[p. 74] Still the question recurs, ‘Who were the artillerymen?’ Some one has suggested the entrenchments on Central Hill in Somerville as being the nearest point where cannon were mounted in 1775 by Washington, but there was no enemy in this rocky fastness to dislodge as the minute men from Essex County had hastened along its base toward Lexington. Had there been cause, the iron missiles might have sped through the ravine where found, as it lays open in that direction, but there was none, for not even tradition hints of artillery practice in the Revolutionary days with their scarcity of ammunition. And thus the mystery remains unsolved. In all this elevated tract of rocky woodland, comprising forty-three acres (in the development of the land company), there are but three dwellings, all of comparatively modern build, and no wilder locality can be found so near Boston. Its history is interesting, as it harks back to the ownership of Benjamin Hall, a noted business man of Medford in the Revolutionary and later days. Those were the times when the capacious fireplaces were the only heating apparatus, whose cavernous maw demanded continuous supplies of good hardwood. But the meeting houses of New England had no fireplaces, and the people were content to sit in the frigid atmosphere on Sabbath days and listen to two sermons that frequently had a ‘twelfthly.’ But in the parson's settlement so many ‘cords of good hard wood’ were stipulated to be delivered at his door. Perhaps some of the heat from this went into the sermon as he wrote it. It is a matter of record that the Medford minister in 809 preached the ‘election sermon’ in Boston, and a recent review of it says ‘he gave them a hot one.’ At all events the Medford parsonage had to be well supplied with fuel, and so, in 1808, the Rev. David Osgood, D. D., purchased of Mr. Hall these forty-three acres, now after a century being developed, for his ‘wood lot.’ But the good doctor, after serving his church and parish for forty-eight years, passed away, and this wood lot, by
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Table of Contents:
Quaint old records.
Medford Historical Society .
Officers for the year ending January , 1911
Stage-coach days in Medford .
The Society's work-papers and addresses
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