Drive the original Route 128

As you look at this map of Eastern Massachusetts in 1895, note how most of the railroads radiated in and out of Boston.  Over subsequent decades, roads built for the growing automobile population generally followed this pattern, as well.  Consequently, by the 1920s, as thousands of commuters and vactioners travelled between the north and south shores, Boston was in constant gridlock.  The DPW's response was to designate dozens of existing roads, streets, and avenues about 15 miles from Boston as a circumfrential route around the city. They designated this collection of roads as Route 128.  This page is a partial recreation of what a drive from Cape Ann on the north shore to Hull on the south shore would have been like on the old, "ad-hoc" Route 128.  The complete series can be found in Building Route 128

Looking north up Cabot Street in Beverly, from the intersection with School Street,
which was one of the pieces of the "ad-hoc" Route 128 as designated by the DPW.

Lynnfield's part of Route 128 history can be traced back to the days of the "ad hoc" 128, when Salem Street (shown above) carried traffic around Boston before the divided highway was built between 1938 and 1959.

Lexington Street (part of the old Route 128) crossed Cambridge Street
in the Four Corners section of Woburn.  That's O'Rourke's Mobil
Station, which is still in business today in the same lcoation.

This nineteenth century stone arch bridge carried the old Route 128
(Newton Street) over the Charles River in downtown Waltham.

At the corner of Route 28 and the old "ad hoc" 128 was one of the first
franchised Howard Johnson's (and, according to the Randolph Historical
Commission, it was owned by founder's brother-in-law).  Old Route 128
(also known as Blue Hill River Road) is on the right.  On this site today is
a Holiday Inn and Lantana's.

Looking up Route 28 in Randolph from the corner of Russ Street in the 1930s.
Chickataubut Hill is on the right in the distance, and Buck Hill is straight ahead.
The old, "ad hoc" Route 128 cut across this picture about a quarter of a mile
ahead, right where the Blue River crossed Route 28.