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lley, and doubtless its warning peals rang out after Revere galloped by, one hundred and thirty-nine years ago yesterday morning, on his way to Menotomy and Lexington. But ere this the third meeting-house had been built on another spot, and the bell hung in its towering steeple. The eighteenth century was old, its last year young (but thirteen days), when Medford people assembled for their tribute of respect to Washington, each wearing the tokens of mourning. His companion-in-arms, Gen. John Brooks, pronounced the eulogy in the black-draped meeting-house, and as the people dispersed, the bell was tolled until the sun went down. Its echoes are more than a century old, but we of today remember the sorrowful tones of the Medford bells at the passing of President McKinley. Fifty-eight years the first Medford bell was in service, and on May 10, 1802, the town voted to have a new bell, and that the old one be given in part pay. The contract for its casting was given to Paul Rever
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 17., An old Medford school boy's reminiscences. (search)
diversion of its sources to Winchester reservoir. Nearly opposite the Stickney house stood an old house at the corner of the lane, where a Mr. Staniels lived at about 1835. He moved to the top of Winter Hill where he built a showy house very near the fork where Governor Edward Everett once lived and where about two centuries earlier Governor John Winthrop built his cementless stone house. The Mystic region has been a good place for Governors, for we may count Governor Cradock and Governor John Brooks and Governor Everett again. Late in life he lived on the west side of Mystic upper lake. To Mr. Staniels, succeeded on Simonds hill Mr. William Russell and his son Frank. These were accomplished gentlemen and carried on in Boston a noted Academy of elocution. Miss Lyddy Symmes' school did not inculcate the higher branches. It was a sort of parents' assistant. There were a dozen or two of us pupils, all tots. I could not have been four. No desk, table, nor even chair was prov
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 18., The Tufts family residences. (search)
histories written or published. Of Medford's (Brooks', 1855) Mr. Usher says, The book was one of thw England's municipal history. In that work Mr. Brooks devoted two pages to the old two-story brickrth. It was on Mr. Cradock's land. Was it? Mr. Brooks thus writes in 1854 or 1855 (two centuries aonce skeptical of such claim of antiquity as Mr. Brooks in his enthusiasm for Medford's invaluable h assumed, asserted and inevitably concluded, Mr. Brooks adds, The inference is clear,. . . . the old. The historical part follows in its detail Mr. Brooks' history. A correspondent in Medford directe we have never found any discovery of facts Mr. Brooks' preface predicted that names it the Cradock house prior to Mr. Brooks' history, and all are repetition to a greater or less extent thereof, savbrick house in East Medford (that because of Mr. Brooks' assumption, unproven statement and inferencof the assembled Historical Society, said of Mr. Brooks, Our excellent historian, whom I thoroug
d towpath of the same canal, near the Medford almshouse, by people who showed water as conclusive evidence. The facts are, that the canal's course was a mile away; their towpath was the road-bed of the defunct Stoneham Branch Railroad, and water accumulated in a depression beside it every spring. The old windmill tower on College avenue was said to be the entrance to an underground tunnel by which fugitive slaves escaped across the Canadian border. A long tunnel, that. And this: Governor Brooks was born, lived and died in the old colonial mansion with broad verandas and massive pillars, then being restored, at the corner of High and Woburn streets, but in reality the governor was born in Charlestown, lived and died near Medford square, and there are not, and never were, any verandas or pillars, massive or otherwise, about the house in question. Again, there came to the editor of the register a clipping from a New York paper of a Phantom Ship, said in the gruesome story to
ad, equals twenty-five inches cut on the string. Some old carpenters that have long built stairs as well as houses would be glad of information as to this, and why twice the rise, or where twenty-five inches? The above are technical matters. The skeletons and ghosts we will allow to rest and allude only to the assertion that— in the parlor. . . George Washington is said to have done his courting of some fair lady in one of the recessed windows. The tale is that he courted in vain. As history records Washington as having only been in this vicinity at the siege of Boston, and again in 1789, when he visited Colonel and Dr. John Brooks, and as he had married Martha Custis years before, we think this a very unkind thrust against the revered memory of the Father of his Country to be scattered broadcast throughout the land from beneath the shadow of the gilded dome. Instead of technical and romantic myths, let us have attractive and historic truth, taught by narrative and pageant
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 18., Medford's home for the Aged. (search)
