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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 22., The Medford library building. (search)
ory gambrel roofs with roomy attics, to those more modern and pretentious, erected after ship-building began. The exceptions were the Royall, Peter Tufts, Major Wade and Hastings houses, with the country seat of Peter C. Brooks, the finest and newest of all. But at that time there was erected one that was, and still is, unique in design, substantial in construction, on an eligible and commanding location, that is worthy of more than a passing notice, and should hold in the estimation of Medford people the same place that the original Bulfinch State house does in that of the Commonwealth. We refer to the residence of Thatcher Magoun, now the public library building. Who knows the name of its architect, or yet the master builder that erected it, or even any workman that wrought in its construction? The old house holds its secrets well. Who knows the make — up of those massive circular walls, or the year, or years (for work was not hurriedly done in those days) of its erection?
Payment for the Proprietors James Kidder. By this scrap of paper it appears that the toll levied for the daily passage of such vehicles was ten dollars per year, and that the rule of cash before carting or payment in advance, had not then been fully established. Whoever rides over the Mystic avenue of today, finds far better conditions, though there is still room for improvement. Several railroad schemes, upon and beside it, have been broached, but none have materialized. Meanwhile Medford is slowly expanding, and some day will see, instead of the tide-mill and pond and the later racetrack, buildings devoted to business use along both sides of the old Medford turnpike. When that shall be, those who use the old pike will miss the bleak prospect we had there in 1860. In company with some forty schoolmates from another town, returning from a sleigh ride to the Navy Yard and State Prison, the ride was along this road. The wind was bitterly cold, and the tumbled — up ice on t
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 22., Medford a century ago—1819. (search)
revity. More elaborate, but incorrect in some ways is the Hales' map, made about 1820, See Register, Vol. I, p. 133. and showing the few roads and something of topography. By the former we find location of the meeting-house and mills, but little information relative to housing or business. No newspaper here then, and the bi-weeklies of Boston had but rare allusion to Medford matters. One hundred and eighty-nine years had rolled away since the first settlement of the town, and yet Medford in 1819, separated from the metropolis of New England by but one town, and but five miles distant, had less than 1,500 inhabitants. It had been hard hit by the Revolution, but in the first decade of the nineteenth century, with the establishment of ship-building, there was an increase of 316 in the population, but in the second decade but 34. If the increase of population was small in those latter years, the reverse was true of the new industry, for while 16 vessels were built in the firs