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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 13., Ancient legal contentions in upper Medford. (search)
last established the Symmes farm was included within Medford bounds, but later this part of Medford was set off to Winchester. Previous to 1860 the upper part of present Mystic lake was a meadow, large in extent, and not flowed over as at the present time by the Mystic Water Works dam. It was known as the Symmes' meadow, and the grass was cut for cattle. Previous to the contention now under consideration, it seems that Thomas Broughton and Edward Collins had erected a mill-dam on the Mystic river which was erected so high as to flow the upper part of the river, Mystic lake, and the Symmes' meadow, to the great damage of Symmes, according to the record. The location of the Broughton dam is said to have been just above the crossing of Arlington and Jerome streets, West Medford, but nothing in the record states the location of the dam. This mill privilege passed away long ago, and no one living remembers anything about it, but if it had been maintained to later times it would have b
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 13., Early Improvements on the Mystic. (search)
sive stone aqueduct of the Middlesex canal was built in 1828. There, on February 15, 1855, an ice-jam was formed by a sudden thaw, and these same meadows were soon several feet under water, the railroad bridge at Wedgemere wrecked, and Main street, in Winchester, at the railroad crossing, fourteen inches submerged, and boats rowed thereon. In 1861 the aqueduct was removed, and in 1865 the Symmes' meadows disappeared altogether at the building of the Mystic dam. But during the years the Mystic and Menotomy rivers have been bringing down the detritus, as their wooded slopes have been denuded, while the inflowing tides have in a measure barred the outflow. The smaller stream, doubtless much larger in President Dunster's day, shrunk to narrow width, was doubled on its course at intervals, and robbed of the natural outflow of Fresh pond, became sluggish and unsanitary in the extreme. But during the past two years all this has been changed. Instead of the narrow, serpentine stream
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 13., The Congregational Church of West Medford. (search)
(now Winthrop) streets, thirteen. These, with three barns, a blacksmith shop (corner High and Warren streets), the schoolhouse (corner Brooks and Irving streets), and the almshouse, make eighty-one buildings east of the railroad and north of Mystic river. West of the railroad and north of High street were two dwellings next the depot, and the buildings of the Brooks' estates. Between High street and Mystic river were eleven buildings—a barn opposite the Brooks' farmhouse; Mystic Hall, at iMystic river were eleven buildings—a barn opposite the Brooks' farmhouse; Mystic Hall, at its present location; the residences of Mr. George F. Spaulding and Mr. Henry T. Woods, River street (now Harvard avenue); of Mr. Horace A. Breed, Bower street; the old Canal House, at the present intersection of Boston avenue and Arlington street, and five dwellings on Canal street. The larger part of this tract was known as the Smith Estate, upon which there had previously been conducted a girls' boarding school, with dormitories at the Mansion House, on Canal street, and Mystic Hall for recit
a decision of Supreme Court, October, 1800, establishing rights to flow the land in question by the defendant, Samuel Tufts, as follows: he has had, and now has, prescriptive right to keep up the dam, in the same situation and height, as in his plea he has declared. There are many other suits on record, too numerous to mention. Spot Pond was discovered by Governor Winthrop, as he records in his journal, February 7, 1631, The Governor, Mr. Nowell, Mr. Eliot, and others, went over the Mystic river at Medford, and going north and by east among the rocks about two or three miles, they came to a very great pond having an island and divers small rocks, standing up here and there in it, which they therefore called Spot Pond. They went all about it on the ice. The pond then covered about 150 acres, but by the erection of the first dam in 1642 was raised slightly, and the evidence shows that it was raised at various times during the following one hundred and fifty years, in all 8 or 9
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 13., The Royall house people of a century ago. (search)
boy—upon her manuscript. The Welches next resided in Waltham for a few years and visits were interchanged by both families, and the little girl had ample chance of observation. In 1806 Mr. Welch bought of Benjamin Hall and Charles Sumner the Royall estate in Medford (comprising about six acres) for $12,500. During his six years residence there they kept up much the same style of living as Mrs. Orne describes as at Waltham. Nothing is known of any excursions by water, though the Mystic river provided equal facilities. The pleasure excursions on the Middlesex canal (that skirted the estate) had not then attained the celebrity they did a few years later, but possibly they availed themselves of the opportunity of inland trips. But the parties and suppers were frequent, as the Welches were very hospitable. Dr. Swan said he once drew Mrs. Welch as his partner at a Medford whist party, and the custom was for the losers to go out at the end of every game. They were winners in
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 13., Stage-coach days in Medford. (search)
Stage-coach days in Medford. [Read before the Medford Historical Society by Eliza M. Gill, February 5, 1910]. FROM her settlement Medford was favorably situated for communication with the world beyond her boundaries, for those opportunities for contact with men and affairs that keep a community alert and progressive. She had that fine water-way, the Mystic river, at first on her southern border, later, by an accession of territory, through the middle of the town. She was near Boston, and all the land travel from the north and east to that great center of New England's interests and ideals, for more than a hundred and fifty years, passed through her market-place and over the successive bridges spanning the Mystic where the Cradock bridge is located. From as far as Quebec and Passamaquoddy Bay came the traveller on foot, on horseback, in chaise, pung or stage, as the varying seasons came, with their gradual improvement for comfort and convenience in travelling. Almost wit