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[p. 67]

When we were a good old town.

We have before us a copy of ‘Warrant for Town Meeting, Mar. 11, 1867,’ which some interested person brought to our collection in 1917. The ‘March meeting’ was the town's annual meeting. There were fourteen articles, the first half of them being the usual routine of town business, the eighth ‘To see if the town will have a bell rung daily, and at what hours.’

Water (surface) was too plenty at South and Summer streets, and George Hervey and others petitioned for culverts there, and James Tufts and others, for enlargement of Gravel bridge on Salem street, also the one at Ship street. J. Sears and others wanted ‘a Reservoir at the head of Myrtle street’ to save what water came there. The twelfth was ‘to see if the town will lay a gravel or plank sidewalk on the easterly side of Winthrop street from South to High street, a petition of Charles Munroe and others.’ The thirteenth was ‘to establish a permanent grade on High street near the residence of Deacon Train, on request of Dudley Hall and others.’

We have not consulted the town records relative to these, but as Grace church had just been erected opposite the residence of Deacon Train, also the neighboring residence of J. W. Tufts, a permanent grade was a desirable one to have fixed. But we see little of sidewalk on Winthrop street now sixty years later, and no houses on either side save one built seven years ago next the ‘Puffer's corner’ of that day, but note that at last the old wooden bridge is succeeded by the new one just opened, and that the Winthrop street of today extends from Winchester to Somerville lines, crossing the Mystic Valley parkway, unthought of in that old day.

The old Watson house, where President Washington came to visit Colonel Brooks in 1790, the Deacon Train and the Roach houses are gone, and the cellar hole and the vacant land along the ‘permanent grade,’ under the modern name of ‘Traincroft,’ await new residents.

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