by individuals, and paid over to the agent or agents of the town.’
The town accepted the report, and it is presumed that sufficient funds were forthcoming, as it is evident that the draw was soon afterwards in use. On March 2, 1829, ‘A committee was appointed to see if the draw in the Great bridge
could be dispensed with, and closed, and on what terms, also what repairs are needed, or whether a new draw must be made.’
This committee reported, May 4, 1829, ‘that having consulted eminent counsel, they are advised that the town is under no legal obligation to make, or maintain a drawbridge, but may build without a draw as heretofore, they also say that they are not aware of any interests that the town has in a draw of sufficient moment to justify the expense of it, they therefore recommend that the draw be closed, and the bridge made permanent, unless individuals should be willing to secure the town against the cost and expense of building and maintaining it, also, that the bridge be rebuilt, and that it be built as wide as the street leading to it from the market place, and with walks on the sides, railed in, for foot passengers.’
This report was accepted by the town, and a committee was chosen to repair the old bridge, or build a new one, as shall appear to them to be for the best interests of the town.
This decision of the town to leave the building of a drawbridge to the discretion of a committee did not prove satisfactory to quite a number of the inhabitants of the town, for at a meeting held May 16, 1829, only twelve days later, the town voted to instruct the committee in charge of rebuilding the bridge to build with a draw.
This decision of the town to build with a draw was no doubt influenced by the fact that a shipyard had already been established above the bridge, and as early as the year 1815 a ship of 370 tons burden had been built there.
The register of vessels built in Medford
shows that prior to 1829 some 13 vessels had been built above the bridge, and their construction must have