Railroad, a railway to Fresh Pond for the cheaper and quicker transportation of ice. Out of this Fresh Pond Railway grew the Fitchburg Railroad, whose extensions, in 1847, were in one direction to Greenfield, and another over the Cheshire Hills, with the view of reaching Burlington, Vt. Branching off by the shores of Spy Pond, another track of the railroad was extended through the village of West Cambridge, through a gorge in the ridge of hills, to the centre of Lexington. By this branch of the Fitchburg Railroad, the ice of Spy Pond was brought as near the wharves of Boston, in point of expense, as if it were cut from a pond on Boston Common. Gov. Hill says—Just before the cars commenced running, we visited our friend at West Cambridge, whose house was erected on land which came to him as a descendant from the Adams family of that place.1 The new depot at West Cambridge usurps the place of some of the venerable elms that stood before the door of the ancient Adams mansion. The course of the railroad on its way to Lexington had rendered it necessary to cut off the westerly end of the old mansion-house itself. At the time of the first spilling of blood in the revolution at Lexington, some object of annoyance was presented by this house to the passing British army, causing it to be riddled with bullets. Upon that part of the house which remains, the bullet-holes through the outside clapboards may yet be seen. The house was built of wood, bricked up between the inside and outside finishing. In that part of it, torn down last year, there were taken out, lodged in the bricks, many musket-bullets discharged in the sharp conflict that took place there with the British when retreating back from Concord towards Boston.This house was erected two hundred years ago, by the first Adams who settled in this place. He was a skilful millwright, and possibly assisted in the building of the first mills erected on the stream running from Lexington through the gorge already mentioned.The wooden mansion, two hundred years old, was to us a curiosity: reflecting that our own ancestors erected it, and that succeeding generations of them were born and lived here, we hope that the remaining part will be suffered to stand at least as long as we shall live.2 The house has outlived many occupants. It was the best style of building of two centuries ago. It had its fancy work coving directly below the roofing—its front-door capping was an imitation of the ginger-bread Corinthian style. Some sticks of that part of the frame taken down were lying about; these sticks were marked with numeral
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1 James Russell, Esq., perhaps, whose mother was Rebecca Adams, daughter of Capt. William Adams, who occupied the old Adams mansion house at the time of the Revolution, and whose ancestors had occupied it previously, even in the former century, as shown in other parts of this work. The house of James Russell, Esq., stood very near the old Adams house, and is still a familiar object to every citizen of Arlington.
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