Historic stone falls to modern man
But officials hope to fix, protect Colonial-era mile marker
For 282 years, even as a busy commercial district rose around it, a stone mile marker weathered Allston’s transformation from a quiet part of Cambridge into an energetic Boston neighborhood.
Now, the Colonial-era milestone - which reads “Boston 6 miles’’ - has been severed from its base that rests, seemingly out of place, atop the curbside edge of a city sidewalk. The top portion of the rock along Harvard Avenue was knocked over and sat on its side for several days after a truck backed into it on July 28, officials said yesterday.
The stone is one of four remaining in Boston and one of 47 known statewide out of at least 99 that once existed.
“They’re rare surviving remnants of the old landscape,’’ said Charlie Vasiliades of the Brighton-Allston Historical Society. “The fact that it survives in its current location is part of its uniqueness to me.’’
Vasiliades said he hopes the stone, which weighs hundreds of pounds, will be fixed and remain at its curbside locale - but perhaps with more protection. The state Transportation Department, which oversees the milestones, hopes to do just that, said spokesman Adam Hurtubise. Other mile markers are surrounded by walls or frame-like structures.
The marker is part of a group of stones that measured distances along the Boston Post Road connecting the Hub and New York City. They were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the early 1970s.