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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 29. 2 0 Browse Search
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faithful and lovable to the end of his long and useful life. He was greatly interested in promoting the welfare of Medford. In 1855, he was one of three appointed to consider the advisability of establishing a public library. It was founded mainly through his efforts, and he was one of its first trustees, and for several years served as its librarian. Since his retirement, he has been very active with his pen, writing much local history; reminiscences of the old stage coach and Middlesex Canal days; sketches of the town from 1850 to 1860. He was of great assistance to Mr. Usher in his revision of the old Brooks' History of Medford,—has written a history of the Medford High School,—has collected and tabulated complete genealogical records of his ancestors from 1630, and of his wife's family from the days of the Pilgrims in Holland. The Medford Historical Society is indebted to him for a very interesting and valuable paper, giving a very comprehensive history of the Mystic Co
ty-three ships, and the partners retired in 1849 after amassing comfortable fortunes, according to the standards at that time. The first vessels built were brigs and schooners. The first ship was the Rassellas, built in 1820. The same year they built the steam-boat, a stern wheeler, Governor Pinckney for———Sullivan, of Boston. By the name of the boat and the surname of the owner, (no other name is given in Brooks' History) we infer that it was the invention of John L. Sullivan, of Middlesex canal fame, and was put in commission on the Santee River, in South Carolina. The only other steam vessel was built in 1841 and was modelled much like the ferry boats of today. This one was used by the Eastern Railroad to transport passengers from its terminal at East Boston to the city proper. Her name was the East Boston. From 1822, the size of the vessels built increased. The Lurilla built in that year was of 369 tons burden and the largest was the Soldan built in 1841. The firm <
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 12., Wood's dam and the mill beyond the Mystic. (search)
and like work, also making baby carriages and curtain fixtures in his mill. As a matter of course, the mill was nothing without the water power, which was obtained at the ebbing of the tide that had flowed up-stream into the lower lake, and was secured by the low dam built across the river to the Medford side. As a natural water-way, the river at its beginning just above Wear bridge did not present a favorable aspect, and in many places below was very shallow. The Proprietors of Middlesex Canal very soon abandoned their original idea of utilizing the Mystic, and, authorized by additional legislation, built their artificial water-way six miles farther to the Charles, in 1802. There is credible evidence that prior to the canal's discontinuance early in 1852, boatmen shunned the last mile up the river by lifting their boats from the river near the canal Landing No. 4 (which was just north of the canal aqueduct over the Mystic), placing them in the canal, then rowing or towing
, Salem, Fulton and Webster streets, in Vale of Sagamore, Medford. Also that on Bellevue Heights were fifty acres of fertile land. The auctioneer of May 27, 1857, was George R. Hichborn, and in advertising was a close competitor of one later mentioned. The second outlay named by Mr. Brooks was in 1852, at the western border of the town, comprising nearly all the territory between the river, the railroad and High street. The tract was referred to in the records of the Proprietors of Middlesex Canal(which traversed it) as Brooklands. Its agent or promoter was Thomas P. Smith, who built Mystic Hall, near his residence, in the same year. Possibly there was some rivalry between this enterprise and the earlier one of Hastings and Teel. Upon theirs the new schoolhouse had been built, and by the private enterprise of citizens another story, containing a village hall, was added. Mr. Smith did not live to realize his hopes, and the new section he planned lay dormant for sixteen years.
