previous next
[p. 37] the latter was but one ‘road to Manottomy’ (present Broadway, Somerville), and through ‘Mr. Winthrop's farm’ only the Charlestown and Cambridge roads (now Main and Harvard streets in Medford.)

The ‘fence’ Richard Sprague built was probably mainly a stone wall, topped with tree branches or ‘brush’ secured from the ‘comon,’ or wooded Walnuttree hill. Thus reinforced, it was a barrier against the ‘reasonable Cattle’ turned into the ‘stinted comon, without the peninsula.’ A little corner of the common land extended down the river, but the fence began at Misticke bridge and crossing that corner followed ‘the Lynne between’ the farm and common (near present Florence street and College avenue, crossing the latter near the railroad) and to and beyond Two-penny brook to the ‘Rocke which was A Bound marke’ where the farm fence began. It is useless to look for that ‘Rocke’ today in the congested district east of Winter brook, but the old stone wall, now along College avenue may be of the original ‘fence’ of 1662, moved eastward when the brick tower was built a century ago over a spring on the Winthrop land. The ‘gate’ referred to was doubtless across the Cambridge road, now Harvard street, near St. Clement's church.

Lieutenant Sprague was fifty-seven years old when he contracted to build this fence and keep it secure for twenty-one years against the damages of reasonable Cattle, only the gate being excepted. And what was his compensation for the original outlay and continuous repair? Simply a twenty-one year leasehold of enough pasture ground for twenty cows,—not an acquirement of title thereto. He died November 25, 1668. His will, made just previously, made his wife his executrix. One of his bequests to her was his interest in eleven cow commons, and to the church in Charlestown the remainder of his ‘interest in those twenty cow commons which I am to have for mayntayning the fence against Mr. Winthrop's farm, on condition that the proprietors ’

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.
Winter Brook (New Hampshire, United States) (1)
St. Clement's church (United Kingdom) (1)
Broadway (Virginia, United States) (1)
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.
Winthrop (2)
Richard Sprague (2)
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.
November 25th, 1668 AD (1)
1662 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: