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 A few trees, mostly elms, were silent witnesses of the events of the Revolution which took place on Somerville soil. Many, not now standing, overshadowed old homesteads which have long since been demolished, whose inmates left honored names. Here and there an apple or pear tree, or remains of an orchard, testify to the thrift of former days. This may have been prophetic of the saying of this generation, that ‘Somerville is a city of homes.’ Nowadays, however, few bridegrooms have an opportunity to plant a tree in honor of the bride. It is said that in the early days these hills were wooded. A military map of 1775 is generously sprinkled over with marks meant to represent trees, indicating a wooded country. Another fact would bear out the assertion. The soldiers encamped here during the Revolution cut down so many trees, in their desperate efforts to be comfortable, that the inhabitants protested. This fact and the lapse of time would make it highly improbable that even a single tree of the original woods is standing to-day. It would be safe to say that, with a few exceptions hereafter to be mentioned, all our trees have grown since the Revolution. Many will remember the beautiful trees which bordered the drive into the McLean Asylum grounds. These probably dated back to the time of Joseph Barrell, who sold the estate for a retreat for the insane in 1816. On Washington street, below the railroad bridge, there stood a row of elms of handsome proportions, which were sacrificed when that thoroughfare was widened in 1873-4. Before that time the car track was located next the sidewalk, and the elms were between it and the roadway. Above the bridge, near the corner of Medford street, once grew a tree of a very rare species for this part of the country, an English walnut. It was planted by a member of the Tufts family, and yielded many bushels of nuts in its day. Further on in front of the Ives Hill house, was a Revolutionary elm, and in front of the Pope schoolhouse were three more. Here James Miller, ‘too old to run,’ was shot down by the British on their return from Lexington. On the opposite side of the street, in a lot in the rear, is a gear tree, with a trunk more than a foot in diameter, which is in
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