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Roadside Marker Inventory
         Massachusetts Bay Colony-
Tercentenary Commission Markers (MBC-TC)
                1630 - 1930




    Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
           and preparing for the 400th anniversary in 19 years.

         Inventory of Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission Markers-by Russell C. Bixby
                                            December 14, 2011
Massachusetts Bay Colony
                   1630 - 1691




Map provided under creative commons public license from Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Masscolony.png) .
Massachusetts Bay Colony
                                                   Historical Background
                             Event                     Date(s)                                    Commentary
                 Royal Charter Granted-                  1620 One of the early charters issued to trading companies by the English crown. In
                 Plymouth Council for New                      December 1620 a permanent settlement was established through land patents
                 England                                       granted by the Council (1621 and 1630) to the Plymouth Colony, governed
                                                               separately under the Mayflower Compact.
Period of        Royal Charter Granted-                 1629 Granted by Charles I, the boundaries of this new charter extended from the
Massachusetts    Massachusetts Bay Colony                      40th parallel to the 48th parallel establishing colonial rights of the company
                                                               "from sea to sea".
Bay Colony-
                 Arrival of the Arbella                 1630 The first colonial governor (John Winthrop) arrives in Salem with 700 men,
Tercentenary
                                                               women and children to settle the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Commission
                 Pequot War                             1636- Native American rebellion in southeastern Massachusetts, western Rhode
Markers                                                 1639 Island and eastern Connecticut.
(Approximately   King Phillip's War                     1675- Native American rebellion in the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Rhode Island
1630 to 1750)                                           1676 and Connecticut colonies.
                 Dominion of New England                1686- Administrative union imposed on the New England colonies by the English
                                                        1689 crown.
                 Province of Massachusetts Bay          1691- Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Plymouth Colony were united in October
                                                        1776 1691 through a new charter issued by William and Mary, the joint monarchs
                                                               of England and Scotland.
                 King William's War                     1690- European conflict with extended hostilities in North America.
                                                        1697
                 Queen Anne's War                       1702- European conflict with extended hostilities in North America.
                                                        1713
                 King George's War                      1744- European conflict with extended hostilities in North America.
                                                        1748
                 French and Indian War                  1754- This conflict between England and France, known as The Seven Years War in
                                                        1763 Europe, was fought in North America primarily along the frontiers between
                                                               the British colonies from Virginia to Nova Scotia.
                 Declaration of Independence            1776 American revolution establishes Massachusetts as one of the original thirteen
                                                               states.
           Historical background adapted from Wikipedia web based articles published by Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. under creative common license.
Marker Descriptions
     •   All markers are made of cast iron, both the post and the tablet.

     • The background of the tablet is painted with aluminum; the letters
     and the trim in black; the coat of arms of the Commonwealth in blue
     and gold. The post is painted with aluminum.

     •All the tablets are thirty-six inches in width; those bearing the longer
     inscriptions are forty-five inches high to the top of the coat of arms;
     those with the shorter inscriptions are thirty-five inches high to the top
     of the coat of arms. The weight of the larger tablet is about 200 pounds;
     the weight of the smaller tablet is about 65 pounds.

    • The legend is the same on both sides of the tablet which is erected
    perpendicular to the road in order that a passer-by from either direction
    may read the inscription without descending from their car.

   • Carlisle Foundry Company in Carlisle, Pennsylvania cast the markers.

Source: Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (1930); available from The
Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/historicalmarker00mass .
Total Markers Erected
                           275 Total Markers

                           95 Cities & Towns

                           9 Counties
                           Distribution by County:                     Total
                                                                      Markers
                           Middlesex(Boston-West)                        84
                           Essex(Boston-North Shore)                     83
                           Worcester(Central Massachusetts)              33
                           Plymouth(Boston-South Shore)                  23
                           Norfolk(Boston-South)                         21
                           Franklin(Pioneer Valley-North)                12
                           Suffolk(Boston)                               10
                           Hampshire(Pioneer Valley-Central)             6
                           Hampden(Pioneer Valley-South)                 3
                                                                        275

