Burlington before Route 128

All of these photographs come to us courtesy of the Crawford family of Burlington

This home and surrounding farm (located between Beacon and Newbridge Streets) was originally built by Frank Marion in 1900 as wedding gift to his son Charles.  Andy Crawford became owner in the 1940s, and he and his family continued to operate the farm even after Route 128 cut his property in half, forcing them to make a one and a half mile drive down Newbridge Street to get to the other half of the farm.

Looking from the front porch of the Crawford family home in the late 1940s we can see homes in the distance that sit along Newbridge Street, in a section of Burlington known as Winnmere.  Route 128 would eventually cut across the farm (and that crop of hot peppers on the right) and Lowell Street (which runs horizontally across the middle of the picture.)

It is March of 1946 and Andy Crawford is beginning to work the fields for another season.  Pulling the plow is “Bob,” one of two plow horses owned by the Crawford family (the other, we were informed by former Burlington Fire Chief Herb Crawford, was named “Dick”.)  The back of the Crawford House can be seen at the right edge of the photo.  Within a few years of this photograph, Route 128 will be built just behind where Andy is standing.

Taken one month after the previous picture, Andy Crawford’s son Andrew (seen on the right) works with his Winnmere neighbor - and hired hand - Charlie Gay, spreading pig manure across the fields.  That’s Fordson Tractor pulling the manure spreader.  This spot would today be along the median strip of Route 128 in Burlington.

In this photo, taken in the mid-1940s, Andrew Crawford is spreading mechanical, or powdered, fertilizer between the furrows of his father’s field.  He is standing on what today is the northbound side of Route 128.  “Hired hand” Charlie Gay’s two-story house, which sits along Newbridge Road, is in the distance on the right.  The Crawford farm was eventually sold and in its place along Winn Street was built the Beacon Village Apartments.