This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 March 7, 1803.--A Committee was appointed by the town “to find out what rights the town has on the river.” Ship-building made the river an object of vital importance; and, while the tonnage of the ships was small, the depth of water was deemed sufficient; yet there were many who wished the town might widen and deepen the bed. Several applications were made, but always without success. In June, 1836, an effort was made in earnest; but the impression with the majority of voters was, that no expense need be incurred until some vessel had found it impossible to float down on the highest tides. This misfortune never occurred. It always has had depth of water sufficient to float any empty, unrigged ship of 2,500 tons. March 14, 1843, the town voted to remove and prevent all obstructions to the free ebb and flow of the water. At the time when Medford was the centre of considerable trade; when vessels were loaded at our wharves for the West India markets; when bark and wood were brought from Maine, and we had rich and active merchants among us; at that time it was no unusual sight to see two, four, or six sloops and schooners at our wharves, and as many in our river. Soon after Fulton had propelled vessels by steam, a vessel so propelled came up our river to Medford, and was here repaired. The number of adult persons who have been drowned in Mystic River is not small. In the early records, deaths in this way are often noticed. About fifty years ago, there seemed something like fatality in this matter. One death by drowning occurred each year, through so many years in succession, that the inhabitants got to think that there was a river-god, who would have his annual sacrifice. On the borders of this stream, there have always existed what are now called “landings.” These were used by the Indians for rendezvous during their annual fishing seasons. Afterwards they were used by our fathers for loading and unloading of sloops and schooners. Later still, they were used by our fishermen for emptying their nets. Some have recently been occupied as ship-yards. In the Wade Family there is a tradition that their ancestor, Major Jonathan Wade, gave to the town, about the year 1680, the landing place now occupied by Mr. J. T. Foster. Feb. 21, 1698.--At this time the river was frozen, as it is
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.