Till 1870 there were no added buildings, and about five years later, I think, Boston street was opened and a few houses built, and, later still, more. We made our own sidewalk, put a lamp at the foot of the street, one neighbor helping in this, and felt we were getting into city ways, and were happy. The taking of Prospect hill to fill Miller's river gave a large tract of land that has been well improved, and the old hill is now a place of pleasant residences. It is interesting to look back and see how Somerville has grown in all these years. I am not sure what the population was at that time, but I can tell something of the schools and churches. The high school had been built about two years, and I am told there was great opposition to it, many thinking it was a useless expense for so few pupils. There was a wooden schoolhouse on Sycamore street, another at the corner of Broadway and Franklin street, another on Somerville avenue, land the Prospect Hill, which is still used, but is twice its original size. Where Central square now is was a low, two-roomed building, one room of which was used for a primary school. It was taken away when the Brastow was built, the first year of the war, 1861. The Perkins-street church had moved from Mystic avenue, or near there, and was the only one in East Somerville. Many people of that section who had walked to Charlestown decided that it was necessary to have a church near home, and the Franklin-street church was built, and opened for worship, I think, in 1855. This was burned by the incendiary's torch about the time other churches and school buildings were destroyed in the same way, but was soon replaced by the present brick edifice. The Unitarian church, which was one of the earliest in town, and the Cross-street Universalist were burned at that time. The Springhill Baptist was formerly a chapel, which is still standing, and Methodist services were held in a small hall in Union square, but after a time they built a wooden church on Webster avenue, which is now occupied by the Catholic parochial school, and they
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Elbridge Streeter Brooks
The old Medford Turnpike
Ten Hills Farm , with Anecdotes and Reminiscences
(an extract from the Charlestown Enterprise of July 21 , 1888 , written by Mr. Timothy T. Sawyer .)
Somerville Soldiers in the Rebellion .
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