The Lore

Street Names (A-M)

Below is a compilation of the stories we've gathered about Boxborough's street names and notable sites.

This is an ongoing, collective project and an oral history. We welcome all memories you have to share about particular places around Boxborough; send us an email through the bottom of this page!

Please note the information we have documented is “lore,” which may include inferences, assumptions, and other creative liberties. While we have attempted to verify the lore and substantiate it with other resources, we hope you will enjoy the stories as what they are, stories. If you have any questions about our methodology or have feedback, please email us through the form below. 

Adams Place 

There is limited documentation detailing the history behind the name Adams Place. The name may have connections to former State President Samuel Adams who, alongside Governor John Hancock, signed the petition to designate Boxborough as its own town on February 25, 1783 after it was denied three times. (1)

Applewood Drive

Applewood Drive is the entrance road to the Applewood Village condominium complex that was built in the late 1970's. All of the streets in Applewood Village are named after varieties of apples commemorating the vibrant apple growing industry of the town between the early 1800's and the mid-1900's. (36)

Avebury Circle 

There is limited information on the origin of Avebury Circle. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Baldwin Lane 

Baldwin Lane is located in the Applewood Village condominium complex that was built in the late 1970's and is named for the Baldwin apple. All of the streets in Applewood Village are named after varieties of apples commemorating the vibrant apple growing industry of the town between the early 1800's and the mid-1900's. (2) (36)

Barteau Lane 

Barteau Lane was named after Ernest Barteau, Carrie Dora Wetherbee's husband, a Nova Scotian apple picker. For more information on the Wetherbee family, please read our account on Wetherbee Lane. (3)

 

Benjamin Drive 

There is limited information on the origin of Benjamin Drive. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Bicentennial Way 

Bicentennial Way was named in honor of Boxborough’s bicentennial in 1983. It was part of a larger parcel of land north of Flagg Hill Road that was developed in 1982, which included several other streets such as Howard Lane and Woodward Lane. (37)

 

Blanchard Road 

Blanchard Road is named after the Blanchard family, a local farming family with a notable role in the Revolutionary War. The origin behind Fifer's Day, Luther Blanchard was the Captain Isaac Davis's Company's fifer during the Battles of Concord and Bunker Hill. The descendants of his brother, Calvin, donated money to build the local elementary school, Blanchard Memorial School. (1)​

Boxmill Road 

There is limited information on the origin of Boxmill Road. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

 

Burroughs Road 

Burroughs Road is named after the Burroughs family. In the late 18th century, Burroughs Road served as the main road connecting Harvard and Acton until it was replaced by Massachusetts Avenue, a more direct route. Burroughs Farm still exists today and has been owned by the same family for over 150 years. It used to be a dairy farm with Jersey and Guernsey cows, one of the last dairy operations in town. (4)(5)(6)(37)

Butler Way 

There is limited information on the origin of Butler Way. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Cedarwood Road 

There is limited information on the origin of Cedarwood Lane. It may be named after the cedar trees that are abundant in Massachusetts.

Chester Road 

Chester Road was named after the Chester family, which was started by the marriage of Cate Taylor and Prince Chester in 1772, both formerly enslaved individuals whose descendents gained prominence and owned multiple homesteads in Boxborough. The Chester family is also known for taking in and housing Revolutionary War Veteran Caesar Wetherbee until his death in 1808. (9)(10)(11)

Cobleigh Road 

Cobleigh Road is named after the Cobleigh family, one of the oldest local families. Historian Lucie Hager notes that John Cobleigh arrived from Scotland, buying land in Boxborough in 1707. One descendant, Ephraim Brown Cobleigh (1833-1906), was Town Clerk and Selectman of Boxborough, as well as the founder of the Boxborough Farmer’s Club. He also briefly owned the Levi Wetherbee Farm, which is located on Cobleigh Road and contains several buildings of historic significance. In the 1990s, the Boxborough Historical Society relocated the Richardson Icehouse here from Stow Road. (12)(5)(13)(14)

Codman Hill Road

There is limited information on the origin of Codman Hill Road. Codman Hill Road has an old stone marker of the Harvard Boundary from 1829. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below. (15)

Colonial Ridge Drive

There is limited information on the origin of Colonial Ridge Drive. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Coolidge Farm Road

Coolidge Farm Road is named after the Coolidge family, of whom Henry Coolidge was the first to move to Boxborough. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Cortland Lane

Cortland Lane is named after the Cortland apple, which was first produced at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in upstate New York at the turn of the 20th century. Cortland Lane is located in the Applewood Village condominium complex that was built in the late 1970's. All of the streets in Applewood Village are named after varieties of apples commemorating the vibrant apple growing industry of the town between the early 1800's and the mid-1900's. (2) (36)

 

Cunningham Road 

Cunningham Road may be named after the Cunningham family, including Philip Cunningham. The Whitcomb family's house was located on this road, which was known for being a meetingplace for the Boxborough Minutemen during the Revolutionary War. (17)

Daniel's Way

There is limited information on the origin of Daniel's Way. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Davidson Road

Davidson Road was named after the Davidson family. If you have any more lore, please reach out to us using the form below. (5)​

Depot Road

Depot Road is named after the Boxborough railroad depot, or train station, which was part of the Fitchburg Railroad from 1879 to 1949. This railroad allowed farmers to ship their products to new markets and begin to specialize in different agricultural goods.

