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William C. Pratt (search for this): chapter 6
reet, in the little house still standing. He furnished a pine pump in 1843 for Malden's town well, at a cost of $16.67. Dec. 7, 1801 Voted To have guide Boards put up in Market place in Medford, in most suitable place. 25 May 1812 Voted To allow Field Vining's account for clearing Water course in market place last winter. July 26, 1814 Voted To pass Timothy Dexter's acct. for making 16 3/4 rods of drain in the market place at $7.63 per rod $127.80. 5 Mar. 1825 Voted To allow Wm. C. Pratt's acct. for Stones to spread in market Place. The term Market Place recalls a phase of life very different from that today in our square: when mercantile affairs were more active, when the citizens relied upon home stores for the necessities of life, and people from great distances came here to barter or sell; when feminine shoppers were not lured to Boston by seductive advertisements in large daily papers; when they walked to Boston to do their shopping instead of being able to go by
Elizabeth Usher (search for this): chapter 6
rter or sell; when feminine shoppers were not lured to Boston by seductive advertisements in large daily papers; when they walked to Boston to do their shopping instead of being able to go by rapid transit two or three times a day if they choose. For the first fifty years of the past century what picturesque, what busy scenes were enacted here! How attractive to the imagination those days, in comparison with the prosaic aspect of the square today. One of the most interesting chapters in Usher's History of Medford is that which describes the trade and manufactures and opens up to us that picture of life when trade, manufacturing, river traffic and ship building were increasing decade by decade, and giving our town a more than local reputation. From this chapter I quote a few lines: The increase of business, and the gathering of traders in the marketplace, became so great at the beginning of the century, that it was deemed advisable to appoint a clerk of the market. It became n
George W. Symmes (search for this): chapter 6
water was not fit to drink. A second was south of where Hartshorn's harness shop stands today, on the right of the passageway and about forty feet from the street. In a house on the site of the one standing north of the Engine House lived George W. Symmes, where his father Daniel had lived, and probably also his grandfather, Timothy. The third well was on the premises of the Misses Hannah and Emily Tufts, who lived in a fine old house on the corner of Main and South streets, where our Cent a private well. It was located near the building now numbered 56, about where a telephone pole is standing. 1 July, 1811, the selectmen voted To have a new pump placed in the Town's well on the South side of the river near the house of Timo Symmes and a good trough fixed to the same. 5 August, 1811, they voted To pass Samuel Townsend's acct. for a pump in the well opposite the Hotel. Without doubt these two orders refer to the same well, it probably being situated as near Blanchard'
, the great work begun, and amid great demonstrations of joy, with elaborate ceremonies, Cochituate water was let on for the use of Boston, October 25, 1848. After the introduction of Spot pond water into Medford the pump in the square reached the Oslerism stage of inanimate things, and on March 24, 1873, the decree went forth that sealed its fate, for on that date the selectmen voted that it should be removed by the highway surveyors and the well fixed as a reservoir, and May 18, 1874, Mr. Foster was appointed a committee to sell the Town Pump. June 2, 1873, the highway surveyors were ordered to remove the pump at the head of Mystic avenue, and April 30, 1877, the board ordered the removal of the pump in front of the Hyde estate on Main street, and the filling up of the well. The action of the town in filling up these three wells shows they were town property, but the date of the digging of them is shrouded not perhaps in mystery, but in obscurity. From the well-known positio
H. Ballou (search for this): chapter 6
ite fully from the reports of the chief engineers. Under the expense of the fire department of 1844 is an item of $25 for damage done to Rebecca Cutter's well at a fire in October, 1843. In 1845 for the first time reports by the various departments of town government were included in the yearly published pamphlets of expenditures and receipts. That year it was recommended that a Reservoir be made in Washington street, so called, between the dwelling house of Joseph W. Mitchell and Rev. H. Ballou, 2d. Pyam Cushing was then chief engineer. We see from this that the town was growing and her increasing needs were being made manifest. From the report of 1846: Your Board of Engineers have examined the Town Pumps and find them in a very decayed state, and would recommend not to have any more expense laid out on them, but when they cease to give us a supply of water, to take them out and put in their place one good pump with a side handle, and have a scuttle in the platform, for th
