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[p. 91] seven or eight on a side, the apprentices sitting at his right hand and those who were free at his left. Grace was always said and family prayers were the custom. Sprague & James' yard was the first to abolish the eleven o'clock drink. It had been the business of the youngest apprentice to prepare it. They thought it a bad precedent. The men were called together and offered what the drinks would cost to be added to their wages. To this all agreed, but there were many who thought a vessel would never slide off the ways without it. However, the first vessel launched, after this change in custom, slid off successfully and a great hurrah went up. Who that lived on Ship street can forget that familiar horse and carryall, in its trips to and from the square? ‘There goes Deacon James' “gospel wagon” ’ was the expression as the Deacon, smiling all over, sat on the front seat surrounded by merry children, as many more filling the body of the carriage. Every child who lived along the street knew him, and looked for the coming of the old red horse and wagon, and he took them all in. Was not this the ‘gospel spirit’? Mr. James died at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Haskins, on April 14, 1879. Mr. Isaac Sprague, the partner of Mr. James, came to Medford from Scituate and bought the house now known as the old Sprague house, situated near Spring street. This house had only two rooms in the main part, but was from time to time enlarged until it assumed goodly proportions. The barn was built by Mr. Sprague, at the raising of which many of the neighbors helped. Here he kept the oxen which he used in the ship-yard for hauling timber. Mr. William Sprague and Mr. Isaac Sprague, his sons, still live in Medford. He died Jan. 12, 1852, aged sixty-nine years. A low one-storied house with large chimney and sloping roof, nestling amid lilacs and bright flowers, is remembered as the home of Mr. Nathan Sawyer, just
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