and so no need of space for fuel storage.
The floor beams were only hewed on one side, instead of all four, and laid flush in great open pockets cut in the sills, and also supported by other boulders, so that when the solid men (and women) of Medford
assembled thereon, they felt secure.
A floor of boards laid upon these, and all was ready for the eventful day of the raising.
The great timbers, ten or twelve inches square if of pine and eight if of oak, had all been fitted tenon in mortise and securely pinned together, and lay upon the floor in four sections, ready to be raised to a perpendicular position, a whole broadside at once, and all the town came to do it, or see it done.
We have been unable to find any account of this
‘raising,’ though at that of the third meeting-house it was said ‘there was no one hurl
Does this intimate that at the earlier ones some accident occurred?
We may trust not, though such had been the case elsewhere when it was thought necessary to provide a liberal allowance of rum, lemons, cider and sugar ‘to make the tackle work smoothly.’
When in position the frame was ‘inclosed’ by the carpenters with boards placed horizontally and with edges bevelled to overlap and shed the driving rain.
The roof timbers were ‘covered’ with boards extending from eaves to ridge-pole, which was hewed on two sides to fit the angle of the roof.
Meanwhile other workmen had been busy on the farms of Medford
The great pine trees that years before had been felled and had escaped the burning, whose stately trunks were free of knots, and from which the outer sapwood had decayed, were cut into shorter pieces.
These split into thin sections, piled up to season, and afterward shaven smooth with a drawknife, formed the clapboards and shingles with which the walls and roof were finished.
The former were the longer, thinner at the upper edge
, and overlapping each other horizontally and at the ends by a bevelled joint, made a wind-and weather-proof covering.
The shingles were the shorter, and were thinnest at