[Composition written in 1851 by a pupil, eleven years of age, of the old Franklin school on Somerville avenue.]
is a beautiful town, about three miles from Boston
, the capital of Massachusetts
There are two ranges of hills running nearly through the centre of the town, which adds much to its beauty and interest.
These ranges were formerly called Prospect and Winter Hills
The view from these hills on a clear day in summer is said to be one of the most beautiful and picturesque in America
, or perhaps in the world.
This town was formerly a part of Charlestown
, from which it was set off and incorporated about twelve years ago, by the request of the inhabitants, and given the romantic name of Somerville
The number of inhabitants at that time was about 1,500.
They have now increased to more than 3,000 and the hills and valleys are nearly covered with neat cottages, splendid houses, and a variety of romantic dwellings, with gardens attached, in which grow flowers, fruit trees, bushes, and shrubbery of such descriptions as flourish best in this climate.
There is also in this town a large bleachery and dye house, also an extensive concern for the manufacture of brass tubes for locomotive boilers.
Brick-making is carried on extensively both with and without steam power.
The McLean Asylum is in this town.
There are three railroads that run through the town, the Fitchburg, Lowell
, and Maine
There is also a line of omnibuses, so that you can go to Boston
and return at almost any time of day. These facilities add much to the convenience and comfort of the inhabitants.
The schools of Somerville
are said to be equal to any in the state.
There are several primary, grammar, and also one high school, all of which are conducted on the most approved principles; and if the scholars do not learn it is not the fault of the school committee or teachers,
There are several places of public worship, which are well attended.
Our schoolhouse fronts the very road on which the British
soldiers marched to Lexington
early on the nineteenth of April, 1775.
At the foot of what is now called Central street, on the southwest corner, stands a large elm tree.
(It is a beautiful tree when covered with its rich, green foliage in summer.) A few yards towards the north is to be seen an old cellar, on which a dwelling stood at the time of the Revolution.
This dwelling was owned and occupied by a widow and her family.
A little after twelve o'clock on the morning of the nineteenth of April, she was awakened by an unusual noise.
She instantly got up and went out, and, looking toward the road, she there saw large bodies of armed soldiers, marching silently on, the moonbeams glancing on their murderous weapons.
There was no sound of marshal music to, stir the soldier's heart to battle or to victory, but they passed on, like midnight assassins, bent on deeds of treachery and murder, and such indeed proved to be their errand.
The widow drew a long breath, and, leaving her place of concealment, she instantly aroused her oldest boy, a youth about fifteen years of age, and despatched him to the nearest neighbor with the news that the troops had passed up the road.
This neighbor immediately mounted his horse and rode to Old Cambridge, where he gave the alarm.
The bell of the parish church was rung, the intelligence, spreading, soon reached Lexington
; the rest is matter of history.
The battle of Lexington
was the beginning of the drama of the Revolution, which ended so glorious to our country, and for which we should be so thankful.