war in his Half Century of Conflict, and truly no historical writing can be more simple, more charming, or more complete in detail of facts, and for pleasant and interesting reading I commend the book to the attention of our school children.
In 1871 this newspaper account was reprinted in full in an article where the story was told again for the public, and since that time it has been given by successive writers with the youth's name, though Parkman suggests that the act was over exploited.
hn G. Whittier was a guest in the home of his brother, Matthew Francis Whittier, who at that time (1865-8) owned the cottage house on Pleasant street (present number 50), now occupied by Mrs. Sarah K. Tebbetts, from whom she bought the property in 1871.
The house has been much enlarged and altered, and at that time a neat iron fence was in front of the estate.
This was the brother to whom the poet referred in Snow Bound, in these lines:—
only I and thou Are left of all that c
in the old record book, and the last entry is—
Medford January the fifth 1830
Paid to Edward S Staniels forty five cents for services
This was according to vote of previous year and the only record we notice of such payment, and follows—
Sewell Pierce agrees to keep the snow from the engine house doors till the first of April for ten cents.
The old Grasshopper went to Upper Medford (Symmes' Corner) for a time, the people there relieving the town of any expense, and lastly was housed in the hearse house at Salem Street Cemetery and finally (see Mr. Hooper's history) sold for twenty dollars when eighty-five years old.
During the writing of this article the motor-driven combination chemical engine of West Medford, returning to its quarters, has passed the writer's open window.
It is a far cry from that to the old Grasshopper, which looked like a tub on a hand-cart, but not much farther than from the old hose carriage the engineers furnished West Medford in 1871
Whether the work was begun and ground broken with ceremony at Stoneham is uncertain.
As to the Medford end of it, let us call in Caleb Swan, who grew up to manhood in Medford, and get his story as he wrote, in (about) 1856, with the case fresh in his mind:—
Mr. Swan was a brother of the two he refers to. The fine old mansion still remains, though moved a little from its site which was closer to High street, and the wing and cupola added and otherwise remodeled by the late A. D. Puffer in 1871.
The Stoneham Rail Road was intended by its projectors in Stoneham only to go to Winchester, where the Lowell cars go to Boston 11 times a day,—in an evil hour the route was changed, to come down through Medford,—crossing the Medford road at Mr. Swan's land and again at the Medford Bridge–thus coming through the heart of the town.
The Town was entirely opposed to it, and at a Town Meeting a vote was passed intending to instruct the Selectmen to oppose it— but the vote was worded by