[p. 21] where was a big willow; another larger one on Boston avenue near High, probably owing to the canal. One of four feet at the canal landing, also a half dozen sycamores, one now left, next the river. Some sizable elms were before the canal house and a big pear tree near each end of Monument street; a few wild cherry trees where stone walls had been, and a few elms about the dwellings we have named—only these in that big open plain. If you are artist enough, put in a growing field of rye between Mr. Breed's and the canal house, and the remains of the canal embankment here and there where is now Boston avenue. The stone walls of the canal lock were still standing and the decaying aqueduct still spanned the river and could be walked over, if one was careful. There was an island of some six thousand feet in the river, just below Weir bridge which was not the substantial structure of present time, but a wooden bridge with rough stone abutments. A rapidly rushing stream at the ebb of tide made quite a little water power at Wood's mill under the willows down stream on the Arlington side. In the dwellings then west of the railroad there were in the spring of 1870 not over forty-five inhabitants, old and young. Mr. Smith was a man of much ability and public spirit, and his passing away probably retarded many improvements in this part of the village. His wife was an accomplished woman, the daughter of Ebenezer Smith of Winchester, a man of means. His gift of the tower clock on the new Congregational church there in 1851 was made so quietly that forty years elapsed before it became known who the donor was. In 1854 the brick almshouse which the younger Smith had bought was by extensive repair and addition transformed into the ‘Mystic Mansion’ and in that and her residence as dormitories and Mystic Hall (Everett Hall being later a store) Mrs. Smith opened (in 1854) her famous ‘Mystic Hall Seminary’ for the education of young ladies. She
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Old ships and Ship-building days of Medford .
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