While the depot still stands near the intersection with Davidson Road, its chimney is currently on display at the Boxborough Museum. Other notable sites on Depot Road include the home of John Blanchard, known for his depiction on the Boxborough seal. (18)(19)(20)

Eldridge Road 

Eldridge Road may be named after the Eldridge family, including Jamie Eldridge, who is a Massachusetts State Senator and alumnus of Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. Eldridge Pond can be found on Eldridge Road; it is a reservoir that serves as a beautiful, quiet place to visit and sometimes a tourist destination. (21)

Emanuel Drive 

There is limited information on the origin of Emanuel Drive. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Fifer's Lane 

Fifer’s Lane honors Luther Blanchard, a local soldier who played the fife to sound signals for military positions (a “fifer”). He is often thought to be the first casualty of the Revolutionary War, although this is a matter of historical debate. Fifer's Lane also shares the same origin story as Fifer's Day, an annual festival celebrating Boxborough's history held by the Boxborough Minuteman Company. This holiday was originally the town’s 4th of July celebration but its founders moved it to the third Saturday of June to accommodate school vacation schedules. (22)

Flagg Hill Road

Flagg Hill is known to have been a place where indigenous people lived before the arrival of European settlers. There are several remnants of early settlers around Flagg Hill, including parallel stone walls, an old well site, cellar holes, and other stone structures. Additionally, in the early 1970s, Flagg Hill was used for a commercial ski slope. On the corner of Flagg Hill Road and Summer Road is a plaque commemorating Cpl. John H. Fletcher, who was Boxborough’s only resident who died in service in the Civil War. (23)(39)

Guggins Lane

Guggins Lane was named after Daniel Gookin. "Guggins Lane" came from a misspelling of his name. The nearby Guggins Brook is mentioned in Thoreau's Walden. (24)

Hager Lane

Hager Lane is named after the Hager family. Lucie Hager is most well known for writing a comprehensive history of the town, Boxborough: A New England Town and Its People (1891), detailing genealogies and landmarks. (5)

Hill Road

Hill Road’s name references a 126-meter unnamed hill, whose ridge includes the highest point in Boxborough. Originally known for being the main north-south colonial transportation route through Boxborough, Hill Road contains many historic buildings from different periods of the town's history, including homes for the Wetherbees, Cobleighs and Whitcombs, who also have streets named after them. Burpee Clark “B.C.” Steele bought a house there from E.B. Cobleigh in 1892. Steele’s granddaughter, Jeanne Steele Kangas, the town’s first female selectman and President of the Boxborough Historical Society, also grew up here. (25)(2)(26)(27)(28)​

Houghton Lane

Houghton Lane may be named for the Houghton family. Captain Reuben Houghton was a shoemaker. His son, businessman William Houghton, was a trustee of Wellesley College. (5)

Howard Lane

Howard Lane was developed in 1982 around the time of Boxborough’s Bicentennial. It was part of a larger parcel of land north of Flagg Hill Road, which contained several other streets including Bicentennial Way and Woodward Lane. (37)​

Hughes Lane

Hughes Lane is named after United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Paul Joseph Hughes, who was killed in service on November 2, 1967 at the age of 19. A member of the 3rd Motor Transport Battalion, he was Boxborough's only death from the Vietnam War. A cul-de-sac off Massachusetts Avenue, the road’s dedication to Hughes was made in 2017. (36)(37)

 

Inches Brook Lane

Inches Brook Lane was named by the Boxborough Historical Commission. Inches Woods, belonging to Henderson Inches, was visited by Henry David Thoreau in 1860; the Woods have since been cut down. Initially, the Commission had suggested "Inches Lane," but eventually chose "Inches Brook Lane" upon request from the developers to give it more character. (29)

 

Jenks Trail

There is limited information on the origin of Jenks Trail. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Joseph Road

There is limited information on the origin of Joseph Road. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Joyce Lane

Part of the Boxborough Meadows development which began in 2002, the developers proposed the name Joyce Lane in honor of Frederick Joyce, former fire chief, owner of a local auto shop, and lifelong Boxborough resident. (29) (37)​

 

Kendall Road

Kendall Road may be named after the Kendall family. If you have any more lore, please reach out to us using the form below. (5)​

 

