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early as 1631, shows its superior claims to other places. Trade with Boston commenced before 1645, and the river was the thoroughfare. Long open boats were used for transportation, and they substituted the tide for oars and sails. They were sometimes drawn with ropes by men who walked on the bank. There was a ford across this stream at the Wear till 1748. The ford in the centre of Medford continued in use till 1639, and was about ten rods above the bridge. The Penny Ferry, where Malden Bridge now is, was established by Charlestown, April 2, 1640, and continued to September 28, 1787. There was, till recently, but one island in the river, and that is near the shore in Malden, at Moulton's Point, and is called White Island. Two have since been made; one by cutting through Labor in Vain, and the other by straightening the passage above the bridge. The depth of the river is remarkable for one so narrow, and its freedom from sunken rocks and dangerous shoals more remarkable st
eting-house. Medford opposed the building of the bridge on two grounds: first, that it would encumber navigation ; and, second, that it would divert travel from Medford. March 4, 1802, the town chose a Committee to compel the proprietors of Malden Bridge to build the piers, next the draw, required by their act of incorporation. To show how general and how sharp was the opposition to the erection of Malden Bridge, we will quote from a letter of the Pastor of Medford to his friend in CharlesMalden Bridge, we will quote from a letter of the Pastor of Medford to his friend in Charlestown, dated Monday, June 26, 1786:-- Almost ever since I saw you, I have been so agitated about that execrable bridge at Penny Ferry, that law and divinity have both been obliged to stand by, whilst I have rallied all my powers to fight the bridge-builders. And still the combat is not over. The people are bridge-mad. Old Judge R. is in a perfect frenzy, and raves about Charlestown and bridges with as little reason as the wildest lunatic in the defence of his imagined crown and sceptre. I
ark, the pickerel. Eels are taken in winter by means of forked irons, thrust into the mud through holes in the ice; and smelts are taken at the same time, in the river near Charlestown, by means of the common book. Oyster-fishing is another branch of trade carried on from Mystic River. In the early settlement of our town, oysters were extensively used as food, and they were easily taken. They so far abounded in that part of the river which is now between our turnpike river-wall and Malden Bridge that they obstructed navigation. Mr. Wood, speaking, in 1633, of these hinderances, has these words: Ships, without either ballast or lading, may float down this (Mystic) river; otherwise, the oyster-bank would hinder them, which crosseth the channel. This oyster-bank is one of those unfortunate institutions whose fate it has been to be often run upon, and on which the draughts have been so much greater than the deposits that it long ago became bankrupt; yet, like an honest tradesman,
John Ames, a sizing-machine. 1852. G. W. Turner, London, England. Improved mode of applying an endless wire-web in a paper-machine; also, mode of passing the paper through a trough of size between two endless felts. 1853. Brown and McIntosh, Aberdeen, Scotland. Hollow perforated mold, covered with felt, to which the pulp is caused to adhere by rarefaction of the contained air. 1853. Machine patented in England for preparing wood for making paper. 1856. Horace W. Peaslee, Malden Bridge, N. Y. Drying cylinder for paper-machines, comprising spiral tubular heater, non-conducting cylinder, and exterior metallic casing. V. O. Balcom, Bedford, Mass. Revolving pulp-tub with grooved grinding roller rotated therein at a different rate of speed. Thomas Lindsay and Wm. Geddes of Connecticut. Varying the width of paper while the machine is in operation by forming the trough which delivers pulp to the web in two parts, sliding one over the other and varying the distance apart of
was longer than the celebrated London bridge over the Thames, and as a triumph of engineering skill was not surpassed by any other in existence. It was planned and built by Lemuel Cox, of Medford, a shipwright. This same man, in 1787, built Malden bridge, and later, the old Essex bridge at Salem. On the completion of the structure a great celebration occurred in Charlestown, a vast feast was given; this took place on the 17th of June, and was a grand gala occasion. Poetry and song entered in bricks per year were made between the Charlestown line and the Cutter mill. Ten thousand cords of wood alone were teamed over the turnpike yearly, to say nothing of great quantities of sand. Most of the wood was landed from schooners below Malden bridge; this was spruce and hemlock,—round wood. After being thrown on to the wharf men were employed to split it, it being considered profitable to buy it round and split it afterward; it would measure more. The sand came largely from the Simpso
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 2., The highway or Canal through Labor in Vain point. (search)
