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[p. 59]

The idea first came to Cox from reading Aesop's fable of the “ Reed and the Oak.” The tempest bent the reed and tore up the oak by the roots.

He served his apprenticeship to a carpenter and it was late in life before he attempted bridge building. He proved his new theory on a small bridge in the country with success.

He then contemplated the Charles River Bridge, a subscription was raised and the bridge built, he was rewarded with $200 above his contract.

He built seven bridges in Ireland the largest at Londonderry, 1860 ft long.

He also states that Capt. John Stone, of Concord, Mass., was the architect of Charlestown Bridge.

At Reed's Corner, at and near the junction of Main, Eden, and Mill streets, Charlestown, a century and more ago, was Mill Village. Mill Lane ran westward, and in the middle of the eighteenth century led to the mills and mill pond, now made land.

At that time the mills were the property of Capt. Robert Temple, grandson of Sir Purbeck Temple, of Stanton Bury, Bucks, England. From the first settlement of Charlestown, Mill Lane had led to the mills and the mill pond, and near by was Mill Hill.

The Webb family were here as millers, shortly after 1700, coming from Braintree. Benjamin Stokes was the miller in the middle of the century, and purchased a share in the mills from Robert Temple, and the balance from his widow in 1757. William Paine, miller, bought five acres of Robert Temple in 1768, and was the executor of Benjamin Stokes on his death.

At the Battle of Bunker Hill part of the mill buildings were destroyed, and the balance by the Americans in January, 1776, during the siege of Boston, as a military necessity. The buildings were eight in all. A large double dwelling, barn 30 × 18, a mill house with two grist mills, store 60 × 24, another 30 × 16, a fulling mill with three pairs of stocks, a smoke house, wharf, and gates to the mill pond. The lot were valued at £ 800. At the corner of Main and Mill streets was the Cape Breton Tavern.

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