Middlefield Railroad Rock
Along the Boston and Albany Railroad lies a rock, there are alot of rocks……this one is different. The men who built the Keystone Arch Bridges were a special breed of hardy and tireless stone workers, most were immigrants. These men signed their names onto this particular boulder near a bridge just across from one of the granite quarries used to build the Arches. There were several quarries along the railroad on the Middlefield and Becket section. Alot of granite was need to build the massive bridge structures that made way for the trains. Most of the other bridges along the railroad here are also of similar composition to the Keystone Arches as they were built the same way, only difference is the modern railroad poured concrete over the tops.
When the Western Railroad first came to Western Mass in the 1800’s there was much “to do” about how this would change the landscape of the Hilltowns in so many ways, both positive and negative depending on your point of view. These workers who built the railroads were no doubt willing to earn their pay for hard labor. In many circumstances entire families came here from other countries to provide the much needed labor to build such an undertaking.
Learn more about the Western Railroad at the Chester Railway Museum.
This is a large boulder found along the Boston and Albany Railroad in Middlefield, also along the West Branch of the Westfield River approximately two miles West of the Keystone Arch Bridges Trail. This boulder is etched with the names of some of the men who worked on the Keystone Arch Bridges trail. There are several quarries located along this stretch of railroad where the granite was mined to build the Keystone Arches.
Montgomery Railroad Rock
Old Pochassic Road runs under the Turnpike Bridge
In Montgomery, under the Turnpike bride that spans the Westfield River along the Railroad are names carved into the rock face. It is unknown if these names are of the bridge builders or the railroad workers.
Becket Quarry Railroad Rock
I have found a Railroad Rock at the Becket Quarry, which makes sense because the Chester Becket Railroad started here.