Leonard Road

There is limited information on the origin of Leonard Road. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Liberty Square Road

In March 1775, Captain Eleazer Fletcher of the Littleton Militia Company dedicated the triangle of grass located at the intersection of Hill Road and Taylor Street in Littleton as "Liberty Square".  This was evidently used as a muster place for his company leading up to the events of April 19, 1775.  The road through what became Boxborough to Liberty Square was called "the Road to Liberty Square" which became "Liberty Square Road". This road also contains a signpost which commemorates the original site of Henderson Inches Sawmill, which existed between 1806 and 1865. (5)(36)(38)

Littlefield Road

Littlefield Road was named after the Littlefield family and leads to Littlefield Farm. Original farmer Jacob Littlefield was from Wells, Maine and a direct descendant of Wells’ founder. Jennie Littlefield was superintendent of schools at the turn of the 20th century. She advocated for the centralization of schools and standardization of local curricula. Littlefield Road has a culvert built over Fort Pond Brook circa 1900. Littlefield Farm still operates and sells fresh eggs. (5)(12)(30)(31)

 

Littleton Road

Following a common road naming convention, Littleton Road is named for the destination it leads to: the town of Littleton. Similarly, once it crosses the border into Littleton, the name changes to Boxborough Road.

Loreto Drive

Loreto Drive was named by the real estate developer after their family name or the name of someone close to them. (29)

Loring Avenue

Part of the Boxborough Meadows development which began in 2002, the developers proposed the name Loring Avenue in honor of Dexter Loring, member of the U.S. Navy. (29) (37)

Macintosh Lane

MacIntosh Lane is located in the Applewood Village condominium complex that was built in the late 1970's and is named for the MacIntosh apple. All of the streets in Applewood Village are named after varieties of apples commemorating the vibrant apple growing industry of the town between the early 1800's and the mid-1900's. (2) (36)

Macleod Way

Part of the Boxborough Meadows development which began in 2002, the developers proposed the name Macleod Way. (29) (37)

Massachusetts Avenue

Massachusetts Avenue, also known as Route 111, Interstate 111, and the “Harvard Turnpike,” is an 1806 extension of the Union Turnpike, and is now a public highway. This Union Turnpike was originally a toll road connecting Concord and Harvard. Plagued by financial constraints and terrain challenges, the corporation owning the turnpike was forced to offer free passage for Boxborough inhabitants in 1814 in return for free repairs. The Richardson General Store was located on Massachusetts Avenue circa 1950. (19)(5)(32)(33)

Mayfair Drive

There is limited information on the origin of Mayfair Drive. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Meadow Lane

There is limited information on the origin of Meadow Lane. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Meetinghouse Lane

Meetinghouse Lane is named after the Boxborough Meeting House, which was purchased from the town of Harvard in 1775. Town community members moved it to the Old Town Center to build a case to incorporate Boxborough formally as a town. Unfortunately, the meetinghouse burned down in 1953. (34)

Middle Road

Middle Road is named for its location, as its intersection with Stow Road and Massachusetts Avenue sits close to the geographic center of Boxborough. Originally built during the Colonial Period as a thoroughfare to the town’s burgeoning village center on Hill Road,  it is the current location of the Boxborough Museum and Historical Society, which was established in 1961. The Boxborough Museum's architecture is modeled off the Hingham Old Ship Meetinghouse, one of the oldest churches in the US located in Hingham, MA. (35)(40)

Morse Lane

There is limited information on the origin of Morse Lane. If you have any lore, please reach out to us using the form below.

Bibliography

  1. Teachers of Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools. “Acton-Boxborough Long Ago.” Acton-Boxborough Long Ago, https://sites.google.com/a/abschools.org/actonlongago/home#:~:text=Boxborough's%20town%20seal%20portrays%20a,Littleton%20that%20 late%20became%20Boxborough

  2. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.E Boxborough Old Town Center.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, 12 Dec. 2006, mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.E. (pg. 8).

  3. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.6 Wetherbee, Simeon House.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, ​https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.6 (pg. 2).

  4. “Burroughs Farm.” Local Harvest, 26 Dec. 2016, https://www.localharvest.org/burroughs-farm-M51458.

  5. Hager, Lucie. ​​Boxborough: A New England Town and Its People. United States, J.W. Lewis & Company, 1891.

  6. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.9 Goddard, Marion Burroughs House.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, ​https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.9.

  7. “Jones & Wetherbee Houses // 1873.” Buildings of New England, 26 April, 2021, https://buildingsofnewengland.com/tag/central-street-acton/

  8. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “257 Central Street.” Town of Acton Massachusetts DocuShare, May 1990, http://doc.acton-ma.gov/dsweb/Get/Document-63001/CENTRAL%20STREET%20257.pdf  

  9. Wicked Local. “Boxborough Historical Society celebrates Black History Month.” WickedLocal, 9 Feb. 2021, https://www.wickedlocal.com/story/the-beacon/2021/02/09/boxborough-historical-society-celebrates-black-history-month/4452595001/.

