“  which they therefore called Spot Pond. They went all about it upon the ice. From thence (towards the N. W. about half a mile) they came to the top of a very high rock, beneath which (towards the N.) lies a goodly plain, part open land and part woody, from whence there is a fair prospect; but, it being then close and rainy, they could see but a small distance. This place they called Cheese Rock, because, when they went to eat somewhat, they had only cheese (the Governor's man forgetting, for haste, to put up some bread).”Cheese Rock may be easily found on the west side of Forest Street, half a mile N. W. of the northerly border of Spot Pond.
Medford; for we may almost say that it has its beginning, continuance, and end within the limits of our town. Where or why it obtained its name we know not. It presented the decisive reason to our ancestors for settling on this spot. We apprehend it is very much to-day what it was two hundred years ago. The tide rises about twelve feet at the bridge, and about eight at Rock Hill; but it rises and falls so gently as not to wear away the banks, even when ice floats up and down in its currents. The first record we have concerning it is Sept. 21, 1621. On that day, a band of pilgrim adventurers from Plymouth came by water “to Massachusetts Bay;” and they coasted by the opening of our river. In their report they remark: “Within this bay the salvages say there are two rivers; the one whereof we saw (Mystic) having a fair entrance, but we had no time to discover it.” Johnson says: “The form of Charlestown, in the frontispiece thereof, is like the head, neck, and shoulders of a man; only the pleasant and navigable river of Mistick runs through the right shoulder thereof.” Rivers were the first highways; and, as it was easier to build a canoe than open a road, trade took the course of navigable streams. The building of small barks on the banks of Mystic River, as early as 1631, shows its superior claims to other places. Trade with Boston commenced before 1645, and the river was the thoroughfare. Long open boats were used for transportation, and they substituted the tide for oars