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[p. 81]

Until one has looked over piles of musty old almanacs of no use chronologically or astronomically considered, he can have no idea how interesting he will find them. Such stores of quaint items, bright jests and most preposterous remedies for physical complaints will greet him, together with such valuable facts concerning social and political life of the period as to compensate for the time spent in poring over the pages of rude print and encountering stale odors.

The disuse of the stage-coach after the coming of the steam cars was a natural sequence, but it was the passing of a very picturesque and interesting phase and period of village life.

The arrival of a stage, whether daily or weekly, was a notable event in every community.

Its approach, announced by a blast from a horn, the reining up of the dusty horses under the guidance of a skillful driver, the alighting of the passengers, the unloading of the baggage, the delivery of the mail, was watched alike by the loafer, the store-keeper, the innholder and the varied throng gathered at the place where the commercial and social life focused.

Stage lines were becoming more numerous, and as early as 1805 a daily stage was started between Medford and Boston. The starting of this local line was then considered a great undertaking.

It seems difficult to believe that there was a time when one stage-coach between Medford and Boston was sufficient to accommodate the passengers between these places. Medford had her stage-coach days, just as surely as she is now having electric-car and automobile days.

The high-water mark of the coaching period was from 1820 to 1840.

Something different from an annual publication in an almanac of stage lines with the time of arrival and departure was then needed, and the want was supplied by ‘Badger and Porter's Stage Register.’ This was a supplement to a newspaper (the American Traveller), and was published once in three months at No. 72 Market

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