Source: Compiled from the book Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (1930);
available from The Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/historicalmarker00mass .
Inventory of Standing & Missing Markers
Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission
     2011 Inventory Results:

              Markers Still Standing         147
              Missing Markers                128 *
     Marker Distribution by County:
                                    Total  Missing
                                   Markers Markers
                    Middlesex         84     37
                    Essex             83     43
                    Worcester         33     10
                    Plymouth          23     10
                    Norfolk           21     14
                    Franklin          12      3
                    Suffolk           10      7
                    Hampshire         6       3
                    Hampden           3       1
                                     275    128

         * = Includes seven replica markers and nine in storage.
Web Based Collection of Massachusetts Bay Colony
       Tercentenary Commission Markers
 The website Historical Markers Data Base (HMdb) includes a series for the
 Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission Markers under their
 Historical Society Collections at the below link:
                    http://www.hmdb.org/results.asp?SeriesID=100

 Each standing marker entry in the HMdb series provides photography
 and GPS ground coordinates.

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  The original documentation text, published by the Commonwealth,
  Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary
  Commission (1930); is available from The Internet Archive at:

               http://www.archive.org/details/historicalmarker00mass
Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission
       Conditions of markers

The existing markers can be grouped by their overall conditions:
• Good
  MBC-TC cast iron markers, restored to their original appearance.
• Bad
  MBC-TC markers which are not homogeneous with their original 1930
  design . Can not be identified as MBC-TM markers without extended
  visual examination.
• Ugly
  These markers have fallen into disgraceful disrepair reflecting poorly on
  the State and diminish the significance of their subject. Close to
  impossible to read unless you stand in front of the marker.
• Missing
  These markers are unaccounted for. Some may be stored by town DPWs
  but cannot be located or confirmed.
Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission
     Examples of Good Markers
                      Groton- Main Street- Groton, Massachusetts




       Sherborn- North Main Street- Sherborn, Massachusetts




                           Chelmsford- Chelmsford Street- Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission
      Examples of Bad Markers

        Way to Charlestown- Massachusetts Avenue- Cambridge, Massachusetts




       Jason Russell House- Jason Street- Arlington, Massachusetts




             Planters Neck- Gloucester, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission
      Examples of Ugly Markers


                     Wigwam Hill- Belmont Street- Worcester, Massachusetts




   Oldest House in Cambridge- Massachusetts Avenue- Cambridge, Massachusetts




                              Lieu. Ebenezer Sheldon Fort-Northfield Road-Bernardston, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission
       Remediation of markers
The actions needed for each of the four groups of markers:
• Good
  No actions needed.
• Bad
  Markers require minimal cleaning, repainting and remounting.
• Ugly
  Markers require extensive rehab, examination, sandblasting/cleaning,
  possible repair, repainting and remounting.
• Missing
  Each city/town needs to commit to searching DPW garages and any other
  likely location where the markers might be. For markers not found, a new
  marker needs to be forged and placed.
Massachusetts Bay Colony
                  Tercentenary Commission Makers
                    Inventory Acknowledgements

Russell C. Bixby of Bernardston performed an examination of the original marker documentation text
Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (1930), to
arrange the markers into a logical format for the 2011 inventory effort. He composed all inventory
documents and initiated contacts with local historical societies and town officials to aid in validating
the location of markers. Finally, he was instrumental in establishing a website series published by the
Historical Marker data base (HMdb). Numerous field work trips were taken by all HMdb
contributors to validate the existence of markers and gather GPS coordinates and photography.

Christopher C. Skelly, Director of Local Government Programs at the Massachusetts Historical
Commission provided contact information for other citizens with an interest in preservation of these
markers. In this regard, Robert J. Briere of the Sturbridge Historical Society contributed useful
information derived from his 2005-2008 field work and photography. Michael Tiernan of Danvers
provided valuable assistance in documenting markers located in Essex County.

