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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 23.,
Medford turnpike
Corporation. (search)
Medford turnpike Corporation. ON March 2, 1803, the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, upon the petition of Benjamin Hall, John Brooks, Fitch Hall, Ebenezer Hall, 2d, and Samuel Buel, granted to these petitioners, and all other persons as are or shall be associated with them and their successors, the right to lay out and make a turnpike road from the easterly side of the road nearly opposite to Dr. Luther Stearns' house, and running easterly of Winter hill and Plowed hill Mt. Benedict or Convent hill. to the east side of the road opposite Page's tavern near the neck in Charlestown. Dr. Luther Stearns' house stood in part on the location of Emerson street in Medford, and Page's tavern stood in or near Sullivan square, in the Charlestown district of Boston. The act of incorporation provided, that if the said corporation shall neglect to complete the said turnpike road for the space of three years from the passage of this act, the same shall be void. It wa
side of the matter. Search in an extensive library, under the head of turnpikes, yielded him nothing but in one instance, and that a work of fiction. Nothing daunted, he began to gather authentic facts, with a magazine article in prospect. The work grew in his hands, until now after twelve years of remarkable research, a volume of over four hundred pages is the result. Among the fine illustrations are eight views in Medford. One hundred and fifty pages are devoted to Turnpikes of Massachusetts, some seventy in number. If the author could have seen this old record book he would have found some of his deductions relative to Medford turnpike (which he reached by sound reasoning rather than by any real evidence) well sustained, and they were contrary to those expressed in history of Medford. With data therefrom, his very readable Medford page might have been quadrupled. The first thirty years of the nineteenth century was the era of canal and turnpike development. In whose b
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 23., Turnpikes Past and present. (search)
ese was over the water works conduit, See register, Vol. XX, p. 1. and beside it was a turnstile of two-inch plank. On a pleasant Sunday afternoon the writer made his first visit to the Mystic dam, in company with several gentlemen, one of whom, rather portly, found it a close squeeze, as he said, to get through. But the real turnpike did not pass away when the toll or turnpike roads became free. It continues in use, very much in evidence, today. The first railroad chartered in Massachusetts had provision for toll-gates at intervals, evidently with the thought that private individuals might operate their own cars on its railed roadbed. It erected gates at its only grade crossing in Medford, at High street, and its station or depot there was known as Medford Gates. These were for public protection, See register, Vol. VIII, p. 86, Vol. XVII, p. 88. and not toll-gates. Instead of a number of tollgath-erers along the line, there is but one, and he accompanies the train,
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 23., The mills on the Medford turnpike. (search)
said corporation, that they shall be forever indemnified for any damage that shall manifestly appear to be occasioned to said turnpike road on the old sluiceway by said sluice so to be opened by him, or by the flowing of said marsh as aforesaid. And if the parties cannot agree upon the same, it shall be ascertained by three referees, and if they cannot agree on such referees, the said corporation shall have the right at all times to apply to the Chief Justice of the Sup. Jud. Court of Massachusetts for the time being, to appoint them, and the award of such referees or the major part of them shall be final, and if the same shall not be satisfied by sd. Dexter, his heirs and assigns in thirty days after notice of such award and demand of payment in writing, this agreement shall be void; but said Dexter, his heirs and assigns, to satisfy such award notwithstanding. Then follows the other part whereby Dexter (of Boston) guarantees the privilege of taking broken stone and gravel und
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 have been thus used. This has long since gone, but the turnpike road has improved.
s that were created were more evident with the introduction of water from Spot Pond in 1871, and the Branch Canal figures considerably in the reports of the Board of Health in the early seventies. At last the nuisance was abated. Along its course are the Teel carriage factories, the city stables, Water and Sewer Department buildings, and lastly the extension of Mystic Valley parkway. Across and beside the river are the Cradock dam and lock of concrete masonry, erected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During their construction there stood a few rods away the last visible remains of Benjamin Hall's enterprise of a century earlier, the river lock of the Branch canal. At its beginning Mr. Hall had attained an age at which most men retire from active enterprise. He saw it completed and ten years in use ere he passed on. We can record no story of sentiment or romance of it. Probably none of the excursions to Bacon's grove or the Lake of the Woods started on its level. Had t
An old historian's view In 1839 a book was published at Worcester, whose title was Historical Collections. Its author was John Warner Barber. It contained a colored map of Massachusetts, a condensed history of the state, also devoted specially a page to each county, and covered the histories and antiquities of the three hundred and sixteen towns in a greater or less degree. It was a substantial volume of six hundred and twenty-five pages, illustrated by two hundred wood engravings. But little more than one page and one illustration was devoted to Medford, whose population was given as 2,075. Its then northern neighbor, Woburn, with 2,643 inhabitants, had two pages and two excellent views given it. Eleven lines sufficed for Stoneham, which had but 932 people in its village of about forty dwelling houses. Medford's western neighbor, then West Cambridge, had 1,308 of population, and was noted in eighteen lines. Charlestown, which then extended to West Cambridge, with 10,101
Launching of the Tremont. As a matter of local history the register reprints the following from the morning edition of the Boston Globe of Wednesday, December 1, 1920: Launched at practically the same spot at which the first vessel ever built in Massachusetts was launched, nearly 300 years ago, the four-masted schooner Tremont, the second vessel ever built in Somerville, took her initial dip into the waters of the Mystic yesterday afternoon at 3.11 from the Mystic River Ship Company yards, near Wellington Bridge. Five thousand people assembled to watch the schooner slide gracefully into the water, where she was met by two tug-boats, which towed her to Barrett wharf in East Boston. A thousand children from the schools of Somerville and Medford, released from their classes early to attend the launching, set up a great cheer as the vessel took the water. Miss Annie Ferrullo, 7-year old daughter of Generose Ferrullo, one of the contractors, of Medford Hillside, broke a bot
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 23., The Touro house and its owner. (search)
m Touro, a wealthy Boston merchant, who went out from it one morning but never again came to it because of an accident resulting in his death in Boston on October 20, 1822. We have alluded elsewhere in this issue to a Touro—Lafayette episode, and now quote from page 493, Brooks' History of Medford. 1825.—Medford has not been a resort for Jews; but it had one who is remembered with interest, Abraham Touro, eminent for his social and generous qualities. When General Lafayette reached Massachusetts, Mr. Touro offered him his noble horse for his entrance into Boston. On the day of that triumphal entry, Mr. Touro was standing in his chaise to catch his first sight of the illustrious visitor, when a sudden start of his horse threw him from his place and broke his leg. The fracture was a very bad one, and the patient grew worse daily. The physicians and surgeons did all they could, and finally assured him that nothing but amputation could save his life. With a Jew's traditionary pre