  10. George Quintal, Jr. “Patriots of Color: A Peculiar Beauty and Merit.” National Park Service, 11 Feb. 2002, https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/bost/patriotsofcolor.pdf.

  11. Boxborough Historical Society. “Chester Legacy.” Boxborough Historical Society, February 2021,  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u1vVz52lPxdNnz7Q42QI-9D3aWl2Hors/view.

  12. Interviews with Jeanne Kangas, Boxborough Historical Society (2021).

  13. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.A Wetherbee, Levi Farm.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, 12 Dec. 2006, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.A.

  14. “National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Levi Wetherbee Farm.” National Park Service, 3 Nov. 2006, https://www.boxborough-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/726/National-Register-of-Historic-Places-Submission-Packet-PDF.

  15. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.14 Sawyer, James - Chester, A. J. House.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.14.

  16. “Cortland, Empire & Jonathan Apples.” Apple Holler, 11 Oct. 2016, https://www.appleholler.com/cortland-empire-jonathan-apples/.

  17. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.2 Whitcomb, James Family Homestead..” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, ​https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.2.

  18. Matt Mallio. “Boxborough Depot sign dedication coming in September.” Wicked Local: Acton, 23 Aug. 2018, ​https://acton.wickedlocal.com/news/20180823/--boxboro-depot-sign-dedication-coming-in-september--.

  19. Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Freedom’s Way Heritage Association. “Boxborough Reconnaissance Report.” Mass.gov, June 2006,  https://www.mass.gov/doc/boxborough/download.

  20. Alan Rohwer. “Boxborough History Summary.” Town of Boxborough, Massachusetts, Aug. 2015, https://www.boxborough-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/546/Boxborough-History-Summary-by-Alan-Rohwer-PDF.

  21. Sophia Boudreau. “10 Beautiful Massachusetts Locations You Probably Didn’t Know Existed.” Only in Your State, ​27 Feb. 2019, https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/massachusetts/beautiful-locations-ma/.

  22. Molly Loughman. “Boxborough Fifer’s Day turns 50.” The Patriot Ledger, 7 Jun. 2016, ​https://www.patriotledger.com/article/20160607/NEWS/160606574.

  23. “Flagg Hill.” Town of Boxborough, Massachusetts, ​https://www.boxborough-ma.gov/355/Flagg-Hill.

  24. Alan Rohwer. “Daniel Gookin.” Boxborough Historical Commission, ​https://drive.google.com/file/d/16DFCNnk_JCETx7w8tUGpnEOmPJRkD8KF/view?usp=sharing.

  25. Jeanne Kangas, A History of Steele Farm and the Steele Family in Boxborough, 2014. Available at the Boxborough Library.

  26. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.917 Boxborough Old Town Center Well and Sideboard.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, 12 Dec. 2006, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.917.

  27. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.36 Wetherbee, Josiah - Wetherbee, Ensign Samuel House.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.36.

  28. “Jeanne Steele Kangas announces candidacy.” Herald News, 29 Jan. 2016, https://www.heraldnews.com/article/20160129/NEWS/160125863.

  29. Interviews with Alan Rowher, Boxborough Historical Commission (2021).

  30. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.33 Boxborough District Schoolhouse #1.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.33.

  31. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.82 Littlefield, Jacob House.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.82.

  32. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “BXB.91 Evangelical Congregational Church Parsonage.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, 12 Dec. 2006, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.91.

  33. Alan Rohwer. “Henry David Thoreau: Boxborough & his visits to Inches Woods.” Boxborough Historical Society, 2012, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Dckkx2l5TpiT3Hno7IFhj-rG-iQbcXhX/view.

  34. Patty Mahoney. “Treasures are on display at the Boxborough Museum and Historical Society.” Wicked Local: Boxborough, 2 Mar. 2020, ​https://boxborough.wickedlocal.com/news/20200302/treasures-are-on-display-at-boxborough-museum-and-historical-society.

  35. Alan Rohwer. “Museum - Libraries History.” Boxborough Historical Society, ​​https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZjW8HDteFkSrMN_nPY0CsnyAGPshJjl9/view.

  36. Submission by John Fallon (2021).

  37. Interviews with Owen Neville (2021).

  38. Boxborough Historical Society social media post. https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community-Organization/Boxborough-Historical-Society-156945647794998/ 

  39. Molly Loughman. "Boxborough remembers former Marine Paul Hughes." Wicked Local, 12 July 2017, https://acton.wickedlocal.com/news/20170712/building-community-boxborough-remembers-former-marine-paul-hughes.

  40. Massachusetts Historical Commission. “Boxborough Town Hall Area.” Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, https://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=BXB.D.