[p. 27] and dedicated late in ‘74. These two church buildings were the first structures to be erected on the two plots of land between the railroad and Boston avenue. The next was the four-story brick block on Harvard avenue in ‘75. This was begun by J. C. McNeil in the summer. He failed to complete it and the land owners had to take it over and finish it. Then Lewis H. Lovering opened a meat and provision store in November, and George Spaulding a grocery in it. Six five-room tenements were above the stores, but slow in occupancy. The ‘land company’ had in ‘72 added to its holdings and also burdens, by purchase of the ‘Osgood estate’ at the Hillside, and had sold some twenty-five lots to a number of men styled the Quincy Associates, but six of whom erected houses on Adams street. By 1875 very little building was in progress and times were very hard. Not till 1880 was any house erected on Boston avenue west of Harvard except that of C. H. Morgan, and a dozen years more ere those across the street came, on the land Bates tried to sell in 1866. In 1870 Medford was installing a system of water supply from Spot pond and all streets were in a state of upheaval. In times earlier, the house builder had a water problem to solve. The thrifty home keeper had a cistern or hogshead sunk in the ground to save the rain water from the roofs, and incidentally to supply a mosquito colony. But for drinking water he had to rely on digging a well somewhere, regardless of the barnyard or outbuilding, really and often styled necessary. Only the larger and more expensive houses had any plumbing fixtures or bathroom, and in such all water had to be pumped into a tank in the attic, after which hard work it was used sparingly. The new houses first built on this tract were supplied by ‘driven wells’—an iron pipe driven into the gravelly and sandy soil, with an iron pitcher-nosed pump, generally inside the house at the kitchen sink.
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Old ships and Ship-building days of Medford .
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