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 18., Medford's Metes and bounds. (search)
omerville, at the junction of the Malden with Mystic river. After following the serpentine Mystic westerly to a point in line with the monuments Medford Somerville 1 and Medford Somerville 3, the line runs 2,088 feet westerly by Somerville to the point begun at, on the top of Winter hill. This line is through a witness mark on a line stone beside Mystic avenue, marked M. S. city line, 250 feet from corner thirty-four, and also through another ancient line stone on the site of the old Middlesex canal. Beside these corner monuments there are road stones on east of Main and east of Medford streets, east of College and northeast of Boston avenues, east of Grove, west of Winthrop, and east of Myrtle streets at the city boundary. There is also a line stone between corners twenty-seven and twenty-eight, distant 1,152 feet from twenty-seven. These two pages of the Boundaries, containing thirty half-tones, are very interesting, varying from woodland scenes to exceptionally fine views
in a West Medford home and hoped to secure it for illustration. Recent inquiry failed us, and it is probably lost. No longer needed, this structure was removed in the building of the Parkway. The conduit in one place lies close to the course of the famous old waterway, the Middlesex canal. Indeed, the old canal contributed to its construction by the removal of one of the banks to grade over the new structure, as shown in Mr. Buchanan's drawing and record. The slopes of the old Middlesex Canal have been cut down as far as the conduit is built so as to make a four-foot fill on the center and eight feet wide on top, and from the outer edge of the canal to the inner edge of the back filling it is graded off like the following section. [Then follows drawing.] The conduit was finished on October 12, 1864, and on October 31 water was let in as far as the waste-gate near the river and all loose dirt washed out, and on the following day to the pumping station. Two years and
evens came next in 1870, building his house on North street. No highway crossed the Mystic between Winthrop and Usherbridges till 1873, so when Mr. Stevens moved his barns from his former residence on Warren street in West Medford, they went via High street to Winthrop square, crossing the river and railway on the Winthrop street bridges, then down across the field, a roundabout journey, to the spot where one still remains. At that date, the embankments, towpath and bed of the disused Middlesex canal could be plainly seen, extending from Cotting street westward to the railroad and through the Somerville appendix, to the river. The slowly decaying aqueduct, with its abutments of boulders and its granite piers, still spanned the river —a picturesque ruin. Because of the fact that a citizen of Medford, Nathan Brown, had eyes to see, and skill to paint, and that others appreciated his work, we of today may know how that locality appeared in 1865. When Mr. Stevens moved to the Hills
in 1862, the changes that resulted in the two lakes of the present time. At that time the shores of the pond were well wooded, and the white oaks there growing were utilized for the piles, that were driven fourteen feet and cut off level three feet below the surface of the ground. Upon these the masonry of the dam was built, while a double row of sheet piling was driven, within which the concrete core or backbone of the structure was filled, and back of this, the slope. Even the old Middlesex canal, discontinued ten years before, was laid under tribute, as the puddle of its old embankments near by, made up fifty years earlier, consisting of one-eighth clay mixed with sand and gravel, was used in this work. The granite for the overfall had been quarried at Chelmsford, as had been the stone for the canal's aqueducts. At this stage of the work labor troubles were evident, as one hundred and thirty men struck for twenty-five cents addition to the daily wage. On June 2, 1863, Albe
winter work. Like other New England farmers, Amos Warren believed in the gospel of hard work, and so six months of the year William Wilkins became an enthusiastic young farmer, and in the winter months attended the town school, primary and grammar he styles them. As there was no school then in the West End, he was a Fagender at the old one near the meeting-house. He says I never identified myself with the Medford fighting-boys who were hostile to the Charlestown boys on the frozen Middlesex canal, and had many hard fights. The passage of the boats through the lock and the alewife fishing on the river near by were more to his taste. Mr., afterward Dr., Furness and Luther Angier were his teachers in the town school. The latter recommended him, when twelve years old, to Medford Academy, as he styles Mr. John Angier's school, and for a time he was in Mr. Angier's family. While attending the town school he walked to Charlestown bridge, and alone, to see Lafayette and the great
e there also the street railway tracks extend onward into the Reservation, making the locality better known than ever it could have been in turnpike days. As can be seen, the toll-house was a substantial structure, as were those of its day. Save that it had a central chimney, instead of two at the rear, it was a counterpart of those erected just before at West Medford and Wilmington by the Middlesex Canal Company. The latter, in 1807, was built at a cost of $833.73 (as per record) Middlesex Canal record. and the same figure may well apply to this. Inquiry as to whether this house still remains brings no satisfactory reply. It may have been burnt, removed, or remodelled to different style during the years that have elapsed. Mr. Hooper informs us that though this was the residence of the toll-man and his family, the real toll-house was a little cabin on the other side of the road. It resembled the old-time shoemakers' shops, once so numerous in Eastern Massachusetts, and may h
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