2. The route from Cambridge to Brookline would under normal conditions have been across “the Great Bridge over Charles-River
built in 1662–1663 and located “at the foot of Brighton Street [now Boylston Street]” (Mass., House Jour.
, 29:99; Lucius R. Paige, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630–1877
, Boston, 1877, p. 195). A petition to the General Court in Dec. 1752, however, indicates that the bridge “received such a Shock the last Winter by the Ice” that “a thorough Repair” became an “absolute Necessity” (Mass., House Jour.
, 29:99). On 2 July 1753 the Boston Evening-Post
gave notice: “Whereas the great Bridge in
Cambridge has for some Time past been out of Repair, so that there was no passing over it;
This is to inform the Publick, that the said Bridge is now so far repaired, that Chairs, Chaises, and other Carriages may pass over it with Safety.”
The bridge in Watertown, also known as the “great Bridge,” was built in 1718– 1719 and crossed the Charles River near the present Watertown Square at Galen Street (Watertown Records, Watertown and Newton, Mass., 1894–1939, 2:256–257, 261, 263; G. Frederick Robinson and Ruth Robinson Wheeler, Great Little Watertown: A Tercentenary History, Watertown, Mass., 1930, p. 48).