|Old Linden Hill Road, 1849|
During the course of my pavement pounding this past winter, in addition to getting some up close and personal vantages of the various posts and references that you continue to add to the MCH history, I have become quite interested in the old roads that can still be found in our area. Although Millcreek, Linden Hill, Limestone, Pike Creek and Paper Mill Roads to name just a few have all been thoroughly traveled for the past 300+ years, they have been modified substantially over the last 50 years or so. Due in part to the development of the entire MCH, the various roads still basically follow the same routes, however, there are some significant deviations when compared to the older maps (1849 & 1868) that we typically use as reference.
The first of these roads is Linden Hill. Old Linden Hill Road starts on the northern boundary of Carousel Park at Limestone Road and to the best of my knowledge this is the same route that can be seen on the 1868 map. If you follow the road it will end at the lower parking lot for the park. The road continues across the small stream that feeds the big pond at Carousel. Although the timbered floored bridge has been rebuilt I’m sure many times, there is some evidence still of the old foundations on either side. The road continues for approximately 75 yards and terminates as it starts to venture up the hill.
In present day, as you travel up New Linden Hill Road, the old road would have joined approximately where the woods end and the field begins on the south side. Both roads probably followed the current route until approximately 100 yards past Skyline Drive at which point Old Linden Hill dives down along the northern side of New Linden Hill. At this point, the old road cut is still very visual as it dives down towards Pike Creek. The telephone poles are still present and active. At Pike Creek, the old bridge foundations are still very much visible and in pretty good shape. Here is where things get interesting. As noted on the map, Old Linden Hill Road then takes a hard left south along Upper Pike Creek Road, crossing present day New Linden Hill Road. Approximately 30 yards past the new intersection, the old road would once again take a hard right west again and start up the hill towards Poly Drummond Road. It re-connects with present day Linden Hill about a quarter mile further up the existing road. I have included several photographs showing the road cuts that are discussed.
The second road can be tied to your post about the Eastburn store. Traveling along present day Pigeon Hollow Road is definitely like being in a time machine. It is very easy to vision yourself on a wagon picking up a few supplies and heading back to your farm except the current road abruptly ends. As the map shows, Pigeon Hollow Road ties into the earlier version of Paper Mill Road before it follows the same type re-direction that we saw of Old Linden Hill Road at Pike Creek as it heads towards Newark. Here is what piqued my curiosity.
Once again while out for a run this winter, with the vegetative growth and greenery at a minimum, while heading towards Limestone Road, almost directly across Paper Mill Road from the old Eastburn homestead (which by the way should be a post someday), are the remains of an old stone bridge. The ruins are completely hidden from the everyday traffic both because of its location and the speed at which most people travel that stretch of road. However, if you are on a bike or foot, it is very obvious as it is directly adjacent to the road sign on the west bound side. Once again, as a testament to those stone masons of the era, the bridge foundations are still intact and provide yet another glimpse of the rich history of the area. It also further explains the location of the Eastburn store that was referenced in original post and, at least for me, cleared up logistical questions.