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The Road and the Roadside   By: (1843-1927)

Book cover

First Page:

THE ROAD

AND

THE ROADSIDE.

By

BURTON WILLIS POTTER.

BOSTON: LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY. 1886.

Copyright, 1886 , BY BURTON WILLIS POTTER.

UNIVERSITY PRESS: JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE.

TO

THE HONORABLE JOHN E. RUSSELL,

SECRETARY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF AGRICULTURE,

These Pages are Respectfully Inscribed,

AS A TOKEN OF MY LOVE AND ESTEEM FOR HIM AS A TRUE FRIEND, A CLASSICAL SCHOLAR, AND AN ELOQUENT ORATOR, WHOSE SPEECHES AND WRITINGS HAVE AIDED POWERFULLY IN BRINGING ABOUT A REVIVAL OF AGRICULTURE, AND IN CREATING AMONG THE PEOPLE A LOVE OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LIFE.

Transcriber's Note: The asterisks in footnotes 89 and 92 have do not have corresponding references in the text.

PREFACE.

The chapters of this book relating to the laws of public and private ways were written and read as a lecture at the Country Meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture, in December, 1885, at Framingham, and have since been published in the "Report on the Agriculture of Massachusetts for the Year 1885."

The laws as herein stated are, as I believe, the present laws of Massachusetts relative to public and private ways, and therefore they may not all be applicable to the ways in other States; but inasmuch as the common law is the basis of the road law in all the States, it will be found that the general principles herein laid down are as applicable in one State as in another.

Believing that good roads and the love of rural life are essential to the true happiness and lasting prosperity of any people, these pages have been written with the sincere desire to do something to improve our roads and to encourage country life; and they are now given to the public with the hope that they will exert some little influence in promoting these objects.

B. W. P.

WORCESTER, MASS., May, 1886 .

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

HISTORY, IMPORTANCE, AND SIGNIFICANCE OF ROADS.

PAGE

Roads the symbols of progress and civilization. Macaulay and Bushnell on the value of public highways. The first sponsors of art, science, and government were the builders of roads. The ancient highway between Babylon and Memphis. The Carthaginians as road makers. Roman roads: their construction, extent, and durability; their instrumentality in giving Rome her pre eminence in the ancient world; their mode of construction described. Ponderous roads in China. Magnificent highways in the ancient empires of Mexico and Peru. Prescott's description of the great roads in Peru. Bad condition of the English roads in the sixteenth century. With the revival of modern civilization the improvement of the public highways has engaged the thought of public and scientific men. Advantages of good roads generally and especially as the means of a proper distribution of population. 1 11

CHAPTER II.

LOCATION.

Best possible location desirable. Permanent nature of roads. Many of the ancient roads are still travelled by the people of to day. The law of the survival of the fittest applicable to the location of roads. The makers of a good road often build better than they know. Roads may be located in three different ways. The old Romans and the modern Latin nations locate in straight lines. The English speaking people usually locate their roads in curved lines. Curved roads have many advantages over straight ones, as good grades are more desirable than straight roads. 12 16

CHAPTER III.

CONSTRUCTION.

Importance of drainage. Good roads impossible without proper drainage. Proper width of roads for travel. They should be wide enough to admit of foot paths at their sides. Every road should be crowned sufficiently to run off the surface water, but not enough to make the road bed too unlevel. The golden mean is to be sought... Continue reading book >>




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