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[p. 64]

Medford Square in 1924

We are presenting a view of Medford square, well worth preserving, as of historic interest. It marks the spot where the settlement of Medford began. Prior to that time it was the haunt of the red man. Salem and High streets have taken the place of the Indian trail, and the fording place of another joined it nearby at the left. At the right was Mr. Cradock's ‘ferme house,’ and over this trail came the three Sprague brothers from Salem in 1628-29 and found Cradock's men here at work.

In 1630 Winthrop's men settled on his Charlestown farm, whose northeast corner (the Mystic parkway) is the foreground of the view. Five or six years later, Cradock's agent built here a bridge, ever since maintained in various forms. The teetering draw gave place to two granite arches, since lengthened and widened to present enduring form. Behind the iron fencing of the parkway is the Cradock dam which holds back the incoming tides; and the four of lower height which hold the upper river at a level with the lower Mystic lake. The recent removal of the Bigelow-Porter buildings (seen closely at left of church tower), remind us that the entire left half of the view has been of recent erection; as also both church spires and the refitting of the lower stories of the other half. The ‘Rotten row’ of sixty years ago became ‘Doctors' row,’ and that also has met its changes and now gleams in the view in modern stucco.

Eight years have elapsed since the destruction of the city hall and three other buildings made this view possible. In the preceding year the Weymouth (Tufts hall) building, a three-story building and the old Seccomb house were torn down and the so-called ‘Medford building’ erected. In former days Medford square had its skyscrapers of three and four stories, but the modern tendency is to two and one—mostly one. [p. 65]

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