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September, 1621 AD (search for this): chapter 19
Why Mystic? THE earliest mention of our river is said to have been made by some of the Plymouth Pilgrims in September, 1621, who said, Within this bay the salvages say there are two rivers: one whereof we saw having a fair entrance but we had no time to discover it. Later comes Johnson, who in his Wonder-Working Providence in describing Charlestown, tells of the pleasant and navigable river of Mistick, using the name that Governor Winthrop wrote in his diary under date of June 17, 1630, We went up Mystick River about six miles. Dudley, in his letter to the Countess of Lincoln on March 28, 1631, tells of settlers at Watertown, on the Charles river, and some of us upon Mistick, which we called Meadford. And again Winthrop tells— The Governor and others went over Mistic River at Medford two or three miles among the rocks to a very great pond which they called Spot Pond. In these three instances, the earliest known, the river is called by name, the
June 17th, 1630 AD (search for this): chapter 19
Why Mystic? THE earliest mention of our river is said to have been made by some of the Plymouth Pilgrims in September, 1621, who said, Within this bay the salvages say there are two rivers: one whereof we saw having a fair entrance but we had no time to discover it. Later comes Johnson, who in his Wonder-Working Providence in describing Charlestown, tells of the pleasant and navigable river of Mistick, using the name that Governor Winthrop wrote in his diary under date of June 17, 1630, We went up Mystick River about six miles. Dudley, in his letter to the Countess of Lincoln on March 28, 1631, tells of settlers at Watertown, on the Charles river, and some of us upon Mistick, which we called Meadford. And again Winthrop tells— The Governor and others went over Mistic River at Medford two or three miles among the rocks to a very great pond which they called Spot Pond. In these three instances, the earliest known, the river is called by name, the
March 28th, 1631 AD (search for this): chapter 19
eptember, 1621, who said, Within this bay the salvages say there are two rivers: one whereof we saw having a fair entrance but we had no time to discover it. Later comes Johnson, who in his Wonder-Working Providence in describing Charlestown, tells of the pleasant and navigable river of Mistick, using the name that Governor Winthrop wrote in his diary under date of June 17, 1630, We went up Mystick River about six miles. Dudley, in his letter to the Countess of Lincoln on March 28, 1631, tells of settlers at Watertown, on the Charles river, and some of us upon Mistick, which we called Meadford. And again Winthrop tells— The Governor and others went over Mistic River at Medford two or three miles among the rocks to a very great pond which they called Spot Pond. In these three instances, the earliest known, the river is called by name, the name the aboriginal dwellers gave it, Missi-tuk, abbreviated and modified a little to suit the English lips. The Indi
vileges on this Aberjona and its tributaries. Two other brooks contribute to the flow of the Mistick pond, the Squa Sachem and Sucker brook. The latter rises in Lexington, and in its course turned the wheels of nine mills, the lowest of which is still in use. On the Mistick itself there have been six water mills at various times, two undisputably within the most ancient Medford bounds and the other four on the opposite bank. The earliest was the Broughton mill in Minnottomies field in 1656, See Register, Vol. XIII, p. 7. and over its dam the road from Cambridge led to Woburn via present Grove street. Another, at a later date, was just above present Harvard avenue, and remains of the same came to light but a few years ago. See Register, Vol. XVII, p. 15. The old tide-mill at the lumber yard on Ship street, discontinued twenty-five years ago, the Cutter mill on the turnpike, and the Woods mill near Wear bridge have all been mentioned in the Register. The sixth was the Tu
own (he was not a Medfordite at all), and extended from just below the ford down stream below the slope of Winter hill. There was a lot of marsh land even in the Ten-hills farm. But it was on the lower end of this farm that the Blessing of the Bay was built. The governor seems to have liked the old Indian name of Missi-tuk or Mistuck, or Mistick, Misticke or Mystycke, as he tells of his house and farm at Mistick in a perfectly natural way, and with no mysticism or mystery at all. But in 1754 the little four-mile town of Meadford needed more room, and ancient Charlestown was too encircling, so the portion of Winthrop's farm and some more of Charlestown from the top of Winter hill following some pasture lines over Walnut-tree hill to the river, a triangular plat next Woburn, and the Charlestown wood lots next Malden, were annexed to Medford. While this placed the entire width of the river, with two tributaries, Winter and Two-penny brooks.in Medford for over two miles, yet Ch
nce days had been a quarter century gone ere the Mistick was bridged again, this time by a more massive structure, strong enough to carry, not a highway, but a waterway, with its superincumbent weight, the aqueduct of the Middlesex canal. This in 1802. Thirty-two years more and the canal was to have a rival, and Lowell railroad bridge was built nearby, the Winthrop bridge in 1855, and the Usher bridge in 1857. In 1863 the Charlestown Water-works bridge, and in 1873 the Canal bridge on the old gan to fill an embankment requiring a bridge across the old course of the Aberjona at the upper end of the lake. This, the upper reach of the Mystic (and sometimes called Symmes' river) had been crossed by the long wooden aqueduct of the canal in 1802, replaced by the substantial stone structure of 1827, removed in 1865, as was also the Symmes dam and waterpower the same year. If we trace the stream farther up we go beyond old Medford bounds and out of Upper Medford, as it used to be called.
