Historic Route 20

Downtown Northborough
Downtown Northborough

Route 20 is Northborough’s Main Street through the town center. It is also the longest highway in the United States.  It stretches 3,365 miles from the Pacific Coast town of Newport, Oregon to Kenmore Square in Boston. Along the way it passes through Boise ID, Yellowstone National Park, Casper WY, Dubuque IA, Chicago IL, South Bend IN, Cleveland OH, Erie PA and Albany NY. It is part of the numbered interstate highway system developed in 1925. In the early 1930’s Route 20 was straightened to remove many of the twist and turns of the Old Boston Post Road from Weston to Northborough. In Northborough it bypassed what we now call East Main Street along with other zigs&zags (see turnoffs near the Jehovah’s Witness Assembly Hall). The southwest cutoff was constructed from the western part of Northborough to Auburn to by-pass Shrewsbury and Worcester centers.   Too bad they did not design a by-pass for Northborough Center at that time. 

Historic Homes on Rt20 Northborough (Thank You Brian Smith): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASOMjzTul6o

Rt20 Info:  http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/longest.cfm

Rt20 Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_20

Rt20 Blog: http://usroutetwenty.blogspot.com/

Rt20 Books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B00DXJAKQE_B00DXJAKQE_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Michael+J.+Till&so...

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Kirby January 05, 2014 at 12:19 PM
Thanks for that information. One day years ago I followed Rte. 20 through MA but didn't start as far east as Kenmore Sq. I am fascinated that it literally goes all the way to Newport, Oregon. Now there is a road trip if I ever heard one and a book waiting to be written.
Norm Corbin January 05, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Kirby, thanks for your interest. You may want to check out some of the links because there are several books written about this road. Also, I've just added an additional like about 5 minutes ago showing some of the historic homes on Northborough's Main Street.
Brian Smith January 11, 2014 at 05:04 PM
Nice article Norm. I drove Rte 20 from Waltham to Yellowstone Park in the late 1960's and camped out along the way. It was a good way for a young guy to see the country and really appreciate how big it is.
Norm Corbin January 12, 2014 at 10:55 PM
Brian, if you have any photos from your trip, it would be great if you posted a few. Norm


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