o carry money. He had seven sons, one of whom became the beloved physician of Medford, Dr. Daniel Swan, and for whom the Swan school was named. His youngest son, Caleb, was much interested in Medford's history, and distributed numbers of Mr. Brooks' volume among his friends on its publication. His own interleaved copy, after traversing the continent, has found place in our Historical Library—not a resting place, however, for its wealth of additions and its owner's criticisms are an illumWoburn. If this be correct, and there can be little doubt thereof, this house, with its solid oak frame, must have been a century old when President Washington took his health tour as far north as Portsmouth, and visited Medford in 1789, where he was entertained by Colonel Brooks at his home, only a few rods away. Truly it is, with the modern addition of 1872 and its recent refitting, an aged Home for the Aged people. Its builders did their work well. They builded better than they kne
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 15., Lafayette's visit to Medford. (search)
e with him in their old Continental uniforms. Brooks and Eustis, up to this time, had not been on f friend, the latter came to Medford, called on Brooks, and the breach was healed. Boston, which L's rank, the titled yet democratic Frenchman. Brooks had been appointed chairman by the Society of he appropriate motto, Welcome to our hills and Brooks. At the close of Lafayette's reply to the so visit his particular and valued friend, Governor Brooks. His reception in this beautiful village passed, before he reached the mansion of Governor Brooks, were filled with children and people, wh for all my services and all my sufferings. Brooks' History contains an account of this speech, wable to assemble the militia at short notice. Brooks wanted to show Lafayette how quickly he could Common at the instance of Governor Eustis, and Brooks, knowing what was being prepared for the enter occurred on Saturday, August 28, the same day Brooks gave his dinner to Lafayette. The Hall fore[7 more...]
Medford Camp Fire Girls. The future historian of Medford will find he has a task on his hands to enumerate the various social and fraternal organizations that have been or are existent at the time of his writing. Not so Mr. Brooks in 1855. His list included but three—Sons of Temperance, Masons, and the Medford Salt-marsh Corporation. Today their name is Legion, for they are many. At the present time the spirit of organization is everywhere. The young people have caught it, and the wide-spread helpful influence of the Boy Scouts is everywhere felt. As a bit of current history we wish to mention another which has obtained place in Medford, that of the Camp Fire Girls. In a previous issue the Register has told of their visit to the Historical rooms and of their lighting of our initial (matchless) fire on the Society's hearthstone. On a recent occasion they were again both our guests and entertainers. One of their number, delegated to do so, told of their aim to live up to
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 22., Medford a century ago—1819. (search)
Monroe was president of the United States and Gen. John Brooks of Medford governor of Massachusetts, having b those younger children must be established, one at Brooks' corner [High and Woburn streets] and the other on nteen as under four. But the needed schoolhouse at Brooks' corner remained a need for twenty years more. Theh for information we had overlooked the fact that Mr. Brooks in his history had presented the disbursements of the town record from which we have quoted: From Brooks' History,p. 119: Minister's salary and grant of wothe singers100.00 ——— 4,418.77 According to Mr. Brooks, the item of support of poor is even arger than ter the summer term, and it was all in the family at Brooks' corner,—and the old house, having taken a new leasghouse. No pipe-organ in Medford then. We quote Mr. Brooks, p. 492, under date of 1810: Medford had a laried on the second verse and again broke down. General Brooks could not endure it any longer; and he rose i
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 25., Medford Church anniversaries. (search)
a as today, though since reduced at one side and increased on another. As to population, fifteen hundred. Five country roads radiated from the market place, or business center, now called the square, and these had but few branches. Three distilleries were in operation, and ship-building was on the increase. The civic center was the meetinghouse up High street. There the sovereign people gathered in town meeting. James Monroe was President, for the American republic was still young. Dr. John Brooks of Medford had been for several years Governor of Massachusetts, and lived just out of the market place. The public conveyances were the stage coach and the slow-moving canal boat, for the railroad was thirteen years in the future. The sewing machine, the daguerreotype, gas, kerosene lamps and electric telegraph were all unheard of. Public schools were of the most primitive type and public worship was at the management and expense of the town, which levied a special rate or tax to pa
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