previous next

Some old Medford Fish stories.

[From the unpublished manuscripts of Caleb Swan.]

Old Mr. Isaac Greenleaf of Medford whose house was where Mr Magoun now lives [1856] is said to have taken a peck of Tom-Cod about 1800—that were frozen stiff and hard, and put them in an upper loft, to eat them as they were wanted.

After a week or two a general thaw came, and on going to get some of the fish for dinner, they were flapping and moving on the floor at a great rate.

This account was common tradition in Medford and generally believed.

Just after the history was published, Mr. Swan inserted in his copy the following item he had made note of fourteen years before:—

new York, May 12, 1842.
Mr Joseph Swan of Medford (now here) says that Mr. Russell of Medford took this month, from the Creek between the upper shipyard and Wears Bridge 107,000 alewives at one haul of the net.

As the upper ship-yard of that time was located near the site of the present Winthrop bridge, and as Mr. Swan always termed a tributary stream as far as the tide raised it a creek, the one he referred to was, doubtless, the Menotomy river. This is the largest tributary of the Mystic, has but a slight descent, and is very serpentine in course. It has for a half century been commonly known as Alewife brook. It is highly probable that its present prosaic and diminutive name superceded the former more historic and sonorous one because of the big haul of alewives made by this Medford fisherman.

It would seem that with the improvements now being made there, it would be well to restore to it its ancient and rightful name.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
York, Pa. (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Alewife Brook (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Caleb Swan (3)
Joseph Swan (1)
C. Swan (1)
Charles Russell (1)
William H. Magoun (1)
Isaac Greenleaf (1)
Medford Fish (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1856 AD (1)
May 12th, 1842 AD (1)
1800 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: