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[p. 26]

The pump was generally placed where the highways crossed each other, or in the so-called square, where the roads converged.

A wooden pump is a very ordinary looking object, having no beauty or grace of its own, and only attractive as it is the medium of giving to us one of Nature's most valuable gifts.

Hawthorne, with so prosaic a theme for a subject, by the magic grace of his pen has given us a fanciful and also truthful description of the value and uses of this necessary and homely article. Personifying the town pump of his native place, he leads it into a soliloquy in which it indulges in a few ‘historical reminiscences’ and relates its own incalculable benefits to the public in a charming sketch which the author has happily called ‘A Rill from the Town Pump.’

What that pump was to Salem people the one in Medford square must have been to the people here. Similar events and scenes described by one must have been realized in the existence of the other.

Ours had an added dignity bestowed upon it when it was designated as the point from which the roads running east, west and south should be severally called Salem, High and Main streets.

The town pump, which many of us remember from having seen it day after day without its service appealing to us, and which many of an earlier generation recall vividly as they had a more intimate acquaintance with it, stood in the square, as it is now called, or the market place of the early days, on the southerly side of Salem street, a few feet to the north and west of the entrance to the store now occupied by William F. Bartlett.

The history of the supply of water from the settlement of the town would be an interesting story, but we are to concern ourselves with some comparisons of the nineteenth and twentieth century water ways and supplies, and a brief account of the pump in the market place.

The town owned another well not far from the market

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