old formula ere Stop, Look, Listen, came in vogue.
Flagman Kelley was an old employee who had lost an arm while on duty as fireman, and then carried a red flag or light as danger signal.
Across the track to the left was the residence of Hon. J. M. Usher.
It stood somewhat back from the village street and was heavily shaded by trees, mostly maple, with some mountain ash. A somewhat massive fence was before it, painted a somber brown, as was the house, and beyond was a vacant lot extending tilding, the two banks, and the Weymouth building (Tufts Hall) bring us to Medford Square.
Mr. McCollum's meeting-house (afterward St. Joseph's) still remains as Page & Curtin's store, and the two-story wooden building southward was built by J. M. Usher in ‘71, but the Opera House block was erected in later years.
In making these changes some eight or nine buildings have been demolished and one removed, and one church burned.
With the exception of the portion next the square, and another bu
me of the Medford cracker and baking industry were demolished.
The vine-clad dwelling, with its latticed entrance, and the quaint old gambrel-roofed store and the sheds containing the ovens are all gone.
The place is a scene of busy activity in the erection of the theatre which is to cater to the amusement-seeking public.
The local press has furnished a description of this (which promises to be first class and up-to-date), and says that the old building is believed to date back to 1670. Mr. Usher, in his history, said (which we doubt) in 1886 that it was over 230 years, which would place it prior to 1656, thus antedating the earliest authentic house in Medford.
Be that as it may, they were two very old houses, and it is not in the scope of this article to work out the problem of their genesis, nor yet of the alterations, additions and moving thither that brought them into their final and familiar shape.
It is of the business there conducted and of its promoters that we deal, no
In the interest of historic truth, supported by laborious search and painstaking care, rather than hasty arrival at pleasant fiction, published, oft quoted and for fifty years accepted (because no one questioned it), we assert that if Simon Tufts, the future physician, was born at home, i.e., in his father's house, his birthplace was the old two-story brick house in East Medford.
Prior to 1854 there had been few local or town histories written or published.
Of Medford's (Brooks', 1855) Mr. Usher says, The book was one of the earliest contributions to New England's municipal history.
In that work Mr. Brooks devoted two pages to the old two-story brick house on Ship street, calling it one of the most precious relics of antiquity in New England.
This was under this italicized caption, Governor Cradock's House. He said That it was built by Mr. Cradock soon after the arrival of his company, . . . will appear from the following facts.
Let us look at the facts he produces.