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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 15., The passing of a Medford estate. (search)
e Caleb (the first resident of the Brooks name), successive generations have there had their homes until the recent sale of the estate (including the mansion built by Peter C. Brooks in 1802) to a real estate trust. During the century gradual disposals have been made, but the latest will produce the change most marked. In 1803 the Middlesex canal, and in 1835 the Lowell railroad, were opened for travel through it. Early in the fifties the southern portion came into the possession of Thomas P. Smith. Oak Grove Cemetery is in the northern border, and also enlarged from this estate. Next, the Playstead took a portion along Whitmore brook, and the residential section near the Gleason school followed. In more recent years the Mystic Valley Parkway has bordered the lake, and the Mystic hickories that were sizable trees when Paul Revere rode by, overlook its winding way. In the years before the Revolution the home of another Thomas Brooks, the marrying justice, was at the right of G
he present) almshouse, this house, with its land, was sold for $3,690.10. Thomas P. Smith was the purchaser, and he had also acquired all the territory in Medford lthe Middlesex canal, but this had been discontinued in the preceding year. Mr. Smith was a man of much public spirit and enterprise, and had planned here a suburbhe second floor, and the first in one large room. Mention has been made of Mr. Smith's residence and of Mystic Hall. When the reconstruction of the almshouse was complete, Mrs. Smith, on February 5, 1855, opened in these three buildings her boarding school for young ladies, the somewhat famous Mystic Hall Seminary. An examinpapers printed flattering notices of the school that read strangely today. Mrs. Smith's plan of study embraced four departments: Physical, Moral, Mental and Gracefnstructors coming from Harvard, and the French language only, used at table. Mrs. Smith herself taught in general literature and science, working out her elaborate p