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Neighborhood Sketch no. 1

by Jenette Teele.
In 1836 my grandfather, Jonathan Teele, built the Teele house at the corner of Broadway and Curtis street. The house is standing now. The place was called Charlestown, and Curtis


street was a rangeway called ‘the lane’ by the people, and had bars at the entrance. The rangeway was only used for getting to the farming land beyond. The hill on the Medford side was too [32] steep to drive down. No house was upon it, and the land was nearly all in the Teele name. I don't know in what year the rangeway was made into a road and called Curtis street. The first house was built in 1852, by Mr. L. W. Dow, and it is still his residence. In 1859 my father, Samuel Teele, built a house far up on Curtis street, just where Professors' row now enters it. The college by this time had been founded, and the main brick building and four professors' houses had been built. Old Dr. Ballou, the first president of the college, was our nearest neighbor, his house being just across the field from us. No other house was built till 1863, when Mr. Simon Holden built the house now occupied by his son, George W. Holden, the land on which it was built being a part of the Teele estate. In 1867 my father sold the house he had built and part of his land to the college, and in 1868 built the house now standing opposite the reservoir. In a year or two the college moved the house it had purchased of my father on to Professors' row, which had by that time been made, and it has always been occupied by the late Dr. Sawyer's family.

In 1869 a Mr. Merrill built a house on Curtis street, now owned and occupied by S. F. Teele. Mr. Merrill lived in it until he died. About the same time Warren L. Teele built his house, which he still occupies. These comprise the old residents of Curtis street, and the street remained unchanged for some years, until L. W. Dow began to sell his land for building purposes. For many years the old residents were bound together by two ties at least. They were all of the same occupation, farmers, and their children all attended the same district school. They knew each other well, for the neighborhood parties in the winter, and the days spent together at Chelsea beach in the summer, made us as one large family. This included the neighbors on Broadway, too. One characteristic of them all was their love of home; for all have remained as residents on the street, and only death removes them.

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