The highway or Canal through Labor in Vain point. by John H. Hooper. The first great highway connecting the settlement at Mistick with the other settlements on Massachusetts bay was the Mistick river. After the building of Mistick bridge, no other bridge spanned its waters so as to interfere with its free navigation until the building of Malden bridge, which was opened to public travel Sept. 29, 1787. Governor Cradock's interests in trading and fishing, and, after his death and the sale of his estate, the growing commerce of the town, required many boats or lighters on the river, and the management of these boats or lighters gave employment to a hardy class of men called boatmen or lightermen. The navigation of the Mistick river with this class of vessels was no easy task. With sails, oars, poles, and the towline, assisted by the incoming and outgoing tide, did those hardworking men pursue their arduous employment. The tortuous channel of the river winding through the marshe
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 6., The Lawrence Light Guard.—Continued. (search)
til a few years ago was occupied by his daughter. Mr. Peter Lewis built a small vessel on the north bank of the river, just east of the Lowell Railroad bridge. Another was built at the wharf where the new armory stands. The hulls of vessels of a thousand tons burden have been built west of the bridge, which was twice widened to accommodate larger craft. Once in a while a vessel would be caught in the draw and teams were obliged to go around through Arlington and Cambridge, or via Malden bridge, to reach Boston. It was a pretty sight to see a large vessel on the way down the river, depending on the tide, and men with tow lines (no steam tugs in those days), and with Capt. John P. Clisby, the pilot, standing in the bow giving his orders. He was a large man, with a florid complexion, and looked every inch the sea captain. The river pilots, beside Capt. Clisby, that the writer can remember, were Benjamin and Reuben Williamson, William Snowdon, and James Porter. The town so
de the erstwhile Medford pond the Upper and Lower Mystic lakes. Should one be built, it may be possible to go from Boston to Lake Innitou (choose between this name, Horn pond or Lake of the Woods of 1819) by motor boat, as well as to Spy pond in Arlington or Fresh pond in Cambridge, as Winchester is planning a water park all its own. Under date of May 2, 1856, Caleb Swan interleaved his copy of Brooks' history with the following:— White Island is within an eighth of a mile above Malden Bridge. In very high tides it is covered with water, same as the surrounding marshes; it contains about 14 acres. It was bought of the Town of Charlestown about 1787 by Saml Swan Jr. then of Charlestown; he had the grass and sedge cut and taken to Medford in a scow, every year for many years after he lived in Medford. He then some years sold the grass to a man in Reading, for $30 a year—and sometimes for half the grass delivered to him in Medford. After his death in 1825 the island was
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 17., An old Medford school boy's reminiscences. (search)
the dam below or by the great sewer construction. I have not seen it for sixty years. Boating on the river was good. Captain King, who originally lived in the house later of Major Geo. L. Stearns, moved to a house near the river a little off South street, and set up a fine able boat. She was schooner rigged, a style best for shortening sail in our twisting river. His son George, a schoolmate of mine, was the skipper and would often take the little fellows aboard and go as far as Malden bridge where we caught big fish. Sometimes he would go up into the lower lake, though he disliked the trouble of passing under the canal aqueduct and the Weir bridge. But it all ended when George King went to sea, and later became a shipmaster himself, and then I built a boat of my own when I was about fourteen. She was a sort of flat bottomed scow but had a keel fastened on. A rake tail served as a mast. The sail was a sprit sail, easily twisted round the mast and the sprit, and she had no
t office was discontinued and was made a part of the Malden district and free delivery was established. A few months later the Wellington district was transferred to the Medford post office where it has remained to date. In 1911 Mr. Ellsworth gave up his position as station agent and bought a house in Middleton, Mass., where he is glad to welcome his many friends. For some time prior to 1872 the residents of Wellington tried to secure a bridge across the Malden river and thence over Malden bridge to Boston. The Legislature had granted the right to bridge either the Malden or Mystic, as the county commissioners should judge best for the public good, and the commissioners had, after protracted hearings, decided to bridge the Mystic near Ten-hill farm. They then ordered Medford to build that part of the road on the north side of the river and Somerville that part of the south side leading to the bridge, and the county to build the bridge. They further ordered that the street shou