the poorly-clad soldiers from freezing, and the forests never again regained possession of the thoroughly denuded country.
But the kindly forces of nature work unceasingly, and soon the swamps and waste places, the roadsides and pasture walls were gladdened by the presence of those trees that could thrive under the new conditions.
And this is the growth that abounded when the farming district of Charlestown
in 1842 was made into the town of Somerville
The juniper, which grows equally well on dry hills or in deep swamps, and the white birch, which flourishes in the poorest soil, grew freely everywhere; and these, with the elm, the typical New England
tree that grows wherever a rich, moist soil receives the wind-blown seeds, were the most common trees.
A tract of salt marsh still remained on Washington street, where Lincoln
field now is, and from there, through Concord and Oak streets, to Prospect street and the Cambridge
line, was a lonesome tract of swampy land covered with low trees and bushes.
On Prospect street, which was first called Pine street, was a large grove of pine trees, the last of which were cut down only a few years ago. Polly's Swamp was the largest tract of wild land extending along the valley north of Central street, toward Walnut Hill
Here all swamp-loving trees and shrubs were found, bound together by horse briar and brambles, so as to be almost impenetrable in many places.
The birches and junipers grew far up onto the north slope of Spring Hill
, the whole wild and extensive enough to furnish good gunning for small game.
Along the line of the Revolutionary forts on Prospect and Central Hills to Winter Hill
were many old gnarled button-pear trees.
These seldom grow spontaneously in Massachusetts
, and it was popularly believed that they came from the seeds of pears eaten by the soldiers when quartered on these hills.
's woods, on Elm street, below the Powder House
, was the only grove of any extent on high land, and this was composed principally of evergreens, pitch and white pines, and junipers, with a few maples and oaks.
But the number of forest trees in the new town was really very small.
Probably not a