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Richard Cooke. There was a mill at the place now called the Bower, about one mile north of the meeting-house of the first parish, carried by the water of Marble Brook. The banks, race, canal, and cellar are yet traceable. This was used for grinding grain and sawing timber. It was on land now owned by Mr. Dudley Hall. The remains of another water-mill are still visible on land now owned by Mr. W. A. Russell, near the north-west border of the town. It was carried by the water of Whitmore Brook. This mill must have been among the earnest in Medford. The first action of the town respecting mills was May 30, 1698, and the record reads thus: Put to vote, whether the inhabitants of Medford will petition the General Court for liberty to build a gristmill on the river, near and above Mistick Bridge. Voted in the affirmative. This was not successful; nor was the following,--Nov. 26, 1700: Whether the town will petition the General Court for liberty to build a corn-mill in their
d was the keeper of the almshouse. Opposite lived Major Gershom Teel and afterward Captain Joseph Wyatt. This house, occupied quite recently by Mr. William J. Cheney, is standing in 1905. Just below the Usher house lived Deacon Amos Warren. Warren street was cut through the deacon's estate and named in his honor. Later Mr. Reed, father of Rebecca Reed, whose story of ill treatment brought about the destruction of the nunnery at Charlestown, lived in the Warren house. Just beyond Whitmore brook, on the north side of the street, lived Captain Samuel Teel. This house is standing (1905) on the westerly corner of Brooks street. A few rods east—on the easterly corner of Allston street as now built—was a house occupied by Stephen Symmes, who afterward moved to the west side of Mystic pond. The next occupant was Thomas Huffmaster, who was killed during the tornado of 1850. The site is now owned by the heirs of John H. Norton, whose wife was a daughter of Mr. Huffmaster. About ha
of Mystic Mount. The citizens of West Medford assisting by their contributions, the result was a larger and two-storied structure with some pretension to architectural style. While this was building, late in the afternoon of August 22, a destructive tornado or cyclone swept through a portion of the village, wrecking everything in its track. The old schoolhouse did not escape, but was completely destroyed and its floor, with the seats still fastened to it, was found upside down across Whitmore Brook. In its hasty flight it encountered a large horse chestnut tree. Knowledge is power; the tree was no match for the schoolhouse in the general shake — up of that fateful time, and was cut completely off. No scholars or teacher were injured, as it was vacation time, but school was to have begun three days later. In 1846 Miss Mary Gleason was the teacher, at an annual salary of $109.50. She still resides in old Medford, and is now known as Mrs. Otis Waterman; with her the writer had a pl
anned the river at Auburn street as now, but the disused canal, innocent of water, was plainly visible before reaching the loop in the river near the mouth of Whitmore Brook, where once a ship was built and launched. Scattered here and there on the gentle slope from High street to the river, and on the steeper side of Mystic Hillover thirty years has been a stable one, though conducted by several proprietors. Edward Shaw with his express came not till ‘71, nor was he located beside Whitmore Brook till five years later. Cunningham's omnibus made no trips to Medford Square, nor did, indeed, till ‘76, while the bobtail car which succeeded the omnibus wouat Paddy got drunk—got drunk. Shaded by willows, and surrounded by a tangled growth (possibly suggesting the name of Brierville), its waters found a way into Whitmore Brook. The stone tower on Hastings Heights, as we call the hill now, overlooks the place; while the site of the pond is surrounded with houses, the homes of recent<
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 11., Ye olde Meting-House of Meadford. (search)
on the 4th of November, 1695, voted to have a pulpit and deacons' seat made, as well as the body of seats, and have the walls plaistered with lime, thus increasing the outlay to eighty pounds. It was tedious work sawing the great logs into lumber, so the laths were split in narrow and thin strips varying in width and thickness, and nailed on the joists, concealing the bricks already laid. Lime was made by burning oyster shells, and hair to mix with it may have come from the tannery at Whitmore brook, while a plenty of sand was also to be had near by. Only the walls were thus coated, but doubtless the mud-wasps did their share among the roof timbers and king-posts, which, with the beams, were left exposed to view. The body of seats were a series of long wooden benches without any backs, which occupied the central portion of the flore and were movable. The pulpit was elevated several feet, requiring a stairway to enter it upon the left-hand side, and was not complete without a s
