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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 22., How did Medford get its name? (search)
. Meadowford would not have been an inappropriate designation for a specific place in the river's course; but ancient Medford or Mr. Cradock's farm was four miles long. Now a few words relative to Metford, and copy of a written note attached to a copy of the History of Medford (Brooks) by Caleb Swan, which is of interest, and never before published. Medford, July 31, 1857. Mr. Charles Brooks (the author of this book) dining with us at Dr. Swan's today—Mrs Adams and daughter of Winter hill being present—said that he had lately ascertained that the original name of the town was Metford—after a county seat Governor Cradock in England in Staffordshire called Metford and that he named his new town from that and that in his will he called it Metford in New England. The above date is two years subsequent to the publication of the book which contains many other interesting notes and is the property of the Medford Historical Society. In Staffordshire Names and Places p. 10 (<
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 22., In another corner of Medford. (search)
een successfully used on its barge canals. Steam was destined to win on land, and some of the land is in this corner of Medford. One day, two horses slowly towed a canal boat up through Medford to the new town of Lowell which had arisen at the Pawtucket Falls of the Merrimack. That boat bore a new kind of freight, the various parts of the locomotive engine which the genius of Governor Sullivan and of the Medford capitalists had not foreseen. A lot of Walnut-tree hill, and rocks from Winter Hill had been carted onto the end of the bordering marsh making an embankment twenty feet high across it, and bridges built over the canal and river. The canal boats had been bringing granite blocks down from Chelmsford, and The strange spectacle was thus presented, perhaps for the first time, of a corporation assisting in the preparation for its own obsequies. (Quoted from Lorin L. Dame.) One day (June 24, 1835) a curious array of uncouth vehicles came trundling on the iron rails laid
m and High Streets were the outward country roads, what was later Ship Street being only local. With increasing business, the Medford turnpike road across the marsh to Charlestown had been built in 1803 to do away with the tedious haul over Winter Hill, and in 1804 the project of another and shorter route to Andover was agitated, resulting in the charter on June 15, 1805, of the Andover and Medford Turnpike. The corporators, according to the Brooks history, were Jonathan Porter, Joseph Hurders. The driver paid the toll. But five years earlier the same boy, returning from Boston by wagon, asked why a second toll? and received the reply, You didn't think I was going over that hill with this load, did you? The longer road over Winter Hill took horse power, and for a century and a half the travel had been that way. Possibly the opening of the canal in 1803 and the easy haulage of heavy-laden boats by only two horses thereon may have suggested and hastened the building of the tur