[p. 14] different owners, and the ‘two rods broad’ became a highway passing over the dam and extending to Grove street, the road from Cambridge to Woburn. Forty years ago, ere the extreme west end of Medford was built, there was a growth of birch and cherry (such as grows along road sides) in a diagonal line across the plain. The ground adjacent was full of small stones, evidently placed there as the fields were cleared for cultivation. These, doubtless, marked the position of this old road from the river northward. Just when the mills ceased to be used and the road discontinued is difficult to determine, but probably long after the suit of Symmes vs. Collins, described in the previous article by Mr. Whitney. Mr. Symmes had several acres of upland and some marsh bordering on the Menotomy which, situated below, was quite near to the Broughton mill. The building of the dam ‘in the river of Misticke’ may have deflected the tidal flow southward into the Menotomy to a greater degree than usual. Some have thought this to be the meadow said to have been damaged, but as it was salt marsh it is doubtful if the hogs rooted there. The other meadows of Mr. Symmes were nearly two miles away on the Aberjona, just beyond the Medford ponds. According to Mr. Brooks, the tidal flow affected the pond a few inches. If the Broughton dam was of a height much higher than flood-tide, it is evident that its effect would be to ‘damnify’ a fresh-water meadow. If so, it is also evident that the power thus created was great and the privilege valuable. It was across the Aberjona, just below the Symmes' meadows, that the massive stone aqueduct of the Middlesex canal was built in 1828. There, on February 15, 1855, an ice-jam was formed by a sudden thaw, and these same meadows were soon several feet under water, the railroad bridge at Wedgemere wrecked, and Main street, in Winchester, at the railroad crossing, fourteen inches submerged, and boats rowed thereon. In 1861 the aqueduct was removed, and in
This text is part of:
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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