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The old ship-building days. [Excerpts from a talk given before the Medford Historical Society by Elisha B. Curtis, December 18, 1911, on Scenes Along the Mystic in the Early Fifties.] IN 1850 the population of Medford exceeded that of Maiden. Maiden then included both Melrose and Everett, known as North and South Maiden, respectively. Medford's population was then also larger than Somerville's, which now outnumbers us three or four to one. At that time Medford was in her palmiest days, having a great prestige through her ship-building industry following the discovery of gold, in 1849, on the Pacific coast. A few years later, however, it became evident that wooden vessels were passing, and this fact, together with other circumstances (such as the withholding of lands from the market, and our location on a spur track instead of a main line) will account for being outstripped in growth by these neighboring communities. There were three ship-yards on the south side of the r