A former Medford
man in writing of his native town said, referring to the eastern and western parts, ‘Medford
was a spectacle town, a bulky red nose stuck up between the glasses.’
The surface of that nose was dark red gravel but the bones behind it are the darker Medford
granite which shows now so plainly up Governors avenue.
The earliest white men to come here were Captain Myles Standish
and eight others from the Pilgrim
settlement at Plymouth
on September 21, 1621, and it was said they liked here so well that they wished they had been settled here.
In 1629 came an exploring party overland from Salem
, then but just settled, and found established here a company of men who were in the employ of one Matthew Cradock
, a wealthy London
They had erected some log houses for shelter, and were building a small vessel for their fishing.
Their work was a business adventure of Cradock
's, of which he had several, beside the corporate affairs of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony of which he was the president, or governor, as they styled him. And because they did so, do we call our chief magistrate governor.
This exploring party found the Mystic valley
and ponds, ‘a country full of stately timber and some Indians called Aberginians,’ whether because they were aborigines (dwellers from beginning) or not, we may not say.
Several early travellers mention this settlement as ‘a scattered village with but few houses as yet’ and tell of a ‘park impaled in which cattle were kept till Cradock
could stock it with deer.’
Such facts are the meagre information we have of the earliest Medford
Remember the country here was then a wilderness, its animal life wild, the former human life barbarous, even savage.
And remember, also, that it was not Pilgrim Plymouth
or Puritan Boston
that sent those first settlers here to occupy this territory and prepare the way for those later residents who became that body politic we call a town.