been opened (there was only a small one-room building in the seminary days, and that contained the post-office and a few groceries), and Medford pond has become Mystic lake
But the river still winds, and the tide still covers the marshes at its flood, although it has ceased to impress me with the idea, that then prevailed amongst us, that it was of great width.
Although now nearly covered with buildings, the area bounded by the River
, the Lowell R. R., and High street was then a large, open, treeless field, which later was crossed by a wide path bordered by young trees, connecting one of the seminary buildings with the hall or school.
There was a large estate in West Medford at that time occupied by the family of Thomas P. Smith
, the residence being on High street near the station.
During the life of Mr. Smith
, there was erected, upon the land adjoining his garden, a building the lower story of which was finished for a store, with rooms for a dwelling in the rear.
The upper story consisted of a large hall used for fairs, social gatherings, and like purposes, called Mystic Hall.
I am inclined to think, notwithstanding the prospectus, that the seminary took its name from the hall rather than from the river.
After the death of Mr. Smith
, the widow decided in 1854 to open a day and boarding school, or young ladies' seminary.
At that time there was a private day school in West Medford, kept by an English family named Wood
—a mother and two daughters— and also one in Medford
, in the basement of the engine house of Jackson No. 2
, kept by a Miss Chase
There were already on the Smith
estate two buildings suitable for school purposes, and, the town of Medford
having built a new almshouse on Purchase street, the old one fronting on Canal street, with the Lowell R. R.
closely in the rear, was purchased.
The interior was entirely remodeled, and the general appearance of the outside changed by the addition of a long wing to one side for dormitories, and the house became Mystic Mansion.