ption (soon after its opening for library use), we were never within its walls till after the construction of the brick stack-room and the attendant changes within.
The men who refitted it for library use have passed on, and we can find no one to intelligently answer our queries.
We have desired to add a trustworthy description of this unique building to the archives of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, in reply to query and request made in Boston Transcript of May 30 (last), as well as to our local history.
So we turn to such sources of information as we have at hand.
A tradition has been current that it was built in the same year and by the same builder as was the Gray mansion next west from it, and that early in the nineteenth century.
That, however, upon consideration is highly improbable, as Thatcher Magoun (born June 17, 1775, in Pembroke, Mass.) was but twenty-seven years of age when he came to Medford in 1802 and commenced the business of shi
g the thirtieth of May, 1868, for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.
He did this with the hope that it would be kept up from year to year.
Already in some of the southern states the women had laid their flowers on the graves of the Confederate dead to show their devotion to the Lost Cause, but in the north there was no fixed date till 1868.
In 1882 the Grand Army urged that May thirtieth be Memorial Day, not Decoration Day, as it had commonly been called.
Since 1910 it has been a legal holiday in most of the states and territories.
Memorial Day is something more than a decoration day. Every national day is a memorial day. Such days should teach us to feel more strongly our duty to our country.
They should fill us with enthusiasm and love for our native land; they should bring home to us more vividly the sacrifices of our fathers, and should make us realize that upon