Special thanks must be given to Mr. J.J. Prats; publisher of the HMdb website for providing a
documentation media, entitled Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission Markers,
under their Historical Society Collections.
Contact Information

Russell C. Bixby may be reached at the below
contacts to obtain an electronic (PDF) copy of the
275 MBC-TC marker inscriptions; with GPS
coordinates and photographs of standing markers:

           Email: mbc-tc@comcast.net

           Telephone: 413-834-2290

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Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission Markerson (december 2011)

  • 1. Roadside Marker Inventory Massachusetts Bay Colony- Tercentenary Commission Markers (MBC-TC) 1630 - 1930 Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and preparing for the 400th anniversary in 19 years. Inventory of Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission Markers-by Russell C. Bixby December 14, 2011
  • 2. Massachusetts Bay Colony 1630 - 1691 Map provided under creative commons public license from Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Masscolony.png) .
  • 3. Massachusetts Bay Colony Historical Background Event Date(s) Commentary Royal Charter Granted- 1620 One of the early charters issued to trading companies by the English crown. In Plymouth Council for New December 1620 a permanent settlement was established through land patents England granted by the Council (1621 and 1630) to the Plymouth Colony, governed separately under the Mayflower Compact. Period of Royal Charter Granted- 1629 Granted by Charles I, the boundaries of this new charter extended from the Massachusetts Massachusetts Bay Colony 40th parallel to the 48th parallel establishing colonial rights of the company "from sea to sea". Bay Colony- Arrival of the Arbella 1630 The first colonial governor (John Winthrop) arrives in Salem with 700 men, Tercentenary women and children to settle the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Commission Pequot War 1636- Native American rebellion in southeastern Massachusetts, western Rhode Markers 1639 Island and eastern Connecticut. (Approximately King Phillip's War 1675- Native American rebellion in the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Rhode Island 1630 to 1750) 1676 and Connecticut colonies. Dominion of New England 1686- Administrative union imposed on the New England colonies by the English 1689 crown. Province of Massachusetts Bay 1691- Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Plymouth Colony were united in October 1776 1691 through a new charter issued by William and Mary, the joint monarchs of England and Scotland. King William's War 1690- European conflict with extended hostilities in North America. 1697 Queen Anne's War 1702- European conflict with extended hostilities in North America. 1713 King George's War 1744- European conflict with extended hostilities in North America. 1748 French and Indian War 1754- This conflict between England and France, known as The Seven Years War in 1763 Europe, was fought in North America primarily along the frontiers between the British colonies from Virginia to Nova Scotia. Declaration of Independence 1776 American revolution establishes Massachusetts as one of the original thirteen states. Historical background adapted from Wikipedia web based articles published by Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. under creative common license.
  • 4. Marker Descriptions • All markers are made of cast iron, both the post and the tablet. • The background of the tablet is painted with aluminum; the letters and the trim in black; the coat of arms of the Commonwealth in blue and gold. The post is painted with aluminum. •All the tablets are thirty-six inches in width; those bearing the longer inscriptions are forty-five inches high to the top of the coat of arms; those with the shorter inscriptions are thirty-five inches high to the top of the coat of arms. The weight of the larger tablet is about 200 pounds; the weight of the smaller tablet is about 65 pounds. • The legend is the same on both sides of the tablet which is erected perpendicular to the road in order that a passer-by from either direction may read the inscription without descending from their car. • Carlisle Foundry Company in Carlisle, Pennsylvania cast the markers. Source: Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (1930); available from The Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/historicalmarker00mass .
  • 5. Total Markers Erected 275 Total Markers 95 Cities & Towns 9 Counties Distribution by County: Total Markers Middlesex(Boston-West) 84 Essex(Boston-North Shore) 83 Worcester(Central Massachusetts) 33 Plymouth(Boston-South Shore) 23 Norfolk(Boston-South) 21 Franklin(Pioneer Valley-North) 12 Suffolk(Boston) 10 Hampshire(Pioneer Valley-Central) 6 Hampden(Pioneer Valley-South) 3 275 Source: Compiled from the book Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (1930); available from The Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/historicalmarker00mass .
