many years it was a ‘scattered village,’ having only a few over thirty tax payers on real estate
when the first steps were taken toward erecting a meeting-house.
It may be appropriate here to note that the structure was just what its name implied—a house for the town's people to meet in, not only for worship, but for the transaction of the town's business, which was done with a strict attention to the minutest details.
Of the tax payers above mentioned but a part were church members.
The term church was used by the fathers to designate the associated body of worshipers, and not the house they assembled in. Few roads there were in 1690, for few were needed.
, through Mistick, or Meadford, came Robert Sedgwick
, Edward Johnson
, and four others through the ‘farm’ of Zachariah Symmes
, the minister of the Charlestown Church, to explore the territory to the north, located as Charlestown Village.
The way they took was over the rocky hill, where had dwelt the Indian
king Nanepashemit, and their route came to be known as the ‘Oborn rode.’
At the top of the hill another road divides from this, ‘the way to the Weare.’
It is appropriately called High
street, and the hill is still known as ‘Marm Simonds
The order of the General Court in 1635 ‘that hereafter no dwelling-house shall be built above half a mile from the meeting-house in any plantation without leave from the court,’ was of none effect in Meadford.
There was no meeting-house to measure from, and Meadford's dwellings were scattered from Charlestown
, along a road little better than a cow-path, and whose course through the forest was marked by blazing the trees at intervals on either side.
It is the purpose of the writer to present in these lines some memorial of the house our fathers assembled in, and if possible bring to the thought and comprehension of the people of the present day something of their efforts in that time that seems so far away to us. The town, by