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Our illustrations.

Reference is made in this issue to various reports of the Park Commission which contain full-page views of improvements and bridges over our river. We are presenting a series of smaller ones secured ere these began, and a comparison of them with present conditions will be of interest and show the changes that have occurred.

In our frontispiece, and in upper left, we look up stream toward Main street. The tower of St. Joseph's Church, and two houses (now ‘The Fewtrell’) are seen beyond the arches of Cradock bridge. The spire of the old Trinitarian Church (later St. Joseph's, now Page & Curtin's store), had not been removed. Foster's wharf shows the decadence of the lumber business, but a three-masted vessel lies at the farther wharf. There is no sign of the lock on the other bank.

The central view shows the island that was above the ‘ford at Mystick.’

The lower left shows the river, looking down stream from the old bridge at Auburn street. At present it flows through the marshes seen on either side, and the water foreground has been filled. So great has been the change that the salt marsh has this year been a war garden. The storied steeple of the old Unitarian Church is also seen in this view.

In the upper right, the view is up stream, also from Auburn street. The spire of the West Medford Congregational [p. 64] Church (burned 1903) and Ober's coal sheds and storehouse, appear beyond the mouth of Whitmore brook. Crowding into the foreground are back-yard sheds and fences, where is now the new river channel and parkway. This, with Auburn street, crosses like shears on the new concrete bridge, which was built in a big excavation and the river turned thither at its completion.

In the lower right is the expanse of the river, looking up stream from the old Water-works bridge at Jerome street. The indentation at the left is the mouth of the Menotomy. It is now nearer in the foreground. The smaller one above was the site of the Broughton mill of 1656. The stakes and nets bending toward the fish-house on the Medford side were the last of the alewife fishing industry in Medford. The Hall house, seen beyond, was removed, but the Medford branch of the parkway begun, remains incomplete.

Facing page 56 is a group of ‘Bridges over Mystic River.’ Its central view is that of ‘First bridge,’ built by Cradock's men. We approach the description of this with caution, but are encouraged by the legend, ‘drawing from records.’ In Vol. II, No. 1, Register, is the able article on ‘Bridges of Medford’ by J. H. Hooper, which describes its earliest construction and gives the length of the bridge, which was approached by a causeway. But we have grave doubts of the structure, described as ‘rude and weak in construction,’ being as smoothly angular and straightly railed as this seems to be. The sedge grass in the foreground is realistic, but the trees on the opposite bank are too luxuriant for their proximity to the salt Mistick, and we also fear the artist exceeded the probabilities in inserting the Unitarian Church steeple, and dwellings on Pasture hill in his picture. Still, the conception of this primitive bridge will of itself hold good for Medford's first two centuries. By contrast, note the lower right-hand view, in which there is little change at present. The dam will [p. 65] not admit reflection of ‘The Fewtrell’ through the arch, the lock has since been built, and the Carlton house, seen over the other arch, is but recently removed.

In the upper left is the old Wear bridge, at the farther end of High street. The overhanging willows and shallop are at the site of the ‘Woods dam’ and tide-mill, at one time famous in Medford boating annals. Beneath this bridge the tides surged swiftly to and fro.

The lower left view shows the Lowell railroad embankment, built in 1834, across the marshland of Charlestown (now Somerville) on the right, looking down stream. The lines of the river bank are here much changed, but the stone arch remains, embedded in the newer one of concrete, built in 1906.

The upper right-hand view is ‘Canal bridge,’ over which Boston avenue was built in 1873. There were four spans, in all one hundred and thirty-four feet, the length of the first canal aqueduct, which was here built in 1802. Renewed in 1827, on the old abutments and on three new granite piers, it remained disused from 1852 to 1873, gradually becoming a picturesque ruin, until utilized as here seen. The name was given it by the city government, at the request of the Historical Society, in 1903. The iron cover in the foreground is of the Metropolitan sewer siphon, and the daisies were in full bloom when the photographer looked up stream here.

The earliest portion of the parkway to be built in Medford was from High street along the lakes to Winchester. Facing page 60 is a view of the same through the Brooks estate, another with the Symmes house and mouth of the Aberjona in the distance. The water is the farther end of the upper Mystic lake, once the meadow of Rev. Zachariah Symmes, that was flowed by the Broughton dam two miles down the river. The present flowage is by the Mystic dam of 1863, seen in the central view. Across the water is ‘Inter-laken,’ and higher is ‘Morningside,’ as the recent building sections of that [p. 66] part of Arlington are styled. No more beautiful view can be had of the Aberjona-Mystic valley than from the latter, unless it be from Grove street.

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