Horse Rest signage on Thompson Road

In the early days of New Braintree, it was a long, hard pull for horse teams up from Winimusset valley along Hardwick and Thompson Roads to what is now Route 67 or the New Braintree center.

This hilly road area was often under threat of being washed out during heavy rains, so around 1857 a road building technique was employed by building at intervals, low earthen berms or dams across what is now Thompson Road which diverted water to the roadside. The road was also slightly leveled between the dams.

These dams and the leveled areas of the road came to be known as “thank’ee ma’ams” as they created much needed level footing for the horses pulling wagons up this difficult stretch to stop and – “rest”.