easily found on the Internet. It appears that many of the stone markers have been lost. Some are on private property (in some cases the property owners allow public access to get to the markers), but some have been preserved and protected by the communities in which the markers reside.

 

Perhaps the most well documented collection of the markers are those that can be found along a route from Spencer to Warren (central Massachusetts) thanks to the efforts of Brian Hamill of Warren. Mr. Hamill has photographed many of the the markers and tried to track down those that have been lost or stolen through the years. More information can be found at Hamill's web site.

 

I think this would make a great category because we could collectively contribute to the first widespread effort to precisely document the locations of the these interesting and historic artifacts. This should help with preservation and recovery efforts. Some of the markers should be easy to locate, but some will no doubt require additional research. I think this category represents both a useful endeavor and an interesting challenge.

 

Several other related web sites I found while investigating this subject:

 

A Newsday article on the Long Island Markers

 

A New York Times article on the Boston Post Road markers

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