previous next

Some unusual moving scenes in Medford.

We have in our ‘Medford Scrap Book’ a picture of a moving event which occurred on February 18, 1908, when an irregular block of Milford granite was by a ‘horse battalion,’ carried from West Medford to Wildwood Cemetery in Winchester. It was something out of the usual course of events and worthy of permanent record in Medford annals. Brought by rail to Tutten's granite works, the inscription was there made in a somewhat unique manner by Medford artisans. The letters were deeply cut in the stone, broader at the back than at the surface and filled with lead; thus securely dovetailed in. Weather conditions precluded transportation on sleds as intended, and the season was advancing. So four thick oaken wheels three feet in diameter, on one axle with surmounting timbers, formed a stout truck on [p. 83] which the eighteen ton block was loaded. This carried the load, while others of the usual type were forward, to which five pairs of horses were attached. Under skillful direction all went well until on the shorter and more level way of Playstead road, it began to sink into a place softened by the noonday sun. Four more horses were procured and the way retraced to High street.

Then the journey was resumed, up hill and around the corner of Woburn, Wyman and Winthrop streets, over the line into Winchester, and lastly by a tortuous and upgrade road reaching Wildwood at dusk, where it was later deposited at the burial lot of Samuel J. Elder, twelve horses doing the work.

Probably there are few living today, that saw a locomotive hauled from West Medford to Malden, through High and Salem streets, by horse-power in the early forties. Though of the ordinary type of those early railroad days, and small as compared with present ones, it was then a novel sight, perhaps never since repeated. It was one of the early Boston and Maine Railroad, came down from Wilmington on the Boston and Lowell track —and taken across town to work on the ‘B. & M. extension.’

We are used to the slow moving steam rollers, but one day the big motor boat Najocks, built somewhere inland near Salem street, became stalled in its journey to the Mystic, and the friendly aid of Medford's steam roller enabled it to complete its overland trip. Doubtless others of smaller size have, like ducks, taken to water; but this was unique as to motive power.

One more, this mostly by water. At the time of the dismantling of the plant of the Steam Heating Company on Atlantic Avenue in Boston, the manager of the Chemical Works in the Somerville appendix on Boston Avenue, bought an iron tank some ten feet in diameter [p. 84] and about as tall, and a Medford man who quite often tackled like unpromising jobs undertook its delivery there. An unobserved pipe hole being left unplugged, it sank when rolled into the dock. On being pumped out it floated, and ‘three men in a boat’ started to tow it across the water front to the Mystic. It however tilted at such an angle as to take too much wind and they were glad to get a passing steam tug to ‘hook on to it,’ paying three dollars therefor. Once in the sheltered channel of the river they towed their big ‘tomato can’ up stream and under various bridges (waiting some times for the tide to ebb a little) as far as the Mystic Water Works pumping station. There they rolled it ashore in the slack of two ropes, and then overland like a big barrel, to the Chemical Works alongside Medford line. It was there used till the discontinuance of the works. It was bought cheaply enough and the courageous mover more than earned his money, but he did the difficult job successfully.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Milford, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Tutten (1)
W. Medford (1)
Samuel J. Elder (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 18th, 1908 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: