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 easy. May 15, 1758: “Voted £ 10 for the repair of the roads.” This is the first vote of the kind on record. Till this time, each citizen had worked out his “highway tax” by himself or hired man. Straightening and widening roads became each year a more imperative duty, since the first ones were little better than cow-paths. Seventy years ago began conversations on the expediency and importance of opening new routes for travel between this and the neighboring villages. March 9; 1761: Many inhabitants of the town petitioned the Court of Sessions for a road across the marshes at “Labor in Vain;” thus connecting the eastern part of the town with the Boston road. The petition was granted, and the Commissioners laid out the road and assessed the damages; but it was concluded not to build it. March 5, 1787, the town voted, “That Benjamin Hall, Esq., Gen. John Brooks, and Thomas Brooks, Esq., be a Committee to petition the Court of Sessions to obtain a new road through a part of Col. Royall's and Capt. Nicholson's farms.” This was never obtained. Dec. 7, 1795: Voted to measure the route from Jonathan Brooks's Corner to Lexington. This road was not accepted. Voted to erect sign-posts through the town. Nov. 18, 1801: “Voted to choose a Committee to oppose the opening of a new road to Charlestown.” May 10, 1802: A Committee was chosen “to lay out a road between Medford, Stoneham, and Reading, through the woods;” also to see if a road from the meeting-house to Joseph Wyman's was feasible. Purchase Street was opened many years after, according to this suggestion. Sept. 13, 1802: The Court of Sessions direct, “that the road from Jonathan Brooks's Corner to West Cambridge shall be widened, Medford and Charlestown paying for the lands taken.” Labor of a man on the highways, one dollar for eight hours; and two dollars for a team. In 1819, one dollar and twenty-five cents, and two dollars and fifty cents. May 7, 1804: The town chose a Committee “to stake out the private ways in the town.” The intention of the town doubtless was, that those avenues, paths, or range-ways, through which the public have a right of way, should be marked out and recorded. It is very important that these rights should be preserved, and as important that they should not be unjustly claimed. Settling near a river gave superior facilities for transportation in early times; and, therefore, free
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