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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 26., Lieutenant Sprague's long fence. (search)
Mr. Cradock's servants had planted. He became a settler in the peninsula we know as Charlestown the next year with Governor Winthrop's company and was a man of note in the town. Governor Winthrop died in 1647 but his farm was still in possessionGovernor Winthrop died in 1647 but his farm was still in possession of the family and a fence was required between it and Charlestown's common land. Through the latter was but one road to Manottomy (present Broadway, Somerville), and through Mr. Winthrop's farm only the Charlestown and Cambridge roads (now Main aMr. Winthrop's farm only the Charlestown and Cambridge roads (now Main and Harvard streets in Medford.) The fence Richard Sprague built was probably mainly a stone wall, topped with tree branches or brush secured from the comon, or wooded Walnuttree hill. Thus reinforced, it was a barrier against the reasonable Cattllestown the remainder of his interest in those twenty cow commons which I am to have for mayntayning the fence against Mr. Winthrop's farm, on condition that the proprietors release my executrix from care of the fence. It would be of interest to kn
are presenting a view of Medford square, well worth preserving, as of historic interest. It marks the spot where the settlement of Medford began. Prior to that time it was the haunt of the red man. Salem and High streets have taken the place of the Indian trail, and the fording place of another joined it nearby at the left. At the right was Mr. Cradock's ferme house, and over this trail came the three Sprague brothers from Salem in 1628-29 and found Cradock's men here at work. In 1630 Winthrop's men settled on his Charlestown farm, whose northeast corner (the Mystic parkway) is the foreground of the view. Five or six years later, Cradock's agent built here a bridge, ever since maintained in various forms. The teetering draw gave place to two granite arches, since lengthened and widened to present enduring form. Behind the iron fencing of the parkway is the Cradock dam which holds back the incoming tides; and the four of lower height which hold the upper river at a level with t