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Medford's Bulky red Nose.

IN Vol. XVIII, No. 1, Medford Historical Register, was ‘High Street in 1870.’ That it awakened interest is shown by the following letter, which was directly acted upon. (See Mr. Hooper's article on ‘Pine and Pasture Hills,’ and ‘Introductory Note’ in the Register's next issue.

New Bedford, March 13, 1915.
Mr. Editor:—
dear Sir:—I have at different times been interested to know the original topography of the tract between the Library lot and the square, and made unfinished notes, but I never perfected anything. Now comes your very useful record of High street in 1870, and it reawakens my interest.

I have no facilities for the inquiry—don't know the place, names, now-and it is too late, so I am going to drop it and dump all the papers upon you to throw away or use as you like. This is not a contribution article for the columns of the Register, but sent in the hope of stirring up the curiosity of Mr. Hooper, yourself, or some other intelligent person to investigate, collect facts, and write up the subject. You two seem to know the most about High street. You once made a winter ramble along the smelt brook. You might make a back-yard ramble behind the High street houses and possibly discover or infer something.

Sincerely yours,

Not all Mr. Stetson's queries were answered, and we are presenting them anew, with his ‘notes’ in full, hoping they may awaken new interest along historic lines. He was the son of Rev. Caleb Stetson, the able minister of [p. 46] the First Parish (1827 to 1848). Under the caption ‘A Medford Schoolboy's Reminiscences,’ in Vol. XVII, No. 4, is a most interesting contribution to our columns to which we call especial attention. His parents lived in Medford, first in the Rev. Charles Brooks house, but later on High street where is now St. Joseph's rectory. In reading his ‘Reminiscences’ and these following ‘notes’ it will be seen that he was ‘at home’ on old High street, and his observations and descriptions the very best. It was to our regret that his likeness did not appear among the ‘Octogenarians’ with the old ‘Highschool house’ at that time, as we had intended.

It is now seven years since he passed away from his home in New Bedford, Mass., where he took up the practice of law in 1854. Though he had not been in Medford for many years, he retained pleasant memories of his boyhood home, and was a subscriber to the Register.

Turn to Vol. XIII, p. 93, and note his story of the ‘sham fight’ and later artillery practice (where is now the Fellsway) which explained the finding of cannon balls on the hillslope above.

On p. 45, Vol. XIX, is his likeness, which appeared in the New Bedford paper at his passing away at the age of nearly eighty-six years.

We put off our intended visit to him too long. It would have been worth while to have heard from his own lips about the High street and the old Medford of 1840s.

The following is copy of the papers sent us:—


I. A contour sketch of the Tract bounded as below, as nature left it, say, in 1630 to 1635.1 [p. 47]

East, by line of Governor's lane.

South, by river.

West, by line of Library lot.

North, by the Crest.

II. A history of the Medford industry in dark granite and red gravel.

Probably Queries I and II will correlate.

III. The story of the long-abandoned quarry near the north end of old Governor's lane and not far west of Forest street.

This was doubtless a Medford industry, though perhaps near or over the Stoneham line.

1 editor's note.—By ‘line of Library lot’ means the easterly boundary of the old Magoun estate, conveyed to the town in 1875 by Thatcher Magoun. The Children's Library was a later acquirement. The ‘Crest,’ evidently the east to west line of the brow of then Pasture hill. By ‘Governor's lane,’ the narrow opening between the present Savings Bank and Trust Company buildings, not present Governors avenue.

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