soon became obsolete, it was well the project was abandoned and the lower lake did not become a floating junk-yard. Another project that failed was, in 1876, the Mystic Valley railroad that began to fill an embankment requiring a bridge across the old course of the Aberjona at the upper end of the lake. This, the upper reach of the Mystic (and sometimes called Symmes' river) had been crossed by the long wooden aqueduct of the canal in 1802, replaced by the substantial stone structure of 1827, removed in 1865, as was also the Symmes dam and waterpower the same year. If we trace the stream farther up we go beyond old Medford bounds and out of Upper Medford, as it used to be called. We will find that our neighboring town of Winchester has improved its flow through her territory, making it permanently ornamental, adding much to its attractiveness. And now we come back to our caption query, Why Mystic? and answer, Mystic it is not, except by common usage. Missi-tuk, the India
ver carried probably as far as Medford lines, and that the English eyes in that boat were the first eyes of settlers that looked upon the fields on which we now live. Naturally we ask, What was the scene they beheld? Mr. Brooks answered that in 1855 by saying, We apprehend it is very much today what it was two hundred years ago. In some respects correct. The marshes would of themselves change but little. But the earliest Medford had comparatively little marshland. What it had, began nearl carry, not a highway, but a waterway, with its superincumbent weight, the aqueduct of the Middlesex canal. This in 1802. Thirty-two years more and the canal was to have a rival, and Lowell railroad bridge was built nearby, the Winthrop bridge in 1855, and the Usher bridge in 1857. In 1863 the Charlestown Water-works bridge, and in 1873 the Canal bridge on the old aqueduct piers, connected West Medford with Somerville territory, and another at Auburn street the same year. Meanwhile the Middle
il the Maiden bridge was built at the Penny-ferry in Charlestown. The colony and province days had been a quarter century gone ere the Mistick was bridged again, this time by a more massive structure, strong enough to carry, not a highway, but a waterway, with its superincumbent weight, the aqueduct of the Middlesex canal. This in 1802. Thirty-two years more and the canal was to have a rival, and Lowell railroad bridge was built nearby, the Winthrop bridge in 1855, and the Usher bridge in 1857. In 1863 the Charlestown Water-works bridge, and in 1873 the Canal bridge on the old aqueduct piers, connected West Medford with Somerville territory, and another at Auburn street the same year. Meanwhile the Middlesex-avenue bridge, with a draw, had been erected, and in earlier years (down stream, and not in Medford bounds) Chelsea bridge and those of the Eastern, and Boston and Maine railroads. In recent years the Canal, Armory, Auburn street-Parkway, and Metropolitan pipe bridge, and ju
den bridge was built at the Penny-ferry in Charlestown. The colony and province days had been a quarter century gone ere the Mistick was bridged again, this time by a more massive structure, strong enough to carry, not a highway, but a waterway, with its superincumbent weight, the aqueduct of the Middlesex canal. This in 1802. Thirty-two years more and the canal was to have a rival, and Lowell railroad bridge was built nearby, the Winthrop bridge in 1855, and the Usher bridge in 1857. In 1863 the Charlestown Water-works bridge, and in 1873 the Canal bridge on the old aqueduct piers, connected West Medford with Somerville territory, and another at Auburn street the same year. Meanwhile the Middlesex-avenue bridge, with a draw, had been erected, and in earlier years (down stream, and not in Medford bounds) Chelsea bridge and those of the Eastern, and Boston and Maine railroads. In recent years the Canal, Armory, Auburn street-Parkway, and Metropolitan pipe bridge, and just now the
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