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[146] Farmer's Monthly Visitor for April 30, 1847, in which he presents many interesting facts regarding the town, on whose border his birth occurred, April 6, 1788.1
A kinsman of his, John Hill, had at this time 20,000 tons of ice for sale at No. 103 Faneuil Hall Market, Boston. Mr. Hill was a distinguished ice-cutter, and in 1844, when Boston Harbor was frozen over, he superintended the cutting of a channel through the ice, seven miles in length, down the harbor, to the open unfrozen roadstead, for the passage of one of the Cunard steamers. In this undertaking he accidentally fell, while bounding from one cake of ice to another, injuring a thew of his leg, and for months was unable to pursue a business then of no little importance to hundreds of farmers within convenient reach of the principal mart of New England. In connection with his father and brothers, John Hill also carried on a market garden and fruit-farm in West Cambridge, on a portion of the land which had been in the possession of the Hill family for two hundred years. David Hill, the father of John, and James Hill, of the same neighborhood, cousin of David, perhaps found no equal in the market in producing the first and earliest green peas and potatoes, the earliest and largest tomatoes, the most luscious peaches, and other vegetables and fruits.

Astonishing to the editor, Isaac Hill, it was to see all these things growing on land which in his boyhood was a poor, coarse sand and gravel soil, along the shore of Spy Pond, scarcely producing anything of the vegetable kind. In his early youth there was sufficient good land in the old parish of Menotomy for all the purposes of the occupying farmers with their families; but since that time the families had multiplied to a second and third generation, and had brought the larger portion of the sandy sterile plains, as well as the rocky hard ridges around them, to the highest point of production.

These redeemed garden fields lie all around the two beautiful Spy Ponds. But if the lands about the ponds have been thus greatly improved, who could have anticipated that the water surface of the ponds would be made more valuable than even the best lands near! Capacious ice-houses had already been constructed, sufficient to supply a stock for a year in advance, should a year happen in which no ice was formed.

The Boston ice business was first commenced with Fresh Pond, and, about 1835, numerous teams were employed to transport the ice four to six miles to the city and to the wharves on Charles River. This business suggested, about the time of the construction of the Lowell

1 Five celebrated journalists were born within or near the limits of the district now embraced in the town of Arlington: Isaac Hill, of the New Hampshire Patriot; A. S. Willington, or Wellington, of the Charleston (S. C.) Courier; Isaac Munroe, of the Baltimore Patriot; E. S. Thomas, of the Cincinnati Post; and John B. Russell, of the New England Farmer. See Genealogies.

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