Of the four chief routes from New York to Boston this Shore Route is perhaps of second importance after the Springfield Route, as it was second in historical development. Following the shore of the Sound and Narragansett Bay, it offers many attractions, and passes a succession of summer resorts of which Watch Hill, Narragansett Pier, and Newport are best known.
The road follows the “Pequot Path,” an ancient Indian trail along which the Colonists pursued the Indians in the Pequot War in 1637. It was first used by the post riders from Boston to New York because of obstructions on the main post road through Springfield and Hartford. In 1693 a weekly post from Boston to New York was established through Saybrook. Through the Revolution this was known as the “Lower Road,” or “Old Post Road,” to distinguish it from the “Upper Road,” followed by Route r, through Hartford and Springfield, and the “Middle Road,” Route 3, through Hartford and Pomfret. The “Lower Road” was generally used by travelers, not as a `through’ route, but as the way from New York to Rhode Island.