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[p. 46]

Historical Society Reaches Majority in its New home.

It was fitting that the Society's hearthstone should figure in the exercises of the April meeting just prior to Patriots Day. It is current history that troops of boys known as Scouts, and their sisters, the Camp Fire Girls, are taking up beautiful and instructive lessons in patriotism, loyalty and usefulness, that has a hopeful indication and outlook. Three of these camps, Sagamore, Mystic and Nahanadah, united under their guardians, Mesdames Kenny, Proctor and Snell, as the Sag-my-nah Council, were the guests of the evening.

Their entrance of the hall, their costumes and ceremonies, their salute to the flag and pledge of loyalty were of great interest. Surrounding the broad hearthstone they lit the Society's initial fire, that some members had been anxious before to do. We will quote here from Mrs. Fuller in the Medford Messenger

In accordance with the usual custom at all meetings of the Camp Fire Girls, the central symbol of the society was then demonstrated by kindling a fire by the Indian method of the rubbing stick. For the first time the flames of a matchless fire rolled brightly up the new fireplace, as the girls, seated on the floor in a semi-circle, chanted an ode to the Great Spirit, followed by the singing of ‘Burn, Fire, Burn,’ ‘Mammy Moon,’ and ‘Wo-he-lo,’ the latter portraying the keyword of the organization, ‘Work, health, love.’

The President introduced the speaker of the evening, Rev. Anson Titus of Somerville, who spoke on ‘Present-Day Patriotism,’ contrasting the fires on the hill-tops and lanterns in the church tower, with the wireless and cable of today, and closing with—

These are great days in which to dedicate ourselves. The noble utterances of the President of the United States should grip and grasp every fibre of our being. A greater day is coming.

On May 21st the Historical Society held its regular meeting, the last of the season of 1916-17.

Its charter bears date of May 22, 1896, and the names of nine persons are therein written. Of these, seven are [p. 47] still living and six were present at this meeting, which, considering proximity of date, took the form of an anniversary occasion, as in fact the Society has rounded out its minority years and is now of age.

Additional interest attached to the occasion as the exterior of the new home at 10 Governors avenue is now practically complete. Within a few days the scaffolding about it has been removed and the Society seal worked in the concrete is plainly in evidence thereon. None need ask the purpose or use of the structure, as ‘he who runs may read.’

The seal of the Society consists of a shield and crest within a circle, on the border of which is the legend ‘Medford Historical Society.’ On the upper half of the shield is a sheaf of wheat, that being part of the arms of the Royall family. On the lower half is the seal of Medford—a ship on the stocks. The crest, a muzzled bear, is the crest of the Cradock family. In the exergue appears the motto, ‘Venerate the Historic.’

Members began early to gather and to inspect the new home, which though not complete entirely as to its interior finishings, yet has a homelike look. The greetings and congratulations delayed the opening but five minutes past the hour, when the President rapped for order and welcomed the assembled members and friends, congratulating all upon the success of the former years.

A highly interesting record of the April meeting was read by the Secretary and duly approved. After some minor details, the various speakers were introduced. The first to respond was Charles H. Loomis, one of the corporators of the Society and its first Treasurer, who said his ‘would be in lighter vein,’ and read the following verses:—

We're twenty-one.

Eighteen hundred ninety-six,
A year we find not hard to fix,
The M. H. S. that year begun,
So now, of course, we're twenty-one.

[p. 48] Well we recall those early days,
Their memories bright cast pleasing rays,
We bask in them as in the sun,
We're glad because we're twenty-one.

Our leaders pass us in review,
They're very choice because they're few.
We really do not need to state
The very first one gave us Wait.

We gathered headway in his term,
Of active work we much did learn.
‘Banks of the Mystic’ gave us zest
To Hooper up when Wait chose rest.

And here we lay a memory flower,
For one who labored every hour;
Whose faithful interest would not down,
We speak with love, the name of Brown.

And then a whirling Eddy came,
He gave to us ‘Parada’ fame.
'Twas in his brain that we were born,
And much good work by him was done.

In Medford's anniversary year
Of nineteen five, it doth appear
That Eddy's views, if you will look,
And Hooper's history, make a book.

The M. H. S. bore well its part,
Historic knowledge to impart,
Upon its chosen work intent.
Then later Scott was President.

How could events more fitting come,
That when our years are twenty-one,
Our list of officers we scan,
And find for President a Mann.

A Mann in name, a man for work,
A man who never learned to shirk.
Whose tireless work today we praise,
While grateful thanks to him we raise.

These corporate members' names were filed
DeLong, and Wait, and Dame and Wild,
Sargent, Loomis, Joyce and Gill,
And Eddy, will the number fill.

[p. 49] The passing years their changes bring,
And some have gone, their memories cling.
'Tis but a step from earth to heaven,
Tonight we write our number seven.

And for all those who from our ranks,
Are resting on those farther banks,
We weave tonight in memory's net
Forget-me-nots and mignonette.

