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[449]

Pound.

In Medford, there were fewer “lands common” than in other towns. The making of fences was difficult at first; and the “pound” came early into use. It was placed so near a stream of water as to allow the cattle in it to drink. Where the first one in Medford was placed, we know not. The first record is as follows:--
Feb. 25, 1684: At a general meeting of the inhabitants, John Whitmore granted a piece of land for the use of the town, for the setting up of a pound; which land lies on the south-east of John Whitmore's land, lying near John Bradshaw's house, and is bounded south on John Bradshaw, and east upon the country road. At the same meeting, the inhabitants agreed to set up a pound on the land aforesaid.

April 28, 1684: “Thomas Willis was chosen to keep the town's pound; and said pound-keeper shall have, for pounding, twopence per head for horses and also neat cattle; one penny for each hog; and, for sheep, after the rate of sixpence per score.”

This answered all purposes until May 15, 1758, when the town voted “to build a new pound with stone.” This was built accordingly, and placed on the west side of the “Woburn road,” six or eight rods north of Jonathan Brooks's house, in West Medford. Mr. Samuel Reeves, whose house stood on the spot now occupied by Mr. James Gibson's house, was the pound-keeper. The walls of this pound were very high and strong; and bad boys thought they had a right to throw stones at the cattle there confined.

March 6, 1809: Mr. Isaac Brooks and others petitioned the town to have the pound removed. This petition was granted thus: “Voted to have the pound removed to the town's land near Gravelly Bridge, so called; and said pound to be built of wood or stone, at the discretion of the committee.” There the pound remained only for a short time; when it was removed to Cross Street, near the old brick primary schoolhouse.


Diseases.

That our Medford ancestors should have subjected themselves to the attack of some new diseases, or rather of old

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