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[p. 7]

Early Improvements on the Mystic.

The building of Mystic Valley Parkway between Wear and Cradock bridges, with the construction of the dam above the latter, has transformed a tidal stream, dreary marshes and unimproved land into a water park and boulevard now approaching completion. With the planting of trees and shrubs, the coming years will add to its attractiveness. But this is only a portion of the comprehensive scheme which affects for good other areas. The largest tributary of the Mystic, for many years known as Alewife brook, is undergoing a radical change, both in its course and in its sanitary conditions. Deepened, widened, and its extreme crookedness eliminated, it will afford passage for canoes and motor boats to Spy pond, and perhaps, in some future time, may connect with the greater water park of the Charles.

Near its confluence with the Mystic, over two hundred and fifty years ago, when the Massachusetts colony was young, was built the ‘corne’ mill and fulling mill of Thomas Broughton. This was in Charlestown territory, which extended westward to and along Medford pond, now called Mystic lake, and because of its adjoining New-towne(Cambridge)border, was called the ‘linefeilde.’

Ancient Charlestown had other such fields where their cattle were kept, and in which the early settlers acquired a proprietary byfencing; in this, one of four rails was required.

This field contained a little over two hundred and thirty-five acres, beside the tract of Edward Johnson, which contained ten acres. Through this latter flowed the stream later known as Sucker brook, which drained the great meadows above the ‘Foot of the Rocks.’ Mt. Pleasant Cemetery and the gas works in Arlington are in its bounds.

As early as 1637 it was ordained ‘That a ffooteway bee made over Wenotomies & A way bettween the Lotts lefte 3 pole wide.’ An ancient plan, produced in a lawsuit near the close of the seventeenth century, shows this ‘bridgway’ parallel with Cambridge boundary, and running

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