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lete, 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 Indians called it. The
estown. 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 Boston Elevated to Everett, complete the list o
f dredging and widening our river and making a storage basin of the lower lake for the monitors of the navy. But a few years before there had been built the dam at the Partings, and the upper lake had become the Charlestown water supply. Seven additional drawbridges would have added nothing to the beauty of the scene, and as the monitors 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 U
t wave—and wind-driven river of Boston bay. But perhaps someone asks, Why Mystic river? We reply, The river has nothing mystical or mysterious, and the name as spelled, Mystic, is a misnomer. It has come to be thus commonly spelled because of the identical sound of the letters i and y, and the dropping of the k, which in time was superfluous to the c which the English had introduced. (Note also Merrimack—Merrimac.) The ancient maps show it as Mistick and Medford river, but as late as 1885 Mr. Usher felt called upon to state, on page 18, History of Medford, More probably the fact that the current in this stream flows sometimes in one direction, and sometimes in the opposite, may have seemed, to those who first witnessed the phenomena, something mysterious, and have suggested the name. We venture the query, Was the Missi-tuk or Mistick any different from any other tidal stream? and add the above to our list of Medford myths. Incidentally we may add another recently t
September 21st, 1904 AD (search for this): chapter 19
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 Boston Elevated to Everett, complete the list of fourteen now in use and two discontinued and removed. It had been our purpose to present views of all these, but conditions forbid. We can only refer our readers to the engineer's report (September 21, 1904) on the Improvement of Upper Mystic River for the twelve then existing, and also to various reports of the Metropolitan Park Commission, for subsequent improvements. From the hill slopes of forty-five square miles the rains and melting snows reach our river and swell its current above the ancient ford. The ever-recurring tides ebbed and flowed therein until, in 1908, in the interest of public welfare, engineering skill erected a barrier which says, Thus far but no farther. Cradock
to present views of all these, but conditions forbid. We can only refer our readers to the engineer's report (September 21, 1904) on the Improvement of Upper Mystic River for the twelve then existing, and also to various reports of the Metropolitan Park Commission, for subsequent improvements. From the hill slopes of forty-five square miles the rains and melting snows reach our river and swell its current above the ancient ford. The ever-recurring tides ebbed and flowed therein until, in 1908, in the interest of public welfare, engineering skill erected a barrier which says, Thus far but no farther. Cradock bridge, its extension, the lock with its electrically operated gates, the dam with its automatic tidal valves, and the four hundred feet of over-fall, is in marked contrast with the earliest structure, the bone of contention of those early days. Without these the beautiful parkway would have been impossible. Along the river's banks have been scenes of activity in days now
Caleb Brooks (search for this): chapter 19
written about Winthrop being the founder of Medford—well enough in a way, as he was the colonial governor—but the earliest Medford was Cradock's farm, and lay entirely on the opposite side of the river from Winthrop's. It has been written that The first exploration of the river 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 nearly two miles up-stream and practically ended below Gravelly brook, as there was but little beyond the Ford at Mistick. We know not how those six miles were computed, and doubt whether Winthrop's company reached the farther
Edward Converse (search for this): chapter 19
airs, considered the Aberjona the main stream, and its head waters away up in Wilmington the first rife of the Mistick. But another has its source away on the hills in Woburn near Lexington line, and coming down through the picturesque Shaker glen, receives the tributaries, lingers a while in Horn pond (Lake Innitou) and Wedge Pond (Echo Lake), and joins the Aberjona in Winchester. Still another in Stoneham reaches the main stream two miles farther up in Montvale. On the Aberjona, Edward Converse built one of the earliest grist mills in the colony, and only recently has the power ceased to be used. Still, the fall remains, but as an ornamental feature. There were as many as fourteen mill privileges 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 th
ttlers intending to go up the Charles to Cambridge came up this river by mistake, and so the river got its name. Another myth—or else a mystic mistake. Where did Winthrop's six-mile journey begin? Naturally, we reply, at the mouth of the river, the fair entrance of the Pilgrim narrative, where is now the Chelsea bridge. There has been a lot said and written about Winthrop being the founder of Medford—well enough in a way, as he was the colonial governor—but the earliest Medford was Cradock's farm, and lay entirely on the opposite side of the river from Winthrop's. It has been written that The first exploration of the river 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. T<
Chelsea bridge (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 19
02. 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 Boston Elevated to Everett, complete the list of fourteen now in use and two discontinued and removed. It had been our purpose to present views of all these, but conditions forbid. We can only refer our readers to the engineer's report (September 21, 1904) on the Improvement of Upper Mystic River for the twelve then existi
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