Until the early 1890s, roadways in Massachusetts were maintained by local authorities. Poor road conditions were seen as an impediment to commerce. Therefore, in 1892, the legislature established a commission to improve the highways in Massachusetts. As part of their report, the commission photographed roads around the state to illustrate their condition.
Many of these locally maintained roads were old stage routes and were improved to create the basis of the state highway system. The annual reports and other materials produced by the Massachusetts Highway Commission document the development of the state highway system in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
This information is provided by The State Library of Massachusetts.