The Lost Road and the Towers of Doom
For years, we've wondered about the green towers on the hill behind the Stop & Shop on American Legion Highway in Roslindale (they're visible from most of the other hills in the area, including ours). The kidlet and I decided they were Towers of Doom - they were big and mysterious (there's no obvious way to get up there) and kind of ominous.
This afternoon, on a trek to the store, we noticed what looked like a bench up a little rise from the new Walgreens at the far end of the Stop & Shop strip. Hmm, could there be a path up to the Towers of Doom? The bench turned out to be a cinderblock perched on a concrete block, but there was indeed a path headed up.
And right into a lost road:
It was a pretty creepy, post-apocalyptic road, complete with a portal to another dimension:
Some pretty tall weeds grew in cracks in the pavement - at least, where the pavement hadn't crumbled away. As we ascended, the sounds of civilization, indeed, Boston itself, faded away and we were totally alone in the middle of godforsaken nowhere. But there was plenty of evidence that people, probably people on the run, took refuge up there, including an old lean-to, and a fire pit nearby, built right in the middle of the road:
At one point, we spotted a tiny little path that looked like it led up to the towers, but we decided to keep walking up the road, curious where it would end up, and keeping our ears alert for any sign of mutant bears and vampire wolves. The road - which had your basic City of Boston storm-drain manhole covers - ended in a fence:
We doubled back, and this time went up the little, wandering footpath, which led us past more evidence of habitation, including what appeared to be the remains of a bulldozed foundation or two - as well as a brief section of another abandoned road.
Eventually, we got up to the very towers! We banged on one. Sounded hollow and, fortunately, nothing banged back. We still had no clue what they were for. A bit further up from the towers was a large field, filled with scrub and these reedy things:
Behind us stood some shorter, less mysterious towers with light fixtures atop them, pointed down at the field. At the end of the field, near some evidence of more modern civilization (what looked like modern townhouses perched on a hill) was some tall netting, of the sort you'd expect to see at a driving range (more on that anon). But sunset was nigh, we were without proper overnight supplies and so it was time to head back down.
Google Maps identifies the top of the hill as the Oak Lawn Golf Range (hence the netting). Some Parks and Recreation documents also call it that and say it's a 12-acre, privately owned open space.
The road we took was not shown on either a 2000 city map or one from 1948 - although a city assessing map shows an "unbuilt" (or maybe a private) continuation of Victoria Heights Road, which now ends at the other side of the fence we saw. According to that map, the area on our side of the fence is a vacant parcel owned by the New Covenant Christian Center (and assessed at $1.4 million). Some of the rest of the land is marked with what sound suspiciously like subdivision names (Crane Ledge III for example). Does anybody know more about the history of the hill of doom?