Harford History

December 11, 2005

1888: MONEY WILLED FOR PAVING ROADS

Records show that in the quarter century or so after 1850, there was a popular movement to improve Harford County roads. The roads commissioners laid out or improved 150 roads with the help of the community. Each project was planned and seen to completion by a committee of two citizens and a surveyor.

William Woolsey, a well-to-do farmer from Churchville, agreed with his neighbors about the importance of a good road structure. In a will dated Dec. 10, 1888, he left money in trust to his two sisters. At their death the money was to be used for the construction of macadamized roads radiating from Churchville.

The name "macadam" came from a road builder by the name of McAdam, who pioneered the method of surfacing roads by binding together under pressure broken stone, stone dust and water. In 1898 the Woolsey trust was available for road improvement. But at $60,000, it was sufficient only to construct the road from Churchville to Bel Air, the first macadamized road in Harford County.

[Our Harford Heritage by C. Milton Wright. Research by Harford County Public Library.]

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