  • 6. Inventory of Standing & Missing Markers Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission 2011 Inventory Results: Markers Still Standing 147 Missing Markers 128 * Marker Distribution by County: Total Missing Markers Markers Middlesex 84 37 Essex 83 43 Worcester 33 10 Plymouth 23 10 Norfolk 21 14 Franklin 12 3 Suffolk 10 7 Hampshire 6 3 Hampden 3 1 275 128 * = Includes seven replica markers and nine in storage.
  • 7. Web Based Collection of Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission Markers The website Historical Markers Data Base (HMdb) includes a series for the Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission Markers under their Historical Society Collections at the below link: http://www.hmdb.org/results.asp?SeriesID=100 Each standing marker entry in the HMdb series provides photography and GPS ground coordinates. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The original documentation text, published by the Commonwealth, Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (1930); is available from The Internet Archive at: http://www.archive.org/details/historicalmarker00mass
  • 8. Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission Conditions of markers The existing markers can be grouped by their overall conditions: • Good MBC-TC cast iron markers, restored to their original appearance. • Bad MBC-TC markers which are not homogeneous with their original 1930 design . Can not be identified as MBC-TM markers without extended visual examination. • Ugly These markers have fallen into disgraceful disrepair reflecting poorly on the State and diminish the significance of their subject. Close to impossible to read unless you stand in front of the marker. • Missing These markers are unaccounted for. Some may be stored by town DPWs but cannot be located or confirmed.
  • 9. Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission Examples of Good Markers Groton- Main Street- Groton, Massachusetts Sherborn- North Main Street- Sherborn, Massachusetts Chelmsford- Chelmsford Street- Chelmsford, Massachusetts
  • 10. Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission Examples of Bad Markers Way to Charlestown- Massachusetts Avenue- Cambridge, Massachusetts Jason Russell House- Jason Street- Arlington, Massachusetts Planters Neck- Gloucester, Massachusetts
  • 11. Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission Examples of Ugly Markers Wigwam Hill- Belmont Street- Worcester, Massachusetts Oldest House in Cambridge- Massachusetts Avenue- Cambridge, Massachusetts Lieu. Ebenezer Sheldon Fort-Northfield Road-Bernardston, Massachusetts
  • 12. Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission Remediation of markers The actions needed for each of the four groups of markers: • Good No actions needed. • Bad Markers require minimal cleaning, repainting and remounting. • Ugly Markers require extensive rehab, examination, sandblasting/cleaning, possible repair, repainting and remounting. • Missing Each city/town needs to commit to searching DPW garages and any other likely location where the markers might be. For markers not found, a new marker needs to be forged and placed.
  • 13. Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission Makers Inventory Acknowledgements Russell C. Bixby of Bernardston performed an examination of the original marker documentation text Historical Markers Erected by Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission (1930), to arrange the markers into a logical format for the 2011 inventory effort. He composed all inventory documents and initiated contacts with local historical societies and town officials to aid in validating the location of markers. Finally, he was instrumental in establishing a website series published by the Historical Marker data base (HMdb). Numerous field work trips were taken by all HMdb contributors to validate the existence of markers and gather GPS coordinates and photography. Christopher C. Skelly, Director of Local Government Programs at the Massachusetts Historical Commission provided contact information for other citizens with an interest in preservation of these markers. In this regard, Robert J. Briere of the Sturbridge Historical Society contributed useful information derived from his 2005-2008 field work and photography. Michael Tiernan of Danvers provided valuable assistance in documenting markers located in Essex County. Special thanks must be given to Mr. J.J. Prats; publisher of the HMdb website for providing a documentation media, entitled Massachusetts Bay Colony-Tercentenary Commission Markers, under their Historical Society Collections.
  • 14. Contact Information Russell C. Bixby may be reached at the below contacts to obtain an electronic (PDF) copy of the 275 MBC-TC marker inscriptions; with GPS coordinates and photographs of standing markers: Email: mbc-tc@comcast.net Telephone: 413-834-2290