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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 12. 1 1 Browse Search
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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 12., The first Methodist Episcopal Church of Medford. (search)
ars pastorate the church lost by death several of the oldest members, among them Bros. Orvid M. Fowler and William T. Hannah. Rev. F. T. Pomeroy succeeded Dr. Chadbourne, and remained three years. During his pastorate several deaths occurred among the church membership, among them being Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Newcomb and Mrs. O. M. Fowler. Mr. Pomeroy was followed in April, 1905, by Rev. Edgar Cary Bridgham, who is still our pastor. Early during his pastorate, on Saturday night, August 19, 1905, the church was totally destroyed by a fire of incendiary origin. Many were the tears shed in Methodist homes all over the city that night, and many prayers for sustaining grace went up to the All-wise and Mighty Father who had permitted this great calamity to fall upon us. But there was work to be done, and with tears in our eyes and a lump in every throat, we passed the smoking ruins the next day to the services in the Baptist Church. The churches of the city did all in their power
ship, the bell and clock were moved thereto and still remain in service. In June, 1873, the First Methodist Episcopal Church dedicated its new edifice. In the tower was placed a bell, cast by Hooper & Co., that weighed 1,798 lbs., receiving the impact of 40 lbs. of iron in its tongue, and was of the tone of F natural. There were no historical or sentimental associations connected with it. It was bought and paid for at the market price, in an ordinary business way. On the evening of August 19, 1905, there were three incendiary fires, and this church, with all its contents, was destroyed. After the building by the society of its new church on Otis street, a smaller bell from the foundry of Meneely's Sons of Troy, N. Y., was placed in its tower and is now in service. In 1888 the Union Congregational Church at South Medford had been erected. For twenty years the sharp, pertinent tones of the race-track bell had been heard by the crowds who gathered at Mystic Park. Since ‘88 th
an its weakest link, the fact of that enormous weight hanging over his head as he turned the crank numerous times in the weekly winding was far from assuring. But care takers came and went, and so did the worshipers pass in and out for thirty-two years. Like the cathedral lamps of Pisa they swung to and fro in that Medford tower, but there was no Medford Galileo watching their oscillations, for few ever saw them or sensed the overhanging danger. But the end came on Saturday evening, August 19, 1905, when Medford had all at once three incendiary fires. That in this church spread so rapidly that practically nothing could be removed from it. The tall tower formed a flue up which the flames sped to attack the lofty spire. No set piece of pyrotechnic display was so destructively gorgeous as that presented to our vision when we arrived and found Salem street roped off for safety. The wall and roof covering entirely burned away, the heavier timbers, even to the apex of the wedge, with