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[p. 119]

The Royall House loan exhibition.

April 19 to April 29, 1899.

ON Patriots' Day the Sarah Bradlee Fulton Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution opened in the Royall House a loan exhibition, which continued for ten days. It was a most successful attempt to bring the Medford of to-day in closer touch with its historic past.

Not the least interesting part of the exhibition was the house itself, which still remains one of the finest examples of the old-colonial mansions of New England. The exact date of the building of the house is lost in obscurity. Tradition says it was built by John Usher, afterward lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire, but there is evidence that a house stood on the site when Usher bought it of the heirs of Governor Winthrop. In 1737 Isaac Royall, Senior, remodelled and embellished the house, and one year after, his son Isaac brought his bride there and took possession. Henceforth the house became one of the notable social centres of colonial life. Through the massive gateway and into the paved court to the west door rolled the stately carriages of the Vassals and other noted families of Boston and vicinity, and Colonel Royall returned the visits in the only chariot which was owned for miles on the north side of Boston. His slaves lived in the old brick building standing just back of the mansion. His stables were on the north side of the driveway, on the site now occupied by No. 21 Royal street. Around him in all directions stretched his fertile acres, reaching to Mystic river on the north and to Winter hill on the south. His garden was crowned by an artificial mound on which stood an artistic summer house with arched windows and bell-shaped roof, surmounted by a figure of Mercury. The broad paths from the garden gate to the summer house and from the east door to the street

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