Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Save the Mileposts!

Oswego Palladium Times
March 28, 1931

Oswego, N.Y., March 27, 1931
Editor, Palladium-Times
Sir - Passing along the highway between Oswego and Mexico I noticed that two of the stone monuments marking the original one and Oswego Plank road had been uprooted and cast aside. I assume this was done during the reconstruction of the state highway, known as Route 3 last summer. Probably whoever did it was unaware of the historic value of these markers. I have spoken of this matter to many persons and find many who were not aware that these monuments were placed along the road. It is true that many of the markers are barely visible because of being hidden by brush and weeds.
Some people, myself included, have noticed these low stone monuments for many years, and we deplore their destruction or impairment. To me it smacks of vandalism. I hope that proper authorities will give this matter their attention and and protect these historical markers.
My information is that the markers were placed about 1847 by Charles Cross, engineer of that time, one of the pioneers of that great profession which has done so much in the matter of road improvement. My history tells me that the Rome and Oswego plank road was a private enterprise and was capitalized at $100,000. J.L. McWhorter of Oswego was president, and Henry Matthews, secretary, treasurer and superintendent. Directors were the two officers named, and Moses Merrick, Oswego; E. Bruce, New Haven; Hiram Towsley, Williamstown; Alvin Lawrence, James S. Chandler, Solomon Matthew and Myron Everts, Mexico.
The markers were placed one mile apart with the initials R and O and the distance marked on. These old mileposts are accurate to the foot. For the purpose of testing this accuracy I have several time measured the distance by the speedometer of my car and have found the posts spaced just a mile apart.
Destruction of ancient landmarks and historic sites has become all too prevalent in this age of material progress. I hope that these mile posts will be saved from such a fate.

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