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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 14., The ancient name Menotomy and the river of that name. (search)
number of times in the above records, and as the records show, Menotomy river was the name by which the beautiful little stream, winding its way through the marshes and meadows from Fresh pond to the Mystic was known for nearly two hundred years. Its waters were clear and of considerable depth and at the old weir below Massachusetts avenue it had a width in 1862 of about twenty feet, while above it had a less, and below, a greater width. On May 10, 1775, the Committee of Safety voted,that Mr. Watson be directed and empowered to remove to Cambridge, the boats now in Menotomy River. The year 1818 seems to have been near the time when Menotomy river began to be called Alewife brook, and doubtless because of the abundance of alewives taken from its waters. Webster says, the alewife is a North American fish of the herring family, and that the name is properly aloof the Indian name of a fish. It is also called ellwif, ellwhop and branch herring. He also says that alewife is a woman