also lost or destroyed, information concerning the early roads of Medford
is scant and most unsatisfactory.
Some information can, however, be gathered from the remaining county records, the records of other towns, and from deeds.
Salem street is shown upon a map supposed to have been made in the year 1633, and Main street and the Menotomy
) on one made in 1637 (see ‘Historical Register
’ for October, 1898, pages 120 and 122). Salem street was spoken of as early as the year 1638, by the several names of ‘Salle path,’ ‘Salem path,’ ‘Salem
highway,’ ‘The way to Mistick,’ and ‘Salem path to Mistick Ford.’
A portion of High street was also spoken of in the same year as the ‘Ware
highway,’ and later as ‘The way to the Wears.’
road (a part of Riverside avenue) was referred to in a deed dated 1657 as ‘The common Highway leading from the Mansion House
) unto Charlestown Commons and Meadford House.’
It may, therefore, be confidently asserted that Salem
and Main streets, and a portion of South
street, were among the first, if not the first, roads used in Medford
, after the settlement of the colony.
Indeed, of the six great highways that existed in Medford
prior to the year 1700, viz., Main, Salem, High, Grove, and Woburn streets, and a portion of Riverside avenue, it is hard to tell as to which should be given the claim of priority.
Perhaps Fulton street, or the Stoneham
road, should have been included in the above list, although there is no evidence of its use throughout its entire length until a later period.
records say that on the 14th of the 7th month, 1646, ‘Edward Convers
and Samuel Richardson
are appointed to lay out a highway between this town and Mistick Bridge, being joined with some of Charlestown
, and some of Mistick House.’
Of the doings of this committee, or from what source their authority emanated, we are unable to determine