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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 7., An eighteenth century enterprise. (search)
Sullivan, afterward governor of Massachusetts, was the great enterprise of its time, the Middlesex Canal. So comprehensive was the idea of Judge Sullivan, that fully completed, it would have resulted in an inland waterway from Boston to Canada. Its charter was granted by the General Court, June 22, 1793, and immediately received the signature of the governor, John Hancock and the corporators organized by the choice of James Sullivan for President, and Col. Loammi Baldwin of Woburn and Gen. John Brooks of Medford as vice-presidents, while several other Medford men served its interests as directors. In these later years it has been rather facetiously remarked that in the case of railroads, ground is broken with much ceremony, and that afterward the stockholders are broken without ceremony. So in the case of the canal, Col. Baldwin removed (at Billerica) the first turf, when the work of excavation actually commenced nearly sixteen months after the granting of the charter, the interven
uildings and most of those trees have disappeared, and the grounds occupied by Mrs. Rowson's school (the most popular, perhaps, at that time in the country), are now in the possession of Mr. J. W. Tufts and the Episcopal Church. The apartment devoted to the Sunday-school of that church being almost upon the identical spot which the schoolroom formerly occupied. I quote again from her biographer a description of the location which one would hardly now recognize: the house, near that of Gov. John Brooks, is delightfully situated on the left or eastern bank of the Mystic river, which winds through meadows of the deepest green to meet the sea. Built on the acclivity rising gradually from the margin of the stream, and commanding a charming view of the distant spires of Boston and of Cambridge, it seems intended as the appropriate residence of the muses and the graces. The approach to it from the road which here runs through a beautiful grove is by a long avenue of lofty trees, whose bran