water basin for the use of the navy.
That plan (a copy of which is at the State House
), shows an island in line with the Medford
side, with the river curving inland around it. We think that this carefully made map, on which the various depths of water are given, showing an island at the very place where the old frame was found, to be excellent testimony as to ‘suitable place,’ and the remains unearthed, a refutation of its being unsuccessful.
Its unearthing was a rare instance of the lost handiwork of Medford
men of two hundred years agone coming to view.
It was a serious matter for the housewife to get out of meal (i. e. breakfast food) in 1698, and it was a long journey to Noddle's island gristmill.
Neither was there the little store around the corner, to which Tommy
could be sent for shredded wheat and a bottle of milk in such emergency.
There were but few people in Medford
then, even after sixty years, but with meal costing them double price, a gristmill near home was a prime necessity.
To our modern ideas and experiences, this old Medford
gristmill would be insignificant and its output crude, but at that time it must have been a decided improvement and a waymark of progress.
It served its purpose, disappeared, and was utterly lost and forgotten until after two centuries, when in the march of improvement its remains were exhumed and aroused inquiry; now, nine years later, those original papers in the case are ‘documentary evidence.’