Milton, Straight Thru (North), in 1918

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | November 27, 2018

This extract from the Official Automobile Blue Book of 1918 outlines the route that one would take in order to travel between Portsmouth, NH, and Bretton Woods, NH [their Route Number 463, Pp. 665-71].

Note that none of the Route numbers refer to US or NH Route numbers, as those highway systems did not yet exist. The “Routes” mentioned are the here-to-there descriptions in the book and the numbers are the sequence numbers of those descriptions within the book. They tend to be rather brief, as space was no doubt a premium.

Note also, as you “travel” the route, with your finger on the page or screen, that Portsmouth, Dover, Somersworth, and Rochester all had trolley lines. They likely began as horse-drawn trolleys, although by 1918 they may have been electrified.

The “major” places, those that are both capitalized and bolded in the book, had footnote descriptions that have not been extracted to here. The Hotels, Garages, Service Stations, and Tea Rooms mentioned are those of their advertisers only.

The distance numbers before each step are 1) the total distance from the beginning of the Route, and 2) an intermediate distance from some prior step. Note how often one would have encountered a railroad crossing and that each one is included. These would have been important warnings in a day when tire technology was considerably less advanced than it is now.

This was the way, with some possible minor variations, that one would have traveled from Portsmouth to Union, and beyond to Bretton Woods, right up to the creation of the Spaulding Turnpike. As described in our previous Milton and the Spaulding Turnpike article, the Spaulding Turnpike replaced the Portsmouth-to-Dover Point portion of this 1918 route in September 1956, and the Dover Point-to-Rochester portion in August 1957.

The Spaulding Turnpike is estimated to have brought three times the traffic volume as previously to Rochester from the south. As you may see, all that traffic had to pass then through Rochester and Milton, which lay just 3.3 miles beyond Rochester. This was the situation that prevailed between 1957 and 1981.

Selectman Lucier recalled that tree-cutting for the third section of the Spaulding Turnpike began in 1978. Blasting too, one supposes, as one passes between several high rock faces along that stretch.

The Spaulding Turnpike’s third section came “online,” so to speak, in 1981. It extended the previous route past Rochester to the second Milton “Fork” intersection of the 1918 route description, just before Union (now Exit 18). That final 1981 ribbon cutting is what bypassed both Rochester and Milton, at least in the highway sense.

The route past Union (Exit 18) has changed considerably over the years that followed too, as successive NH Route 16 straightenings and bypassings were gradually implemented.

It is possible to follow these directions still for much of its described route. You might find it interesting, instructive, and “scenic” to do so sometime.

Route 463 – Portsmouth to Bretton Woods, N.H., White Mountains – 117.0 m. 

Reverse Route 571

Via Dover, Rochester, Osslpee, No. Conway and Crawford Notch. Forty-four miles macadam. Balance gravel. This is the main route to shore resorts and the White Mountains. This route follows thru a thickly settled country to West Ossipee with only scattered sections of woods and connecting here with route around Lake Winnipesaukee. From this point the valley grows narrower and is followed nearly all the way to Crawford Notch. A good option to this route is via 469 to Meredith and Route 491 to Bretton Woods.

