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[p. 16]

The Medford blacksmith of 1775.

by R. J. P. Goodwin, M. D.
one of the early settlers in Medford, about 1770, was Harry Bond, who came here from Londonderry, New Hampshire, to follow the occupation of a blacksmith.

He was the grandson of John Bond, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, who took an active part in the siege of Londonderry, 1689. Harry was tall, robust, and of large frame, a characteristic of the people of the North of Ireland, from whom he was descended.

At the time of which we write there stood at the corner of the Medford turnpike and Main street, a blacksmith shop, a plain and unpretentious structure, whose weather-beaten look denoted it had been built many years.

A venerable oak-tree standing in front of the shop, with its overhanging branches, gave cooling shadows in the summer days.

The wide and open door gave a view of the interior. On one side could be seen a massive framework, into which oxen were driven and secured in a sling while being shod. This operation was a curiosity to passersby, especially to the children, on their way to and from school. The glowing sparks as they fell from the anvil mingled with the chorus of the sturdy blows struck by the smith, from early morn till late at night, as he pursued his calling at the forge.

The old shop, like the village tavern, had long been the rendezvous of the loungers of the neighborhood, and here many of the patriots gathered to discuss the troubled affairs of the country.

But a little farther up the street stood the Royall House, where were wont to gather the Tories and adherents of the King. It was a time when neighbor was to be arrayed against neighbor.

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