Archive for February, 2012

What’s in a Name

February 27, 2012

Beginning of Route 20Boston, Massachusetts© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

End of Route 20Boston, Massachusetts© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Boston, Mashachusetts
© jan albers | all rights reserved

In Boston, Route 20 either begins or ends, depending on which direction you’re facing. Speaking historically, however, Boston is part of the road’s beginning, where it was originally called the King’s Highway. Later the name was changed to the Upper Boston Post Road, when it became part of a colonial mail route between Boston and New York. The road roughly follows the Old Connecticut Path, a Native American trail that extended from Massachusetts Bay to the Connecticut River.

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End of Road, West

February 14, 2012

End of the RoadNewport, Oregon© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

Newport, Oregon

The Yaquina Bay Bridge, opened in 1936, is on U.S. Route 101, the north-south route at the far western edge of Newport.  Route 20 comes to an abrupt end at 101, with no fanfare whatsoever. The view of the bridge offers a nice coda at the end of the accidental highway.

Meeting Place

February 6, 2012

Hay Springs, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Coffee Cup Cafe, Hay Springs, Nebraska

This is the story told to us about the restaurant by Selma Kudrna, who owned a tax services business in town and who was volunteering the day we stopped by, in 1991:

The owner, Blanche de Haven, is a farm woman. Two young fellas bought the cafe, coming up with the cash with Blanche’s help – she cosigned on a loan. The business was going well until the sheriff came in one day and arrested one of the men, who had a prison record and had been stealing money from the business – and who’d cosigned on the loan.

Blanche, who’s in her late 70s, then took over the cafe herself. She gets up every morning between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. to do her farm chores, then heads to the restaurant, where she works until the afternoon. She’s helped by folks in town who volunteer at the restaurant one day a week to keep it running.

They don’t mind helping. One patron sums up the community spirit neatly: “Along here, we own our towns.”

They did mind when Blanche raised the price of a cup of coffee from a quarter to 30 cents – especially since the senior center across the street sells a cup of coffee for only a quarter.


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