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his paternal grandfather, Amos Warren of Medford, at the age of six years, in 1820, and lived with him eight years. Amos Warren came from old Menotomy (then the west parish of Cambridge), now Arlington, in an early year of the century, and bought a small farm in the western part of Medford on the side of a hill, with an orchard of fifteen acres, and lived there until his death in 1831. It was doubtless the old home of the pious deacon John Whitmore on which the later residence of James M. Usher was built. Across the street was the old Bucknam house, in recent years removed, making room for the West Medford post-office, and the cottage of Captain Wyatt, which still remains as a reminder of those early days. The great Whitmore elm was then in its prime, and for sixty years thereafter. Whitmore brook flowed through the Warren farm, but had not then acquired its modern habit of taking a summer vacation. Some rods to the west was the Middlesex canal, but no railroad was dreamed
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 22., History told by names of streets. (search)
ng and Prescott are sentimental, reflecting the cultivated and literary taste of Rev. John Pierpont and Charles Brooks. Woburn street was, of course, the old Oborne rode of the early days. Warren street extends through the old farm of Amos Warren, and the newer Wyman street through the old Wyman estate. Gleason street adjoins the Gleason school, both named for Hon. Daniel A. Gleason of the school committee. Madison street was one of the later streets, and probably suggested by James Madison Usher, a namesake of President Madison. Usher road lies within the limits of his former estate, while Gorham, Clewley, Chardon and Wheelwright are those of relatives of the Brooks family, whose land they traverse. Century road was laid out in the closing year of the nineteenth century. Playstead road is self-evident, as it borders the playground. Chandler road, because of Frank E. Chandler's ownership, and Woods Edge road is on the edge of the wooded hill. Laurel and Vernon are probably
The Usher bridge. Usher bridge was named for James M. Usher. He was mainly instrumental in the laying out of the road from High street in Medford to Broadway in Arlington. I signed the petition to the county commissioners for the laying out of the road at Mr. Usher's request. It is that in Medford known as Harvard avenue. The abutments and central pier of the bridge were reinforced with concrete when the river was deepened a few years since by the Metropolitan Commission. J. H. H.
en. This plan was made in the last days of the canal's operation, which had ceased when the Walling map was made. In the records of the canal company is an allusion by its agent to a company of gentlemen who had laid out this adjoining territory into house-lots, which they called Brooklands, and a suggestion that the canal's property there might be disposed of to the proprietors of Brooklands. In the closing of the canal's affairs this strip with a portion beyond the river, was sold to J. M. Usher Of those park names Gorham was a family name (of Brooks), while Lake was appropriate, as a miniature lake or pond was shown therein. Conditions favored the same, as the writer has seen the springy ground there covered with flags and cat-tails. In Plan Book 8, Plan 1, 1855, is the same territory (see Register, Vol. I, p. 126), being the Fuller plan of Smith estate. Here we must good naturedly differ a little with His Honor, who styles it the present laying out. Fuller's plan was
nd wind-driven river of Boston bay. But perhaps someone asks, Why Mystic river? We reply, The river has nothing mystical or mysterious, and the name as spelled, Mystic, is a misnomer. It has come to be thus commonly spelled because of the identical sound of the letters i and y, and the dropping of the k, which in time was superfluous to the c which the English had introduced. (Note also Merrimack—Merrimac.) The ancient maps show it as Mistick and Medford river, but as late as 1885 Mr. Usher felt called upon to state, on page 18, History of Medford, More probably the fact that the current in this stream flows sometimes in one direction, and sometimes in the opposite, may have seemed, to those who first witnessed the phenomena, something mysterious, and have suggested the name. We venture the query, Was the Missi-tuk or Mistick any different from any other tidal stream? and add the above to our list of Medford myths. Incidentally we may add another recently told us—
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 22., Connecting link in Medford Church history. (search)
, in his brief History of Medford, is the only author that mentions it as a society under this caption, giving its meeting place, and names of four ministers. Mr. Usher (on page 276) in treating of the West Medford Congregational church, said, the Union was formed for the support of public religious worship; and preaching servic, but did not give the name of the preacher. This makes the date specific—December 1, 1867—agreeing as to the year with Mr. Hooper, but placing it earlier than Mr. Usher, who is correct in his statement that there was no church organization. As this Christian Union formed a connecting link between the earlier and later organizualities, who had been pastor of a Congregational church in Stratfield, Conn., but was just then engaged in journalism upon the Nation, published in Boston by James M. Usher. The latter, recognizing his ability, was instrumental in bringing him to West Medford. Mr. Usher, in the history above quoted, says truly of the Union, A