The past has many pictures fair,
They crowd upon us everywhere,
Stamped on the tablets of the heart,
Of life itself they form a part.

Do you recall our old red home,
Its open fire which bade us ‘Come,’
Those Saturday nights of friendly chat,
The chafing dish, and all of that?

And genial spirits who beguiled
The passing hour with stories wild,
And tales of travel, wit and joke
Quite often wreathed in fragrant smoke?

Hail to the friends of every year!
Their names unspoken bring us cheer.
Did space permit the roll we'd call.
Our greetings go to one and all.

And you, my comrades of today,
As birthday greetings here we pay,
Let every daughter, every son
Rejoice because we're twenty-one.

C. H. L.

It is needless to say the above were heartily applauded.

Will C. Eddy, now of Auburndale, a corporator and former President, and who first formulated the idea of an historical society in Medford, told of the earliest efforts, the developments of the work—incidents and occurrences, and paid tribute to the workers of the earlier days and the memory of those passed on.

As announced, the principal speaker of the evening was the Hon. William Cushing Wait, the first President [p. 50] of the Society, his subject being, ‘What We Have Done for Medford in Twenty-one Years.’ Judge Wait told of the various lines of work and how the efforts of members had resulted in the clearing of some formerly accepted myths, by careful search and authentic record; of the writing of new and more accurate history and publication of the same; of the making of maps to illustrate the papers written by painstaking members; of the interest taken in the historic festival called ‘On the Banks of the Mystic,’ and its financial success; of the marking of historic sites and the initial work resulting in the city's observance of its two hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary, and the later publication of the ‘Proceedings’ by a committee composed entirely of members of the Society, as was also the historian whose careful work is therein embodied; of the genealogical work, the acquisition of a library and collection with the later purchase of the old home at 2 Ashland street and finally the erection of the present structure. The address was interspersed with numerous incidents and references to interested workers, among them a worthy tribute to President Brown, whose enthusiastic work made possible many things. Listened to with the utmost interest and greatly appreciated and applauded in its close, was this address.

Because of another engagement which took him away, His Honor the Mayor could speak but briefly, but in encouraging and appreciative words.

Miss Helen Tilden Wild, one of the first Vicepresi-dents and former Editor of the Historical Register, told of the Society's work in the gathering up and publication of Medford history and annals. This is now over two thousand pages, as the Register is in its twentieth volume. She especially noted the amount of information to be found in the brief articles the Editors use for ‘filling,’ and how worthy of preservation. She also alluded to the work of her successors and did not forget ‘the man behind the gun,’ i.e., the printer. At this point several members expressed their appreciation [p. 51] of the Register and made valuable suggestions. The present Editor told of his experience of the printer's helpfulness and also of the appreciative words of the editor of a great weekly, who styled the Register submitted to him as ‘superb.’

The chair then asked for the Society's appreciation of the printer's work, but found the vote was not wholly unanimous, as one man had not risen. Asking him to rise he was introduced as ‘the printer,’ J. C. Miller, Jr. Mr. Miller responded that he came to enjoy the occasion but found he was unexpectedly hearing good things about himself. He was gratified that the Society was satisfied with the appearance of the Register, for he had tried to do good work on it. Everybody knows he has succeeded.

At this juncture Judge Wait wanted the floor again. This accorded him, he wished to add, ‘That the Society's existence and work had set forces in motion for the preservation of the Royall house.’ At the risk of contempt, the President regretted his recognition of His Honor, as he was about to speak of the same and to introduce Dr. Charles M. Green, president of the Royall House Association. This was then done and Dr. Green responded in felicitous remarks, alluding to the work of both organizations as important to our old city. Dr. Green is the author of the able paper, ‘Early Physicians of Medford,’ and also substantially interested in the new home of this Society.

Attention was called to the portraits of the late Miss Zipporah Sawyer and her brother, Rufus Sawyer, recently come into possession of the Society according to her wish. A letter from the attorneys of her estate was read by Judge Wait, presenting to the Society a bill of 1794 in the handwriting of Paul Revere of ‘One Silver Cann £ 8.3:2’ to one——Whitman. This was Dr. Whitman of Bolton, Mass., with whom Miss Sawyer's father studied medicine and of whom he received his certificate as Doctor of Medicine and Surgery. Evidently Dr. Sawyer [p. 52] recognized the interest that in after years would be taken in the autographs of the patriot Revere. The old paper, yellow with age, will be preserved in the Society's archives. Another item of interest was several old coal bills of ‘Pyam Cushing, Entrance to wharf on Ship street, near the Town Pump,’ to Mr. Sawyer. One reads

1867, July 29.
5 tons Furnace $8 1/2$42.50
putting in1.50

After fifty years coal is the same price; but the town pump is no more.

During the two hours session there was not a dull minute, and after adjournment the members and friends spent a half hour in inspection of the new home.

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