that it is probably one of an orchard planted by Joseph Tufts
, who lived in the Tufts homestead at the corner of Central street and Broadway, and died there in 1819.
The orchard was located on both sides of Broadway
Four trees are still standing, two on the right going down, and two on the left in the yard of Selwyn Z. Bowman
The largest tree is said to have had a reach of seventy-two feet a few years ago.
Temple street may be called one of the oldest streets in Somerville
, being originally the drive to the ‘Manor House’ on ‘Ten Hills Farm,’ occupied successively by Sir Robert Temple
, General Elias Hasket Derby
, and Colonel Samuel Jaques
From detailed descriptions of people and events connected with ‘Ten Hills
’ already printed in Historic Leaves
, one may glean the following facts about the trees:—
A winding drive led up to the house, ‘fringed on either side with the fragrant Balm of Gilead
‘On either side of the house were magnificent elm trees.
One, in particular, was unusually large, girting more than eleven feet, three feet from the ground.
The spreading branches formed a fine support for a platform at a distance of thirty feet from the ground, and tea parties were given among the leaves, as many as eight or ten participating.’
Fruit trees abounded.
Fifty years or so ago there were seventeen elms in the vicinity.
A boy of seven proudly fulfilled a contract for several years for protecting the trees from the ravages of the cankerworms by keeping a band of tarred paper freshly coated with tar during the season.
After the death of Colonel Jaques
in 1859 brick-making was carried on, and the industry sounded the death-knell of the trees.
In the boyhood of one, at least, of the present generation an interesting spectacle was the falling of the great stumps into the pits, as excavations undermined their stronghold.
Under one, of the trees near Jaques street was a fine well of water, which was often a halting-place for the boys on their way to the river for a swim.
Five elms of the Temple
trees are standing on Temple street now, but to which of the owners of ‘Ten Hills