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[32]

Union Square before the War.—(Il)

By Charles D. Elliot.
In the paper which I read last year upon Union Square, I made mention, as well as I could remember, of the people living there and in the regions adjacent about the year 1846, of their descendants, and of the locations of their residences and estates. I referred by name to more than 175 of our citizens or their children who lived at or near the Square, and whose Mecca it was; from their homes all roads led to Union Square, as in ancient Limes they did to Rome. That I did not attempt to write the virtues of these early Somerville people by no means indicates that they were undeserving in fact, they were a model community, as a whole, honest, industrious, unostentatious, and neighborly. Unpleasant episodes occasionally varied the even tenor of their days, but I now recall but little that occurred to mar the pleasant memories of those people and times.

And now I wish to speak of the topography, or ‘lay of the land,’ as old people used to say, of Union Square and the adjacent region. Many changes have been made in that section of Somerville since 1846. Nature originally made a peninsula of the Square and its vicinity.

In the earlier days a stream started from a little pond on the westerly side of Walnut Street, about where the Somerville Journal building now is,—known later as Geldowsky's Pond,— thence it ran across Walnut Street (an ancient rangeway), which in wet seasons it flooded, across Robert Sanborn's, Deacon Robert Vinal's, and the Stone properties to about where the Wellington-Wild coal office now is, on the northeasterly side of Union Square, and then under the Square to the southerly side, where the culvert emptied into Miller's River, which then ran along the edge of the Square.

Another stream had its source near the Home for the Aged on Highland Avenue, about opposite the new armory, and ran southerly, crossing Central Street not far from Berkeley Street; thence along the valley between Spring and Central Hills to School Street, which it crossed near Summer Street,

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