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“ [66] with suitable persons to rebuild the south side of Medford great bridge with wood or stone; and that said Committee empower persons to wharf out on each side of said bridge.”

May 13, 1761: “Voted to treat with Woburn, Reading, and Malden, concerning Medford Bridge, and acquit any of them that shall comply from all further charge; and also to treat with the General Court, if there be reason.”

Woburn, as we have seen, always contended most stoutly, but ineffectually, against paying for the support of the bridge, because, as she maintained, her people did not use it. They sometimes went to Boston through Charlestown (now Somerville). So troublesome grew this litigation, that Woburn paid to Medford a certain sum to be released from all further liabilities.

The next movement for this important passway, worthy of record, was in 1789, when it was proposed to widen the bridge and pave the market-place. The plan devised for paying the expenses was a common one in that day; it was by a lottery; and, May 11, the town petitioned the General Court to grant them a lottery for these purposes. Our fathers did not think that such a lottery was doing evil that good may come. The petition was not granted.

April 2, 1804: On this day, the Committee, chosen at a previous meeting to inquire into the necessity and expediency of building a new bridge, report that it is expedient that a new bridge be built; and they recommend that it be thirty feet wide, and also that it have a draw. They further say it should have “four piers of white oak timber of seven spoils each; the two outside piers to be set twenty feet from each other. To have an arch in the centre of twenty-six feet in the clear, and a draw the width of the arch.” There were two hundred and eighty dollars afterwards subscribed by private persons, as a donation, to help forward the work. The estimated expense, without a draw, was one thousand dollars. This proposition was received with favor; and the increasing business on the river required this width, and also a draw; but it was not immediately adopted. Various plans for meeting the expenses of the draw were proposed, but without much success, till a resolution was taken by the town, in 1808, to do the whole thoroughly. It was done; and a toll of twelve and a half cents was charged upon every vessel that passed the draw. The next year, May 20, 1809, we find the following vote: “Mr. Timothy Dexter to demand of ”

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