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[p. 95] Main street at this point. Summer street was at first called Middlesex street, and was built practically on the tow path of the canal. There was a large artificial basin between there and Royall street where canal boats tied up to unload. On the south bank of the canal was the Columbian Hotel, which in its day had been a fine dwelling house. This hostelry, as well as the Medford House, was kept by James Bride and Augustus Baker. In the Royall House lived Mrs. Ruth Tidd, a sister of William Dawes, who on April 18, 1775, rode out by way of Roxbury to warn the Middlesex farmers of danger. She was about the only person in Medford who indulged in a coach and pair of horses. They were often seen on the road, and always on Sundays on the way to church. The carriage road to the stable was over a portion of the present Royall street; the stable stood facing Main street, near the corner of Royall and Florence streets. It seems strange to think of the Stearns mansion, which stands well back from College avenue, as being on Main street, but in 1835 the only entrance was a long driveway from Main street, part of which is now known as Stearns avenue. Captain John King lived in the house at that time. Three of his four sons were sea captains, and two of them were lost at sea. The brick house now occupied by Mr. Horace E. Willis was built by Captain Nathan Adams about 812. Charles Wait, brickmaker, Peter Adams, farmer, Judge Capen and others have been tenants. Captain Nathan Adams owned a large milk farm on both sides of Main street, and had a milk route in Boston. He had very extensive orchards. His home was on the site of the Mystic House; it was afterward moved to the brick yard, and was almost wholly destroyed by fire. What remains has no resemblance to the original. Deacon Nathan Adams, Jr., had a milk farm further south, and his buildings stood about half way up Winter Hill. This dwelling was the last house in Medford until about 1840.
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