previous next



In the absence of town-records, we are obliged to resort to notices incidentally made in deeds, wills, and legislative enactments.

They dignified a cow-path with the name of road. In the earliest years of the Medford plantation, there were but few people, and they had small occasion to travel. The laying-out of roads, therefore, was a secondary consideration, and the order of their location oftentimes conjectural in history.

The Ford, ten rods west of the bridge, meant the place where travellers crossed the Mystic River. At first it was little used, but afterwards became a popular way, not only for the inhabitants of Medford, but for those of the northern towns who took loads on horseback to Boston. If the earliest records of the town had been preserved, we should doubtless have found in them some notices of the Ford, and some regulations concerning it.

May 3, 1642: The General Court say: “It is declared by this Court, that the selected town's men have power to lay out particular and private ways concerning their own town only.” The road from the landing, called “No man's friend” (now Mr. Lapham's ship-yard), was made by Charlestown, 1641, to their land north of Medford. The road is now called Cross and Fulton Streets.

To have free access to the river, the great highway, they opened private roads for the use of owners of lands, and what were called “range-ways” for the free use of the public. Many of these are found in Charlestown. One of these was Cross Street; the next, west of it, was at the Ford, and the “Governor Lane” was a part of it; the next was by the easterly side of Mr. T. Magoun's house; the next was east of Mr. Turell's house, the lane is yet open; the next was at the Rock Hill, and the old “Woburn road” was part of it; the next was above the Lowell Railroad Depot, in High Street, and connected with Grove Street, formerly called “the road round the woods.” These roads to the river, in Medford, were opened soon after the main thoroughfare. The first public road laid out in Medford was Main Street, leading from the Ford to Boston; the second was Salem Street, leading to Malden; the third was High Street, leading to West Cambridge; the fourth was the road leading to Stoneham.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Ebenezer Turell (1)
Thatcher Magoun (1)
Samuel Lapham (1)
George F. Lane (1)
Sarah W. Hill (1)
Ford (1)
Charlestown (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 3rd, 1642 AD (1)
1641 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: