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[p. 60] an abatement of the taxes assessed upon the Wade estate by the selectmen of Meadford, claiming that by reason of sickness and also by reason of his (Major Wade's) great charges in building, etc., the personal estate was very much reduced. This would seem to indicate that the great charges were incurred in building the brick house. All of these old buildings were no doubt built of wood. Fine brick buildings such as the Wade and Tufts houses were not built in the early days of the settlement; the necessary materials were not at hand for such purposes. In 1631, Governor Winthrop built himself a house of stone on Winter Hill, and owing to the lack of lime to make mortar the workmen were obliged to use clay to lay up the walls, and during an easterly storm the clay was washed out of the joints of the stonework and the walls fell down. It will be remembered that the chimney of the Wilson house was built of brick, laid up with clay. What more fitting location could Mr. Cradock's agent have selected than the one shown on the maps above mentioned, close to the river and the ford, on the direct route from Salem to Charlestown? In 1637-8, his agent built a bridge across Mistick river near his residence, as his business in that vicinity required better facilities than could be secured at the ford, where a tidal flow of from nine to twelve feet of water occurred twice in twenty-four hours, and where the steep banks of the river made the passage of teams, with even ordinary loads, quite a difficult matter. Mr. Charles Brooks in his History of Medford, says, ‘There could have been no motive for his building such a bridge, at such a time and at his own expense, unless his men and business were in the neighborhood.’
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