[p. 64] the distilleries, and overflowed onto the whispering marshes, making at full tide enough depth of water to float an empty ship of twenty-five hundred tons. So thought Thatcher Magoun, as, strolling one pleasant day to the top of Winter hill, he stood on one of the mounds of earth thrown up by the patriot army twenty-seven years before. After a survey of the river ‘as the tide gave its full outline’ like a gigantic lariat below him, he started to interview the captain of a schooner lying at the wharf of one of the distilleries as to the depth and character of the river. After examining for himself the bed of the river and the depth of water at low tide and finding the neighborhood could furnish an ample supply of oak timber, he finally decided to locate his yard at the spot where all his ships were built. In 1802 was laid the keel of the first of the merchant ships which were known in every sea on the globe. Thatcher Magoun was born at Pembroke, Mass., June 17, 1775. He early chose the trade of ship carpenter and served his time with Enos Briggs at Salem, where he worked five years. From Salem he went to Mr. Barker's yard in Charlestown (the present Navy Yard), where he worked and studied two years and assisted in modelling. There he made the model of the first vessel he built, which was the Mt. Aetna of Medford. At this time Medford consisted mainly of farmhouses scattered along the highways to Woburn and Malden. At the centre of the town was the meeting house with a cluster of dwellings. There were a half dozen hospitable taverns, several stores for barter in connection with the lightering business and several distilleries, and together with a few colonial mansions with wonderful gardens, comprised the village. The gardens back of the places owned by the Hall family had flights of stone steps leading up the steep slope of Pasture hill, laid out in terraces aflame with
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Views of Medford .
Women of the Mayflower and Plymouth Colony.
Mr. Stetson 's notes on information wanted.
Old ships and ship-building days of Medford .
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