Monument to the Automobile Age, Becket, Mass.

Monument to the Automobile Age, Becket, Mass.A stone cairn in western Massachusetts honors the construction of a local road that bypassed a dangerous hill.

The Monument to the Automobile Age in Becket, Mass., was dedicated in 1910 to mark the opening of a bypass road that helped early motorists avoid the dangerous Jacob’s Ladder hill. Stones bearing the names of towns from throughout the northeast and eastern New York were added to the cairn, which stands today near the intersection of Route 20 and Johnson Road.

A 2010 stone on the upper left side of the cairn highlights the 100th anniversary of the opening of the bypass, and a wayside marker to the right of the cairn provides a brief history.

Monument to the Automobile Age, Becket, Mass.In the 1930s, the loose cairn was moved across the road. The cairn was shifted again in 1946, and its stones were cemented in place.

Historic images on the wayside marker indicate several stones were placed in new positions. For instance, the green plaque with three names on the left side was originally in the center of the cairn, and the eagle plaque was shifted from the middle to the lower right.

The cairn has apparently been a popular graffiti target, and a number of loose stones at the site bear the names and hometowns of recent visitors.

A cement deer stands a short distance to the west of the cairn, near the corner of Johnson Road. Because, hey, why not? If you’re going to have a large cairn on your road, you may as well add a cement deer.

Monument to the Automobile Age, Becket, Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monument to the Automobile Age, Becket, Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monument to the Automobile Age, Becket, Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Near the Monument to the Automobile Age, Becket, Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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