Area V – Ricci’s Lane

South Lexington was the first area of the town to be settled and this historic cart path was laid out in 1660 as part of the old Oxbow Road to connect Lexington, then part of Cambridge, to Boston. The roadbed is no longer maintained but is about two rods wide and is bordered on either side by stone walls. It was originally an old Native American route.

The remains of Ricc's Way - first photo.

In the late 18th and early 19th century bridges were built across the Charles River allowing for more direct routes to the Boston peninsula, thus the old Oxbow Road became less important as a route to Boston. It did however continue to be one of the main roads between Lexington and Waltham until Waltham Street was laid out sometime between 1830 and 1852. After that time the road continued as a county road and is shown on maps throughout the 19th century and what is now “Ricci’s Lane” is depicted on Lexington street maps through 1955.

The remnants of Ricci's Way - photo 2.

Its later name is an apparent reference to the Ricci family of farmers – Salvatore and Louisa Ricci lived at 1010 Waltham Road (no longer extant) in the early to mid 20th century. Today, Ricci’s Lane runs through the property known as Lot 1 of the old Middlesex County Hospital campus. The hospital which was located over the line in Waltham, was constructed by the county as a tuberculosis sanatorium. It closed in 2001 and the land is now owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is part of the so-called “Western Greenway”.

Sign for Ricci's Way