whose shingled walls and roof were time-worn and weatherbeaten.
The proprietor was Mr. B. F. Wood
, who lived in a large white house on the level plain near by, who did wood-turning, jig-sawing and like work, also making baby carriages
and curtain fixtures in his mill.
As a matter of course, the mill was nothing without the water power, which was obtained at the ebbing of the tide that had flowed up-stream into the lower lake, and was secured by the low dam built across the river to the Medford
As a natural water-way, the river at its beginning just above Wear bridge did not present a favorable aspect, and in many places below was very shallow.
The ‘Proprietors of Middlesex Canal
’ very soon abandoned their original idea of utilizing the Mystic
, and, authorized by additional legislation, built their artificial water-way six miles farther to the Charles
, in 1802.
There is credible evidence that prior to the canal's discontinuance early in 1852, boatmen shunned the last mile up the river by lifting their boats from the river near the canal ‘Landing No. 4
’ (which was just north of the canal aqueduct over the Mystic
), placing them in the canal, then rowing or towing them up the canal and removing them into the lake, or Medford pond, as it was then called.
But there were those who thought that Mr. Wood
had no right to maintain his dam, and claimed that the river was navigable for its entire length.
Both sides held to their opinions, and the conflict arose.
After the first destruction of the dam (which demolition does not appear to have been complete), it was soon repaired, and later the selectmen of Medford
were appealed to in the matter, though one-half of the offending and obstructing dam was in the adjoining town.
No mention of it is, however, to be found upon the records of that town.
The records of the Medford
selectmen show that on November 9, 1864, they ‘voted, that B. F. Wood
of West Cambridge
be notified to remove the dam maintained ’