interest of Medford
, but looking over the programme of exercises for the season I see that that matter has already been made the subject of one address, and I will gladly spare you repetition of an old story.
The Middlesex Canal
I see has already been treated, and I will not dwell upon that; yet I have some very pleasant recollections connected with it, of which you will permit me to say a word, as it relates rather to the poetic than to the business uses of the canal.
When I was here as a young man—I am afraid the custom is not so faithfully kept up now—it was customary to make walking parties of young men and ladies.
One of our favorite walks was to Rockhill
, on the land of Mr. Hastings
, to see the sun set. Another, and perhaps the best, was up the banks of the canal, and through the grounds of Mr. P. C. Brooks
, to the parting of the ponds —the spot where the dam of the Mystic
Water Works now stands.
As the canal boats came along, as they constantly did, they were always ready, when asked, to sheer up to the bank and take us on board, and so we passed on, through the beautiful single-arched stone bridge in the grounds of Mr. Brooks
, and then, leaving the boat, made our way to the pond.
was always kindly disposed, and took pleasure in allowing his friends to visit his beautiful garden and grounds.
We had no steam railroad till 1835, when the Boston & Lowell Railroad was laid out. So little foresight had its projectors as to its future uses and values that it was thought desirable to avoid the towns between the termini and have no way stations.
So the road, instead of its natural course through the Mystic valley
, was carried at great additional expense through Winter and Walnut hills
and away from the centre of the town.
When the road was opened, in the spring of 1835, Mr. P. C. Brooks
, desirous of giving his townsmen the novelty of riding for the first time on a railroad, arranged with the managers to have the train stop one morning at West Medford and take a party to Lowell