[p. 19] To the right of this street, which in 1870 got the name of Harvard avenue, Thomas P. Smith had erected, in 1852, the substantial building known as Mystic Hall, now the store of Joseph E. Ober & Son. Mr. Smith lived in a large house just westward, and judging by the views of it extant, it was quite an extensive place. This house and its barn was destroyed by one of those frequent incendiary fires in 1865 or ‘66, but of them, more later. A dwelling house and stable had been erected on the left of that River street a little farther on, and a way just begun, called Bower street. This house in 1870 was occupied by an elderly merchant, Henry T. Wood, and wife. It now stands (with its ell removed) as a two-apartment house opposite the fire station on Bower street, while its stable is also made into a two-apartment house, and the site of the house was that of the onestory concrete block of stores. But a more sudden change was effected on that spot on August 23, 1851, when a house in construction there was utterly destroyed by the tornado, and two men working in the attic found themselves unhurt, with the house roof over them, deposited in the field beside the railroad. When rebuilt, the house was of a different plan and design from the first. Farther along southward, at about that same time, was erected a substantial house, now standing, and also a stable. In this, in 1870, resided Horace A. Breed and family. This road was named Bower street by Mr. Smith because of a street in Roxbury (where he formerly lived) and perhaps because of a ‘bower of trees’ thereon. Note, this is not Bowers, but Bower. This street connected at its end with Canal street, which crossed the railway equally as acutely as does High, but in a different direction. On the left of Canal street, adjoining the railroad, were six houses,—three belonged to the Smith estate, two to Gilbert Lincoln, and the last to Edward Brooks. In the basement of that was his laundry. Capt. A. A. Samson was the occupant of the house in ‘70. Mr.
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Old ships and Ship-building days of Medford .
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