The Driftway and Cutler Street

    The Driftway - Developed in the 1950s by Norman Henry who operated a farm at 200 Dutcher Street.   A Milford News article
    at the time (below) tells of the development. However, some sort of road existed there much earlier.

    Mr. and Mrs. Arthur C. Rockwood and son, formerly of 469 Purchase Street, Milford, have moved into their new home in the
    Norman S. Henry development off Dutcher Street. They are the first to occupy a house in the development, though other
    houses are nearing completion close by. This area is entered by a roadway referred to in Adin Ballou’s book, History of
    Milford, as Driftway. In the early days the road crossed the present P. E. Casey farm on West Street, continued through to
    what is now Dutcher Street and entered what is now the development. The road then crossed a bridge on Mill River below
    the present Rustic Bridge, that was known as Cutler Bridge. [A 1913 map of the Parklands shows the location of the bridge,
    gone by that time. It was about halfway between Freedom Street and the Rustic Bridge. The approach to Cutler Bridge is still
    there, on the east side of the pond.] The road continued on through the woods though the present Clark estate on Overdale
    Parkway and the Harvey Trask farm to Mendon. The new road has not been named, but due to its early history, might well be
    called Driftway. Milford Daily News, August 1950

    The dictionary definition for driftway is, “A common way, road or path for driving cattle.”  

    Cutler Street - No. 30 [in Ballou's list of abandoned home-sites in his History of Milford] is the Cutler place, on an old
    discontinued "Drift-Way or Bridle-Road," that led from what is now Freedom St., north-eastwardly, over the Cutler Bridge,
    towards the Dea. Rawson place. David Cutler was the most prominent early owner, and dwelt, in 1760, where the ruins now
    are. Then said "Drift-Way" was laid. I have never been there to inspect the site, but am told that it is situated on a north-
    easterly line from the Cutler Bridge, forty rods or more in the direction of the Rawson estate. I suppose the Cutler place
    descended to his heirs, was sold out to different purchasers, and ere long passed out of the family name. The house is
    said to have been tenanted last by one Pease, who had Indian blood in his veins. I have not been told the date of its final
    abandonment." Adin Ballou, History of Milford.  For more on this, use the  link above to see the 1913 map, which shows the
    location of Rawson's Bridge, and the former location of Cutler's Bridge, and also, Bridges of Hopedale Pond.

                           
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Photos from Charlie Gaffney

    Until I saw the 1913 Parklands map, I didn't know that there had once been a bridge that crossed the
    upper end of Hopedale Pond below the Rustic Bridge. However, it looks to me as though the road on
    the map above crosses the pond just about where the Rustic Bridge is now. The date I have for the
    map is the 1890s. The red town line was obviously added after it was printed. The road referred to in
    the 1950 Milford Daily News article must have been the one that leaves West Street just to the left of
    the word, "Milford."  After a short distance, it turned into a dirt road and eventually crossed Hopedale
    Pond. And there it ends. If it continued on through the Overdale Parkway area and on into Mendon, it's
    not shown here. Evidently it had been abandoned by the time the map was drawn. Possibly the
    creation of Hopedale Pond by the dam built by the Hopedale Community in the 1840s wiped out the
    old bridge and the road was rerouted to the Rustic Bridge area. The first bridge there was called
    Rawson's Bridge. Freedom Street can be seen winding through the lower part of the map, with North
    Avenue, Mendon showing just a bit in the lower left corner.

    Below is a section of the 1913 Manning map of the Parklands. Note "Site of Cutler Bridge" at the left
    and "Rawson's Bridge" a bit right of center.