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ory gambrel roofs with roomy attics, to those more modern and pretentious, erected after ship-building began. The exceptions were the Royall, Peter Tufts, Major Wade and Hastings houses, with the country seat of Peter C. Brooks, the finest and newest of all. But at that time there was erected one that was, and still is, unique in design, substantial in construction, on an eligible and commanding location, that is worthy of more than a passing notice, and should hold in the estimation of Medford people the same place that the original Bulfinch State house does in that of the Commonwealth. We refer to the residence of Thatcher Magoun, now the public library building. Who knows the name of its architect, or yet the master builder that erected it, or even any workman that wrought in its construction? The old house holds its secrets well. Who knows the make — up of those massive circular walls, or the year, or years (for work was not hurriedly done in those days) of its erection?
Oakman Joyce (search for this): chapter 1
hitectural style to please his wife, and that he built the L at the rear to live in and to suit himself. Certainly there was a contrast, in that it was perfectly plain, with low-studded rooms, like a ship's cabin, and these were the ones mostly used. By the alterations for library use these have disappeared. By the removal of part of the second floor, partitions, and exterior wall in one story they have become the reading room and part of the corridor. It is doubtful if Mr. Magoun expected the library to grow to its present proportions when he suggested the librarian's residence in those cabin-like rooms. It has been said that Oakman Joyce of Medford was the builder. This is not unlikely, as a little later (1839) he built the Unitarian church. Whoever he was, his work does him credit. In this article we have been unable to answer our own queries. Possibly it may serve to awaken other and more successful ones that may add to our knowledge of old Medford's history. M. W. M.
Dudley Wade (search for this): chapter 1
red structures for human habitation. But the average family of those days was larger, and three hundred is the more likely number. These varied in type from the few survivors of the earliest days, the low-studded, two-storied, four-room house, to which a lean — to may have been added, if not originally thus built, or the one—and two-story gambrel roofs with roomy attics, to those more modern and pretentious, erected after ship-building began. The exceptions were the Royall, Peter Tufts, Major Wade and Hastings houses, with the country seat of Peter C. Brooks, the finest and newest of all. But at that time there was erected one that was, and still is, unique in design, substantial in construction, on an eligible and commanding location, that is worthy of more than a passing notice, and should hold in the estimation of Medford people the same place that the original Bulfinch State house does in that of the Commonwealth. We refer to the residence of Thatcher Magoun, now the public
Abraham Touro (search for this): chapter 1
Magoun, now the public library building. Who knows the name of its architect, or yet the master builder that erected it, or even any workman that wrought in its construction? The old house holds its secrets well. Who knows the make — up of those massive circular walls, or the year, or years (for work was not hurriedly done in those days) of its erection? Prior to its time no one in Medford, that we know of, had ventured the construction of a house with circular rooms, save that of Abraham Touro, and that in but one particular. But here we find a combination of two adjacent circles of twenty-six feet placed under one roof of the most substantial kind. We have been led to make these observations and queries for the information, not only of ourselves, but for those of Medford's people who may take interest therein. Soon after coming to Medford we noticed its peculiarity, and remember it as it was ere the terrace and lofty portico were added by the owner to the mansion hous
April 7th, 1856 AD (search for this): chapter 1
or. In this view the words Public Library appear on the frieze of the portico, which indicates that the view was secured subsequent to 1875. It is a matter of regret that no files of either the Medford journal or Medford Chronicle were preserved by their publishers, for to such we would naturally refer for information. In the early seventies (probably ‘74) the younger Magoun had put the building in the most perfect repair and added the terrace and portico. His father passed away on April 7, 1856, at the age of eighty years, leaving no will disposing of his estate of $800,000. His widow survived him until April 23, 1862, attaining seventy-eight years. Caleb Swan made note soon after of the same, saying- She left no will and the property which was not divided after Mr. Magoun's death now all goes to the only two surviving children, Thatcher Magoun Jr. merchant of Boston and Medford and Mrs. Revd. Dr. Wm. Adams of New York. The Mansion House of their father built by him about
Enoch Robinson (search for this): chapter 1