Hawthorne (search for this): chapter 6
e heavenly walk was one of struggle and climbing. With its honest, enduring white paint and its simple, dignified architectural lines, the building was a landmark for miles around. The pump was generally placed where the highways crossed each other, or in the so-called square, where the roads converged. A wooden pump is a very ordinary looking object, having no beauty or grace of its own, and only attractive as it is the medium of giving to us one of Nature's most valuable gifts. Hawthorne, with so prosaic a theme for a subject, by the magic grace of his pen has given us a fanciful and also truthful description of the value and uses of this necessary and homely article. Personifying the town pump of his native place, he leads it into a soliloquy in which it indulges in a few historical reminiscences and relates its own incalculable benefits to the public in a charming sketch which the author has happily called A Rill from the Town Pump. What that pump was to Salem people
Samuel Beul (search for this): chapter 6
r the people to depend upon the public well or some neighbor for water for household purposes. The nearness of the house lots in Medford to a tidal river was a good reason why many were without wells, as the water was unfit to drink. The town pump furnished the only good water on Main street as far as the river. Two houses in this vicinity were supplied in a very ingenious and convenient way. August 2, 1802, the following vote was passed by the selectmen: To allow Messrm Ebenr Hall & Samuel Beul to lay a Suction from the Town Pump Well to each of their houses, on condition that if the water fails or proves insufficient for the Towns use, then their pumps shall be rendered useless & regulated by the selectmen-And also the street shall not in any way be injured by laying said Suction. Ebenezer Hall's house was on the site of the Boston & Maine Railroad station, and Samuel Buell's lot is the site of our City Hall. Was this the precursor of the present system of piping premises
Samuel Townsend (search for this): chapter 6
ump and trough put in at the curb. It was called the Hyde well from being in front of the estate of James Hyde, the grocer, and was commonly supposed to have been a private well. It was located near the building now numbered 56, about where a telephone pole is standing. 1 July, 1811, the selectmen voted To have a new pump placed in the Town's well on the South side of the river near the house of Timo Symmes and a good trough fixed to the same. 5 August, 1811, they voted To pass Samuel Townsend's acct. for a pump in the well opposite the Hotel. Without doubt these two orders refer to the same well, it probably being situated as near Blanchard's Tavern as it was to Timothy Symmes' house. Beyond South street on Main street there was a well on the premises of Nathan Wait, where now stands the Police Station; one on the estate of Capt. John Sparrell, whose house is still standing, numbered 101, and another across the street in the yard of the Medford House. Sixty years a
James Gregg (search for this): chapter 6
distillery on Ship street, which could be obtained there warm. It is said the excellence of Medford rum was due, among other things, to the purity of the water used in the making which came from a spring on Pasture Hill, off that part which today we call Governors avenue, beyond the estate of Harry Dutton. The first of these wells south of the river was on the west side of Main street, about forty feet from the highway, in the track of the boulevard now being built. This was owned by James Gregg. The water was not fit to drink. A second was south of where Hartshorn's harness shop stands today, on the right of the passageway and about forty feet from the street. In a house on the site of the one standing north of the Engine House lived George W. Symmes, where his father Daniel had lived, and probably also his grandfather, Timothy. The third well was on the premises of the Misses Hannah and Emily Tufts, who lived in a fine old house on the corner of Main and South streets, wh
S. C. Lawrence (search for this): chapter 6
these driveways were quite shallow, being used more for carriages to pass through than for watering cattle. They were located on Main street, foot of Winter hill; High street, foot of Marm Simonds' hill; another on High street near Canal street; one also at Weir bridge; a second over Gravelly creek on Salem street, near our present common; and one on Winthrop street near the estate of the late Peter C. Hall, commonly called Chardon Hall, whose dwelling-house is now the farm-house on Gen. S. C. Lawrence's estate. The streams thus utilized were Winter, Meeting-House, Whitmore brooks, in addition to Gravelly creek, before mentioned. When the increased demands of modern living made it evident that a better supply of pure water was needed in Medford than that furnished by wells and cisterns, it was natural that the attention of our citizens should turn to that fine body of water partly within the limits of the town. The Spot Pond Water Company had been incorporated in 1867 by a co
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