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[p. 21] date. This ship was too wide to pass through the draw, and the town was again petitioned to widen the draw, and March 12, 1845, chose a committee to repair according to their discretion; under this vote the bridge was rebuilt, the width of the draw increased to 40 feet, and the north abutment relaid. In 1872, the shipyards above the bridge having been abandoned, and there being no further demand for the opening of the draw to navigation, the Selectmen petitioned the General Court for a permit to build a level bridge, which petition was granted, with the proviso that it should be so constructed as to allow a section 40 feet in width to be removed for the passage of vessels up and down the river. No action was taken to rebuild until 1879, when the General Court was again petitioned by sundry inhabitants of the town, asking that the proviso requiring a movable section be repealed. This petition was granted, and the present stone bridge was built in 1880.

The bridge at the wears.

The first mention of a bridge at the wears is in the town records, March I, 1699, ‘Put to vote whether the town will give Mr. John Johnson, three pounds towards building a sufficient horse bridge over the wears, said bridge being railed on each side, and the said bridge raised so high, as there may be a fit passage for boats and rafts up and down said river. Voted in the affirmative.’

No doubt a bridge was built at that time, but it must have been a frail affair, and of short duration, for in December, 1721, the towns of Charlestown and Medford were complained of for not maintaining a bridge at the wears. The town chose a committee to make answer before the Court, and the complaint was dismissed. Again in December, 1736, May, 1738, and in May, 1743, the said towns were indicted by the Grand Jury for neglecting to erect a bridge at the wears. The defence of Medford

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