In 1776, as the American army was fortifying Mount Independence, General Horatio Gates ordered that a road be built from the Mount to the small town of Rutland, where it would connect to the Crown Point Road, thus providing more direct access for the movement of troops and supplies from New England.
In the mid-20th century, Joseph Wheeler became interested in the road and began a lifelong research project to uncover and preserve the route of the road. He published his findings in three articles in the Vermont History Quarterly, and after he died in the 1960s, those articles (with some updates) were published as a book by his wife, Mabel.
My father, being a history buff, picked up a copy and I remember being intrigued by the photographs of artifacts and landmarks included. One in particular was of interest to me: a photograph of what was believed to be a bridge built to service the military travel.
This past weekend, I was able to join a group on a ramble along what is believed to be the old military road in the town of Benson. One of the objectives of the ramble in the woods was to take a look at the bridge. Another was two locate two 19th-century cellar holes Wheeler mentions in the book.
It turned out to be a beautiful day for a walk in the woods. Here are some photographs from the excursion.