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[348] This was the definite movement that led to practical results, and it was the first in this particular direction. It shows that the number of paupers were small till this time.

In 1790, the town purchased a large house at the West End, near where the Lowell Railroad Station now is, together with a small lot of land, sufficient only for a vegetable garden. Here the poor and helpless were gathered and made comfortable; but after twenty years it was found insufficient; and the constant perplexities to which the overseers of the poor were subjected, induced the town to think of building a new and ample house of brick. On the 4th of March, 1811, the whole matter was committed to the five following gentlemen: Timothy Bigelow, John Brooks, Jonathan Brooks, Isaac Brooks, and Abner Bartlett. After several meetings and much investigation, they report, that it is expedient for the town to build a large and commodious house, of brick, on the spot occupied by the old one. This report was accepted; and the same gentlemen were appointed the building-committee, to proceed immediately in the work. Discontents arose to fetter the proceeding; and, after much vacillating legislation, the final result was the ample brick square house, whose strong walls only are yet standing to support a new, expensive, and commodious country-seat. It is only justice to say, that this act of the town was suggested, and the work carried forward, through the, wisdom and energy of Isaac Brooks, Esq., who was indefatigable, as an overseer of the poor, in procuring every convenience and comfort for the inmates of the house that he consistently could.

This house answered its purpose well for forty years. In 1827, the town voted to purchase eight acres of land adjoining the alms-house lot, at one hundred dollars per acre. In 1828, the project of purchasing a farm, as some towns had done, on which to employ the poor as laborers, came up for discussion; and so favorably did the inhabitants view it, that they voted to purchase as soon as a proper one could be found. No purchase was made; and in 1832 a committee is directed to sell the poorhouse, if they think it advisable. It is not done; and in 1837 the town again called up the subject, and appointed a committee to examine lands and close the bargain. But no farm was purchased.

In 1849, the town bought a large lot of ten and a half acres in West Medford, on Purchase Street, for a cemetery. After the purchase, it was thought that the situation was

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