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[47] century and a half, and could be approached only by a private road through gates. As the outside door was cased with iron, it is certain that it was intended to be fire-proof. There was one pane of glass, set in iron, placed in the back wall of the western chimney, so as to afford a sight of persons coming from the town.

It was probably built for retreat and defence; but some of the reasons for calling it a fort are not conclusive. Outside shutters were in common use in England at the time above mentioned; and so was it common to ornament houses with round or oval openings on each side of the front. These ovals are twenty inches by sixteen. Mr. Cradock's company was large, and he was very rich, and had told them to build whatever houses they needed for shelter and defence. It is probable, that, as soon as the spring opened, they began to dig the clay, which was abundant in that place; and very soon they had their bricks ready for use. That they should build such a house as now stands where their first settlement took place, is most natural. The bricks are not English bricks either in size, color, or workmanship. They are from eight to eight and a half inches long, from four to four and a quarter inches wide, and from two and a quarter to two and three-quarters thick. They have the color of the bricks made afterwards in East Medford. They are hastily made, but very well burned. They are not like the English bricks of the Old South Church in Boston. The house has undergone few changes. Mr. Francis Shedd, who bought it about fifty years ago, found the east end so decayed and leaky that he took a part of it down and rebuilt it. There is a tradition, that in early times Indians were discovered lurking around it for several (lays and nights, and that a skirmish took place between them and the white men; but we have not been able to verify the facts or fix the date. The park impaled by Mr. Cradock probably included this house. It is undoubtedly one of the oldest buildings in the United States; perhaps the oldest that retains its first form. It has always been in use, and, by some of its tenants, has not been honored for its age. Its walls are yet strong, and we hope it may be allowed to stand for a century to come. We wish some rich antiquarian would purchase it, restore to it its ancient appendages, and make it a depository for Medford antiquities, for an historical library, and a museum of natural curiosities. It would then be an honor to our town; be

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