s 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 building of the stone house on the hill top. Just across the road was the home of Rev. Edward Brooks, who rode away in his full bottomed wig, and gun in hand followed the British troops on the eventful morning of the first Patriots' Day. This has also gone, probably after his son Peter C., built the present mansion.
In improving his estate he erected, in 1820, a granite arch spanning the canal, at a cost of a thousand dollars. Its architect was George Rumford Baldwin, who had just attained his majority, and this was one of his earliest works.
The name of the builder is unknown, b
ubtless at its erection the finest house in this quarter, and a curved driveway extended from the street, past the end of the house, and joined the street again.
Beside the street and between the ends of the drive was this brick wall constructed, and bordered with a row of lilacs.
Tradition has it that Pomp made the bricks, as well as built the wall, and it is doubtless true.
Some fifty years ago there was a story current that the bricks were brought from England—incorrect however.
Mr. Edward Brooks in 1875 told the present writer that the bricks were made from clay dug on the estate, and was much amused at such a story finding credence.
This house of Samuel, Thomas, and lastly of Gorham Brooks, is shown in the history of Medford (Brooks', '55) with the great black walnut trees before it, and also the brick wall, granite post and lilac bushes.
In this picture the house is shown with a massive chimney.
A wide and latticed veranda extended around two sides, while along the ed
some one is said to have remarked that the government might be conducted on a high plane.
Mr. Brooks was son of Rev. Edward Brooks, who gave him the name of his college classmate at Harvard, Peter Chardon.
The classmate's father was Pierre Chardte of present Bowdoin Square Baptist Church, and the street adjoining still bears his name.
It was characteristic of Mr. Brooks that in naming the new town he should have modestly deferred the family name and given to succeeding time that of his fld us by men now living and of nearly fourscore years.
One, when a boy of four, was told you can get some peaches at Mr. Brooks' house, so taking his basket he started from the old Canal tavern (his father was lock-tender), up the tow-path, a quarn Ohio, has a city government.
Just here it is well to remember something of the development of the West.
Medford was one hundred and eighty-one years old, and had less than five thousand people when Mr. Brooks gave that site and named that town.