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Chapter 1:

Name and location.

Medford, a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, lies in 42° 25′ 14″ 42, north latitude, and 71° 07′ 14″ 32, west longitude. It is about five miles N. N. W. from the State House in Boston; and about four miles N. W. by N. from Bunker-Hill Monument. It borders on Somerville, West Cambridge, Winchester, Stoneham, Melrose, and Malden.

It received the name of Meadford from the adventurers who arrived at Salem, in May, 1630, and came thence to settle here in June. When these first comers marked the flatness and extent of the marshes, resembling vast meads or meadows, it may have been this peculiarity of surface which suggested the name of Meadford, or the “great meadow.” In one of the earliest deeds of sale it is written Metford, and in the records of the Massachusetts Colony, 1641, Meadfoard. The Selectmen and Town-clerks often spelled it Meadford ; but, after April, 1715, it has been uniformly written Medford. No reason is given for these changes; and why it received its first name, history does not tell us. Josselyn in 1638, writes thus: “On the north-west side of the (Mystic) river is the town of Mistick, three miles from Charlestown, a league and a half by water.” This author gives the name of Mistick to land on the north side of the river, and reports a thriving population as then gathered between the two brick houses, called forts, which are yet standing. At that early period, boundary lines were indefinitely settled, and names as

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