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[p. 18] ford Steps. Two houses securely fenced in, faced High street, in which these men lived. Beyond them lay the extensive lands of the Brooks families, extending to Mystic lakes and over the hill and beyond the railroad to Oak Grove cemetery and into Winchester. On the left of High street was the greenhouse of Florist John Duane and his house, whose construction in the winter of ‘66 and ‘67 we remembered seeing during our daily trips to Boston. Away beyond that (where is now Monument street) was a big barn, forty by fifty feet. It had no windows, but big door openings in its ends. It was not a very old barn, perhaps thirty or forty years then. How it ever escaped the tornado of '51 or the incendiary fires of the ‘years before the war’ always seemed a mystery. We utilized it for a shop and storehouse for two years, until it was taken down and a house built of its good material.

High street is the old ‘way to the weare,’ the ‘road to Menotomy,’ which became West Cambridge in 1807, but took the name of Arlington in 1867. But until 1850 a portion of old Charlestown intervened between it and the river. In 1870 there were only five houses in that strip along the street and none on the Medford side, so there was an unobstructed view of the village and church spires of Arlington from the railway platform at West Medford. We saw a broad open plain, level at first, and sloping gradually to the river's edge, with but here and there a tree, beyond the pear trees left on the Smith garden plot.

The Brooks estate was bordered with walls of dark Medford granite, as was also the opposite side of High street for more than half way. A few of the latter remain today but none on the other side. Directly opposite the crossing was River street, which extended squarely away across the plain, crossing the river on Usher bridge and joining a street of that name in Arlington, passing through the Rawson market farm and a settlement commonly called ‘Goat Acre.’


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