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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 23.,
Medford turnpike
Corporation. (search)
the toll house there was a private way leading from the farm of E. H. Derby The Temple estate or Ten-hill farm of Governor Winthrop. to Broadway, now known as Temple street in Somerville. Certain persons desirous of avoiding the climb over Winter Hill and also desirous of avoiding the payment of toll, were in the habit of using the Medford end of the turnpike and passing through the private way to Broadway, and on their return passing over the same route. The proprietors of the road petiting the last thirty years of the existence of the corporation it was the main object of the proprietors to rid themselves of the burden of its maintenance. The laying out of Medford street in Medford and Somerville around the southerly side of Winter Hill, thus avoiding the climb over the top of the hill, contributed to reduce the revenue of the company and thus assisted in its final collapse. The turnpike road was used by the sporting portion of the community as a course for the speeding of
e might have been quadrupled. The first thirty years of the nineteenth century was the era of canal and turnpike development. In whose brain the idea of a level road to Charlestown, in two unbroken straight lines, originated, we cannot say; probably that of Benjamin Hall, then the leading business man of Medford, who took one-tenth of its capital stock. Medford was, in 1803, a town of but twelve hundred inhabitants, its only direct route to Boston being the old road over the top of Winter hill, through Charlestown to the Charles river bridge but fourteen years built. It was a long, hard pull up and over the hill, not only for the local teams, but for the much greater volume of traffic and the stages from northern Middlesex and New Hampshire. So this new, shorter, and level route was apparently a feasible, practical and desirable investment. Steam travel was then thirty years in the future, electric power unheard of, and the automobile undreamed of. There were no serious e