[p. 69] Butters
, and Col. Francis R. Bigelow
, and there were doubtless others whose names escape me. Let it be remembered that I am speaking of the reading-room in the early period of its history.
I was not so well acquainted with it afterwards.
When the Tufts House
was taken down the quarters of the club were removed to a building on the east side of Pasture Hill Lane (recently taken down), and there they remained until death had so thinned the ranks of its members that it could no longer be maintained.
I have spoken at this length of the old reading-room, because it made quite a feature in the social life of the town, and exercised a considerable local influence.
The nature of my task compels me to be discursive.
Let me say a few things about the Medford House
, which has occupied its present site for nearly a century.
It was built by Andrew Blanchard
in 1804, although I have been told that the piazza which runs along three sides of the main building is of a later date.
The Medford House
, with its ample yard, large stable, and convenient outbuildings,—always within my remembrance neatly kept,—meets one's idea of the proper country inn of the earlier day, and its reputation for hospitable entertainment has been maintained through a long course of years.
Within the walls of the ancient dining-room many a good dinner has been served to legislative committees, county officers, and local boards, and matters of weighty interest and concern have been discussed, let us hope to better issues, under the influence of mine host's good cheer.
Formerly the upper story of the rear of the building was occupied by a hall, which served as the village ball-room, and was sometimes used for concerts and for the exhibitions of professors of legerdemain and itinerant showmen.
I regretfully miss the fine buttonwood which used to stand in the centre of the yard, under the shade of which stood the pump and watering-trough; and, alas, never again shall we see