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 11., Ye olde Meting-House of Meadford. (search)
of the meeting-house, we shall find that the first passes through the site of the First Parish Church, where the third meeting-house was built, the Brooks and the Cummings Schools; the second, or halfmile, through the city farm, Hall road, Medford square, Cradock school, and West Medford R. R. station. The three-quarter mile radius reaches the Brooks Farm building, the site of the Wheeler mill just above Menotomy river, the end of Woburn street at Playstead road, the old mill site on Whitmore brook and also the one on Meeting-house brook, Gravelly brook at Forest street, the Everett school and the Royall House. One mile is just beyond Wear bridge, the farther corner of Oak Grove, Bear meadow, Earl avenue and Fulton street at the Fellsway, Park street, Mystic park and Tufts College. One and a quarter miles would reach the old Powder House in Somerville, and one and a half the so-called Cradock House. With the latter exception, the spot selected for its building was central then
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 14., The old Rock tree near Whitmore Brook. (search)
The old Rock tree near Whitmore Brook. Mr. Symmes' story of the wild hog suggests notice by the Register of one of the natural curiosities of our old town. Some of the strollers in the Fells have noticed the tree growing on the bowlder near the Winchester line, just a little westward from Whitmore road and brook, and have looked at it with no little surprise and wonder. The tree is some fifteen feet tall and of our native variety of red cedar, so called, though really a juniper (junipon passed by it on his way to locate in Charlestown Village, soon called Wooburne. But it was older when the early Medford settlers on Cradock's grant (after Collins, the land speculator, came in possession) built the mill just below it on Whitmore Brook. Traces of the dam that made a pond at the bowlder's base, and of the race-way and mill-site, may still be seen by the observant ones who pass along Whitmore road. Six generations have come and gone, and where once was heard the hum of th
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 15., The passing of a Medford estate. (search)
uding 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 Grove street. The spot is marked by the old slave wall, and the great black-walnut tree stood before it. It was demolished in 1865, after the
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 16., A projected Medford railroad. (search)
d as far as may be seen, and incidentally to think what the development of Medford territory might have been had the railroad been built. Twenty years before, Purchase (now Winthrop) street was built from the old Woburn road, just north of Whitmore Brook, in a comparatively straight course to the angle of old High street now called Winthrop Square. This formed a shorter and more level route from Medford's adjoining town of Woburn, and led to the building (across Meeting-house Brook and the ma of more or less depth till the present Medford boundary line was crossed. At various places along the line in Winchester and Medford may still be found traces of the work in the cuts and embankments made, while the stone bridge built over Whitmore Brook still remains, though a few rods away all trace of the roadbed disappears where Whitmore road enters the Fells reservation. Southward the elevation of Ram's Head slopes down to Winthrop street so steeply as to raise the query as to how the r
ilt the bell was divested of its hangings and suspended from a beam in the tower, from which it sends out its warning tones simultaneously with all the others. When this bell was first hung, the first steam fire engine had just been built and was looked upon with little favor by the volunteer firemen of those days. The next fire bell to come was the one at West Medford. This weighed 515 lbs., and was mounted on a temporary framework beside the livery stable of D. K. Richardson near Whitmore brook. At the completion of the fire station on Canal street it was placed in its cupola. Complaint was soon made by firemen who didn't hear its ringing, and the engineers procured a larger bell of 900 lbs., and had the cupola roof raised higher to take it in. William Blake, successor of Hooper & Co., took the first in exchange therefor, and the town paid a small charge for damage to its wheel. When installed it was hung in the usual way for ringing, but when removed a year since to the new
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