Scraps of paper.
As may be noted, its date is the first year of the corporation's existence.
Very likely the directors met then to discuss ways and means and to ride thence over the course of the new road on tours of inspection.
Evidently by the number of suppers there were eight present at the November gathering, and we may wonder which four had the ‘Ginn Toddy,’ and which other four were content with the one
bottle of wine.
Incidentally we notice that the initial charge is written To 4 Bo—then a t crossed several times—wls.
The English money reckoning was still in vogue, as it was somewhat within our remembrance.
‘Two and thrippence’ was the charge for the ‘eats’ at Blanchard
's, morning, noon and night alike.
Probably December 2 was a cold morning, but the four directors that had breakfast were fortified (or thought they were), by the modest allowance of one pint of bitters, ere they set out on the rocky road by Spot Pond
But they came back with reinforcements, for nine
sat down to dinner, and, strange to say, only four
bowls [p. 49]
had ‘Entertainment for Man and Beast’ the charge of ‘one and six’ for ‘Horss’ completed the charge for that day, each day's charge being separated by a line drawn across the unruled page.
The next charge is interesting; two horses
did the eating
and (presumably two) men
the drinking, the particular ‘vanity’ of one being a mug of flip, probably smaller than the toddy bowl, but same price.
We have been asked ‘What was flip?’
Well, it was hot
stuff, so was toddy; but flip was heated by the insertion of a red hot poker into the contents of the mug when served to the guest.
We fail to note any difference in the price of ‘Ginn
’ and brandy in the raw, but the director who indulged in brandy
toddy was taxed five cents more than for the decoction from gin.
It is too late to rectify mistakes (for the innkeeper has been dead a century), but he forgot to insert in charge column three dollars for three toddys and six dinners, and made a slight error in his footing.
It would be interesting to know who Col. Warner
was, and the items
of his ‘expense in town’ that was overlooked at the time, later charged, and at last deducted.
He may have been an adviser or engineer, and so a guest of the directors.
If so, why the final deduction?
And why the deduction of ‘Clerks bill, $4.22’?
On the back of this old scrap of paper are two ‘examples in short division,’
Why this division of the total of the bill by seven?
and amount of that
quotient deducted instead of the one evidently first made.
Possibly the final entry may explain.
By that entry it appears that the innkeeper had a separate bill against the turnpike company
, and had erroneously charged six dollars to the company on February 3.
The ‘clerk’ might not have been a director, but an employee of the company, meeting with the directors, who may have [p. 50]
For want of any such bills, we are led to infer that the directors of the Andover Turnpike
paid collectively their own expenses, and the company those of the clerk and Col. Warner
If so they were unlike those of the Middlesex Canal
whose accounts show ‘wines, lemons, sugar, trucking same, and broken tumblers,’ ‘for the directors party.’
Much has been written about that famous old waterway, and it is still a favorite and interesting subject, but little has been written of this last outlet of travel from Medford square.
In the library of the Historical Society is a framed picture of the old toll house, made long after its use as such.
milestones still remain; the second one, because of the thoughtful interest taken by one not a resident of Medford
This old bill of Blanchard
's will find a place beside the picture, as one of the few tangible reminders of the enterprise of Medford
's solid men at the opening of the nineteenth century.
Its itemized charges show $4.50 for baiting horses, and of the 17.83 for the men, $8.09 was for their liquid refreshment that in those days was deemed so essential; and the three items in lump sum probably in the same proportion.
But how would the site of Union hall appear to its proprietor could he see it today?
No ginn toddy, bitters or flip at any price, no ‘bating hors,’ but more automobiles in twenty-four hours than horses in a year then, and no walking out from Boston
would look with delight upon the elm arched vista of Forest street, and turning about find his old home, the only thing of that day remaining, changed somewhat, but still recognizable.
Col. Fitch Hall
could find the old mansions a little way up High street. Both did well in projecting and building the Andover Turnpike
, one hundred and fourteen years ago.
An older scrap.
At the May meeting of the Historical Society, President Charles E. Mann
of the Malden
society read an interesting [p. 51]
paper with the now world famous caption.
The scrap of paper in that case we reproduce in this issue.
The Edward Collins
named therein was Medford
's ‘first land speculator’—who purchased the Cradock farm
It is significant that the dwelling was styled ‘Medeford House.’
(first president of Harvard College) also mentioned therein and associated with Collins
—owned the land and dwelling on the opposite side of the river (now Arlington
and in one of his and Increase Nowell
's leases the lessee was to
pay £ 3 per year in wheat and barley at 4s per bushel, delivered at Medeford House twice each year; the first payment to be in 1648.
The lease was for fifteen years and the property was in Lynn
A strange thing about this interesting document is that it should have led to such drastic proceedings, when one considers the fact that the immediate parties were all dead.
Joseph Hills had done absolutely nothing for which he deserved arrest, neither had Edward Collins, who was an early settler of Cambridge and a most useful man in that community and in Medford.
Henry Dunster, whose estate they represented, was dead.
Deputy Governor, John Humphry, the owner. . . incidentally of Wind-Mill Hill [in Lynn where the leased property was] was also dead; Rev. Jose Glover, the man whose loan of So pounds to John Humphry, led to all the trouble, was so long dead that his name scarcely finds a place in the proceeding.
Another interesting thing in this old scrap of paper is that Malden
's constable was dignified by the title of ‘Marshall Generall,’ in 1662.
On the level road.
More modern, but still almost ninety years old is another scrap, a souvenir of the Medford turnpike
This relic was also furnished by Mr. Wait
, antedating his own service.
XIV. p. 4, (Register) may be found Mr. Wait
's account of Medford Milkmen
, and his own experience on [p. 52]
The ‘milkcarts’ of 1829, were later known as milkwagons
, and those built at the upper end of the turnpike had an enviable reputation for durability.
Their makers have kept abreast of the times, and their products, both horse drawn and motor driven, are in marked contrast to those that passed the old toll gate in 1829.
By this scrap of paper it appears that the toll levied for the daily passage of such vehicles was ten dollars per year, and that the rule of ‘cash before carting’ or payment in advance, had not then been fully established.
Whoever rides over the Mystic
avenue of today, finds far better conditions, though there is still room for improvement.
Several railroad schemes, upon and beside it, have been broached, but none have materialized.
is slowly expanding, and some day will see, instead of the tide-mill and pond and the later racetrack, buildings devoted to business use along both sides of the old Medford turnpike.
When that shall be, those who use the old pike will miss the bleak prospect we had there in 1860.
In company with some forty schoolmates from another town, returning from a sleigh ride to the Navy Yard
and State Prison, the ride was along this road.
The wind was bitterly cold, and the tumbled — up ice on the salt marsh a novelty to many of the company.
The memory of that dreary portion of the excursion still lingers.
The driver paid the toll.
But five years earlier the same boy, returning from Boston
by wagon, asked why a second
and received the reply, ‘You didn't think I was going over that hill with this load, did you?’
The longer road over Winter Hill
took horse power, and for a century and a half the travel had been that way. Possibly the opening of the canal in 1803 and the easy haulage of heavy-laden boats by only two horses thereon may have suggested and hastened the building of the turnpike road in 1804.