Fall Near the Great Blue Hill – A Visual Story

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The Great Blue Hill at Dusk

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September 1956

Day breaks over the Great Blue Hill of Massachusetts as the low and heavy rumble of large excavating equipment fills the surrounding air.

The equipment is clearing the path for the first section of interstate 93 — the newest planned addition to the national highway system. Once complete it will be the first located entirely within the borders of New England.

The interstate will intersect the large and open base area of the hill, the largest in a range encompassing the Blue Hills reservation — and straddles the towns of Canton, Milton, Quincy, Randolph and Braintree among others.

Here in Canton (population 7,000) will sit the first on/off ramp “exit” and will connect with Interstate 95 snaking up the east coast through Providence. Then on to Boston Harbor (11 miles from here as the hawk flies) and winding points north in New Hampshire, Maine, and eventually ending 190 miles to the east and north in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

A group of 6 small family owned farms now dot the landscape, all to be demolished in preparation for the construction — just 3 of the family farmhouses are deemed lucky enough (and structurally sound) to be relocated.

Currently, the final remaining farmhouse is being placed on a tractor-trailer rig after being separated from its foundation. The simple white farmhouse constructed in 1921 sat upon a 10-acre parcel and nicely sheltered a small family of 3.

The Farrington Family of Canton.

Some forethought was given to their plight via the creation of the Blue Hills nature reserve and an underground passageway allowing for safer animal passage from the hill into its relatively flat outer base —especially vital to the rather large population of whitetail deer, who often forage the greater area for food and shelter.

In approximately 10 minutes, it will begin hovering 216 yards due east to a slightly elevated resting position.

This area and the greater Neponset River Valley is rich in natural beauty and home to a diverse wildlife population. As with any infrastructure project of this scale, the natural inhabitants of this area will also be displaced.

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