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[p. 64]

At the time of starting the conductor would be at the bell rope with watch in hand and solemnly toll with measured strokes for two minutes. When the second hand ‘got on the dot’ he would give the rope a special pull that the bell had a special way of responding to, and shout ‘All aboard’ and the train would pull out.

It was somewhat amusing to the writer to see the latest comers rush into the station at the last instant and scurry aboard the cars often when well under way. It was n't so funny however for himself to run with one of those two story dinner pails as he sometimes did for forty rods, hoping the bell would continue to toll; and perchance be left behind to wait an hour for the next train.

Medford residents of those days will recall the ringing of the bell on the Medford Branch depot by the ticket seller, who dealt out tickets and made change to the late comers; and there were late ones in Medford as well as Woburn. The writer remembers watching from the car window in Winchester some of these dilatory ones, one of whom was generally buttoning on his dickey and one morning was in his stockings with his boots hanging over his arm,—but he got there.

The tickets sold by the station agents on the Lowell road were a curiosity. Of stout card board of different colors; on one side the name of station, on the other a series of hieroglyphics resembling Chinese characters. This last was the brilliant idea of one of the railroad officers to prevent their being counterfeited. The conductor was supposed to know everybody and discriminate at once between transients and season ticket holders. The latter were allowed one passage each way daily, but the rule was not rigidly enforced.

The stations in our city were known as ‘Medford Steps’ and ‘Medford Gates.’ There are as many steps at the former now as then, perhaps more, but for over twenty years it has been known as Medford Hillside. The ‘Gates’ has been West Medford for more than fifty years. The name was appropriate however.

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