tairway as originally built. As yet we have found no one to tell us of the mode of construction of those circular walls. The alterations made twenty years ago (by workmen from out of town) may or may not have revealed it to them. The windows set deeply into the walls from without and more so within, and suggest that the circular walls may be of rough brick-work. If not, they may be of planks, sawed in segments and spiked or trunnelled, one upon another, as was the circular house of Enoch Robinson on Prospect hill in Somerville. There are several dwellings in Medford, built before the Civil War, whose walls and partitions were thus laid up with fencing pales. On the exterior they are sheathed vertically with narrow boards whose edges are devoid of heading or rounded corners, and their joining is now, after the lapse of so many years of exposure, barely noticeable. There is apparent sincerity of construction, in that no attempt is made to imitate a lintel over the windows, only
Eliza Gray (search for this): chapter 1
st residence was near his ship-yard on old Ship street, corner of Park, and it was near the close of his active career that he erected this house, which was in some respects superior to any in town. His son Thatcher had already purchased the estate across and further up High street (in 1832) when the elder Magoun purchased of Nathaniel Bishop, on October 5, 1833, a certain piece of land with a dwelling house, having a frontage on High street of seven rods and twenty-two links, to land of Widow Gray. The record of Medford ships shows that he built his last ships in 1834 and 1835, one in each year, and that after 1835 the building at the Magoun ship-yard was by others. It would appear that the mansion-house was commenced at about the time of his retirement, about 1835. Facing page 357 in Brooks' History of Medford (1855) is a steel engraving by F. T. Stuart, showing the house and stable, with (presumably) the owner in his carriage driving out across the sidewalk. Two pieces of
F. T. Stuart (search for this): chapter 1
certain piece of land with a dwelling house, having a frontage on High street of seven rods and twenty-two links, to land of Widow Gray. The record of Medford ships shows that he built his last ships in 1834 and 1835, one in each year, and that after 1835 the building at the Magoun ship-yard was by others. It would appear that the mansion-house was commenced at about the time of his retirement, about 1835. Facing page 357 in Brooks' History of Medford (1855) is a steel engraving by F. T. Stuart, showing the house and stable, with (presumably) the owner in his carriage driving out across the sidewalk. Two pieces of statuary, and large vases, adorn the ample grounds. An iron fence surmounts the granite wall in front. A. C. Rawson was the delineator, and the print also bears the name of O. R. Wilkinson, Medford's daguerrean artist of that time. But for the eastern chimney being a little out of place, (probably the fault of the delineator) the view is an excellent one, and valua
A. C. Rawson (search for this): chapter 1
d that after 1835 the building at the Magoun ship-yard was by others. It would appear that the mansion-house was commenced at about the time of his retirement, about 1835. Facing page 357 in Brooks' History of Medford (1855) is a steel engraving by F. T. Stuart, showing the house and stable, with (presumably) the owner in his carriage driving out across the sidewalk. Two pieces of statuary, and large vases, adorn the ample grounds. An iron fence surmounts the granite wall in front. A. C. Rawson was the delineator, and the print also bears the name of O. R. Wilkinson, Medford's daguerrean artist of that time. But for the eastern chimney being a little out of place, (probably the fault of the delineator) the view is an excellent one, and valuable as evidence of the original building. Thirty years later Usher's history gives a line-cut (p. 303) from a different and nearer point of view, showing the present terrace and portico, with the statuary and vases upon the pedestals of t
O. R. Wilkinson (search for this): chapter 1
t would appear that the mansion-house was commenced at about the time of his retirement, about 1835. Facing page 357 in Brooks' History of Medford (1855) is a steel engraving by F. T. Stuart, showing the house and stable, with (presumably) the owner in his carriage driving out across the sidewalk. Two pieces of statuary, and large vases, adorn the ample grounds. An iron fence surmounts the granite wall in front. A. C. Rawson was the delineator, and the print also bears the name of O. R. Wilkinson, Medford's daguerrean artist of that time. But for the eastern chimney being a little out of place, (probably the fault of the delineator) the view is an excellent one, and valuable as evidence of the original building. Thirty years later Usher's history gives a line-cut (p. 303) from a different and nearer point of view, showing the present terrace and portico, with the statuary and vases upon the pedestals of the balustrade. One of the vases and the eastern chimney are hidden by
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