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May. 8, 2021 | Saturday
Local News
Exploring Photos with the NOTL Museum: Late 1800s road work
Exploring photos with the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum.

This is a late 1800s photograph of a group of unidentified men, possibly in Queenston, working on the road systems in our community. Early road development was completed through “statutory labour” and was overseen by “Pathmasters” or an “Overseer of Highways.” Every May to September men appointed to this position would call upon lot owners, as part of their statutory duty, to assist with the development and repair of highways and roads in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The physical labour could be strenuous with falling trees, breaking stone or creating bridges. Failure to show up would result in fines. Eventually, this system was changed to payment in lieu of labour and thus taxes to pay for public works expenditures.