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What Mean Ye by these stones?

Joshua 4-6.

The writer of the above words foresaw an interest to be taken in historic matters and wrote an explicit account of the circumstances involved.

Medford has but few places or occasions of public interest thus memorialized. Recently a monument erected by a former citizen and resident has come into the possession of the city, and after a period of two years [p. 5] of neglect and ill-usage has been restored to proper condition. We refer to the so-called Indian monument in Sagamore park. An interested historian from a nearby town, who has written an extensive account of ‘Monuments to Indians,’ visited our city two years ago (in search of facts regarding it) and found it prone on the ground, as it had just been overturned by disorderly boys.

The story of its original erection by Mr. Francis Brooks in 1884, with view of it on its original site, may be found in the Register, Vol. XV, p. 30, told under the caption ‘The Passing of a Medford Estate.’ In the development of the land of the Brooks estate by the purchasing Real Estate Trust, the triangular space to which the monument has been removed was created and given the name of Sagamore park. This, with the monument, has been conveyed to the city of Medford and is now in charge of its park commission, which caused the re-erection of the monument on January 9, 1925.

Accounts of the remains there deposited had varied somewhat, and at request of Supt. Edward Adams the writer was present on November 13, 1924, when the box was removed from the cavity and opened. There were also present by request Mr. Calvin W. Lewis of Brookline (the historian referred to) and Mr. Frank Lincoln, an old resident. James M. Blake, Thomas Blakie, thirteen interested boys and a few ladies residing nearby also appeared upon the scene.

The wooden box was much decayed. From it Superintendent Adams removed the remains of those ‘whose bones lie here’—we quote the words of Mr. Brooks' inscription as expression of the fact. When originally discovered they were found buried in a sitting posture, but in the box they were simply packed in, in no particular order. There were several Indian hammers of stone among them, and a china teacup with gilt ornamentation, evidently of modern make. This was filled with arrow-heads of stone, and among them the following [p. 6] coins—silver dollar of 1884, quarter dollar of 1876, dime of 1884, dime of 1873, five cent nickel of 1884 and a bronze cent of 1884. No trace of any paper, or of Mercury, which was said to have been enclosed, was found therewith. As the vault was yet to be constructed, Superintendent Adams took charge of the contents, which were placed in two new wooden boxes which were coated with a preservation composition.

Prior to January 9, 1925, a concrete vault three feet, four inches square inside and one foot, nine inches deep, its enclosing wall seven inches thick, had been prepared. Mr. Tutten, who redressed the base stone with its inscription, prepared at the West Medford granite works a slab of Milford granite twelve inches thick, large enough to entirely cover the vault. In the box with its contents was placed a written account (as above given) of the occurrence of the opening, and a copy of the Register as above named securely wrapped in black Neponset paper for its better preservation. At 1.35 P. M. on Friday, January 9, 1925, Mr. Tutten rolled the new base stone in position over the vault in which the boxes of Indian remains had just been placed, and directly afterward re-erected the monument upon it.

Its inscribed die is also of Milford granite, while the upright shaft is of Rockport. The irregular cap-stone is a conglomerate, better known as Roxbury puddingstone, and is smaller than before, as on its overturning on Halloween a piece was broken from it.

In the present writing we have endeavored to answer the query of our caption, and will summarize thus:—

These stones of various kinds were a memorial to some of the aboriginal dwellers at this particular spot, erected at the instance of Mr. Francis Brooks, then owner and resident, in 1884. The property had been in the Brooks family since 1656, and in the sale to the real estate trust no provision was made for their preservation as memorials. It is well that owing to the efforts of one of our aldermen the city has taken it over and placed [p. 7] it in care of the park department for the future. Here was the Indian burial place, here was the home of the aboriginal king Nanepashemit, ‘in which being dead he lay buried,’ which was visited by Miles Standish and eight of the Pilgrims from Plymouth on September 21, 1621, a place ‘they liked so well that they wished they were here settled.’

Though not erected for that purpose, we can reply to the query, ‘What mean these stones?’ They mark the first recorded visit of white men to this place, which a few years later came to be called Medford.

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