  • 0.0 0.0 PORTSMOUTH. Congress, Market & Pleasant Sts. Go west with trolley on Congress St.
  • 0.1 0.1 Vaughan St.; turn right, leaving trolley. Cross RR. 0 3. 
  • 0.5 0.4 4-corners; turn left with trolley.
  • 0.6 0.1 End of street; turn right over stone causeway.
  • 0.7 0.1 Fork; keep right onto Maplewood Ave., leaving trolley. 
  • 3.2 2.5 Right-hand diagonal road; bear right with travel and macadam.
    • Dover City Map and Points of Interest, page 666. 
  • 4.6 1.4 3-corners; bear right.
    • Pay 15c. toll 4.9 and cross long wooden bridge over the Piscataqua River. 
  • 5.4 0.8 Dover Point. sta. on right. Straight thru.
    • Cross RR 6.0. 
      • Left on Silver St., at 11.2 is Route 472 to Concord.
  • 11.6 6.2 Dover. Central Ave. & Washington St. Straight thru (north) on Central Ave. with trolley.
    • SERVICE STA. – United States Tire Sales and Service Depots located here. Right on Chapel St., Just before water trough 11.8 is Route 464 to Well.
    • Cross RR 11.9.
  • 13.6 2.0 Fork; keep right with trolley. Pass amusement park on left 14.3. 
  • 16.5 2.9 Somersworth. diagonal 4-corners. Turn sharp left upgrade, leaving trolley (north). 
  • 18.6 2.1 4-corners; turn right with travel. Cross RR. 22.9 and join trolley. 
  • 23.2 4.6 Rochester. Main & Wakefield Sts. at green. Bear right with branch trolley onto Wakefield St.
    • HOTELS – Hayes Hotel, Portland St. New City Hotel, Main St. 
    • GARAGES – Phillips Garage, 111 S. Main St.
    • Bear right with branch-trolley onto Wakefield St.
      • Left on Main St. Is Route 469 to Meredith.
    • Pass city hall on right 23.3. Cross RRs. 23.5 – 24.1 – 28.2 – 29.6 – 30.4. 
  • 31.1 7.9 Milton. Straight thru (north).
  • 32.1 1.0 Fork; keep right along Milton 3-ponds. Cross RR. 32.4. 
  • 35.9 3.8 Fork; keep left. 
  • 37.6 1.7 Union. Keep ahead across RR. and pass P.0. on right just beyond. Cross RRs. 40.1 – 42.0
  • 42.2 4.6 Sanbornville. Straight thru (north). 
  • 43.4 1.2 Wakefield. P.O. on left. Straight thru. Cross RR. at sta. 43.8. Cross RR 47.9
  • 48.4 5.0 North Wakefield. P.O. on left. Straight thru. Cross RR. 49.2.
  • 53.5 5.1 Ossipee, court house over to left. Straight thru (north).
    • HOTELS – Carroll Inn, opp. court house.
      • Left Is Note (a) to Holderness and Note (a) Route 571 to Wolfeboro.
    • Cross RR. at sta. 53.9.
  • 59.0 5.5 Center Ossipee, church on right. Straight thru.
    • GARAGES – Carleton’s Garage
      • Right at 59.1 is Route 466 to Portland.
    • Cross RR. 62.1. Pass Ossipee Valley P.0. on left 62.2.
  • 62.8 3.8 Fork; bear right across iron bridge.
  • 65.2 2.4 Fork, at small green; bear right.
    • Left fork is Route 566 to Concord.
  • 65.3 0.1 West Ossipee, diagonal 4-corners. Bear left with travel.
    • GARAGES – White’s Garage.
  • 69.3 4.0 4-corners; turn right across small bridge.
  • 69.4 0.1 Chocorua, left-hand road. Turn left – sign “Conway.”
    • Straight ahead leads to Silver Lake.
    • HOTELS – Chocorua Inn at 70.4.
  • 70.9 1.5 Right-hand road; turn right along shore of Chocorua Lake.
    • Straight ahead leads to Wonalancet and Sandwich.
  • 72.8 1.9 3-corners; bear left across small bridge – sign “Conway.” Cross RRs. 80.0 – 80.7.
  • 81.0 8.2 End of road; bear right with travel.
  • 81.4 0.4 Conway, 4-corners at water trough. Turn left (north).
    • Straight ahead leads to Fryeburg.
  • 81.6 0.2 Fork, green in center; bear right thru covered bridge 81.8.
  • 84.3 2.7 End of road, turn left.
    • Right is Route 667 to Portland.
    • Right at 86.3 leads to Forest Glen Inn, ½ mile.
    • Detail Map of White Mts. pages 752-763.
  • 86.9 2.6 North Conway, bank on left. Straight thru (north).
    • HOTELS – Hotel Randall, Main St., Sunset Inn, Main St.
    • TEA ROOMS – Old Homestead Tea Room and Gift Shop, 1 mile below North Conway.
    • GARAGES – Bent’s Garage, Main St., next to P.O.
    • Cross RR. 87.3.
  • 88.8 1.9 Intervale. Straight thru. Cross RRs. 88.9-90.9.
    • HOTELS – Intervale House.
  • 91.3 2.5 Fork; bear left with travel.
    • Right at 92.7 is Route 500 to Gorham.
  • 92.9 1.6 Glen. Straight thru covered wooden bridge. Caution, thru covered bridge 94.5
  • 94.7 1.8 End of road just beyond RR.; turn right. Cross RR. 97.0.
  • 98.9 4.2 Bartlett. Straight thru.
    • HOTELS – Howard Hotel.
    • Cross RR. 99.3. Caution for bridge 102.8. Cross RRs. 103.0 – 104.1. Bear right across RR. Bemis Sta. 105.1. Start stiff climb thru Crawford Notch* 111.7. Pass sta. on left 113.5.
  • 113.7 14.8 Crawford House on left. Straight thru.
  • 117.0 3.3 BRETTON WOODS (White Mountains), sta. on right.
    • HOTELS – The Mount Pleasant, opp. sta. Right across RR. leads to The Mount Washington Hotel.

Route 571 – Bretton Woods (White Mountains) to Portsmouth, N.H. – 117.0 m.

Reverse Route 463

Here follows an extract [Wakefield through Rochester] only from the Reverse Route 571 [Pp. 780-83], which is included because it mentions an additional Milton feature – the location of the post-office – that was not mentioned in the original Route 463.

  • 73.6 4.9 Wakefield. Straight thru.
  • 74.5 0.9 Fork; bear left with poles.
  • 74.8 0.3 Sanbornville. Straight thru Cross RR. 75.0 – 76.9.
  • 79.4 4.6 Union. P.O. on left. Straight thru across RR.
  • 80.9 1.5 Fork; bear left sign – “Rochester.”
  • 81.0 0.1 Fork; bear right. Pass Milton 3-Ponds on left 83.9. Cross RR. 84.6.
  • 85.9 4.9 Milton. P.O. on right. Straight thru. Cross RR. 86.6 – 87.4 – 88.8 – 92.9 – 93.5. Pass [Rochester] city hall on left 93.7.
  • 93.8 7.9 Rochester,* Wakefield and Main Sts. green on right. Bear left with branch trolley onto Main St.
    • HOTELS – Hayes Hotel, Portland St. New City Hotel, Main St.
    • GARAGES – Phillips Garage, 111 S. Main St. Sharp right 93.8 is Route 469 to Meredith. Cross RR. 94.1


Automobile Blue Book Publishing Co. (1918). Official Automobile Blue Book, Volume Two, New England, Eastern Canada and Maritime Provinces. Retrieved from

US Department of Transportation. (2018). From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2018, October 6). Interstate Highway System. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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