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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 20. 2 0 Browse Search
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a thorough mechanic, as was also his partner and brother, Theophilus. The brothers were familiarly called Cope and Tope by all the old-timers of Medford. Cleopas outlived his brother. When the Unitarian Church was burned he rang the bell in alarm until the rope burned off and fell, useless. The old Watson house has been a near neighbor to three houses of worship: the last built by the town; the Unitarian, built in 1839 (on which was the old Paul Revere bell and the clock given by Peter C. Brooks, both in service on the former house and destroyed by the fire); and the present stone edifice of the First Parish. Since Cleopas Johnson's death the house has been unoccupied and falling into decay. It is now to give place to dwellings of modern type and containing such accessories and conveniences as were little dreamed of when Mr. Watson built it or Doctor Brooks entertained America's first President within its walls. The room that was the doctor's office was very unpretentiou
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 15., A first citizen named first-rate town. (search)
on for that section. A portion of the clipping reads thus:— The hill was owned by Peter Chardon Brooks, a first citizen of Massachusetts. It was quite the fashion those days for a gent to found a town and thus put his name on the map. But Brooks, while he craved the perpetual publicity thus to be attained, really was too much of a gent to drive an ox cart to Geauga-co. to do the foundiame? argued the prominent pioneers, accepting. They were a little bit dismayed, though, when Brooks announced that it was by his second name he wanted the town called. But they vowed that even ifo prove that it isn't, by the centennial celebration. It appears that in Ohio's early days Mr. Brooks, as did others, made purchase of Western lands, and it chanced that upon his the county seat ws some one is said to have remarked that the government might be conducted on a high plane. Mr. Brooks was son of Rev. Edward Brooks, who gave him the name of his college classmate at Harvard, Pete
.74 interest on their bill for the bell. In 1810 this second Medford bell had an associate in public service in the steeple of the third meeting-house. Hon. Peter C. Brooks presented the town a tower clock. This was accepted by the selectmen, who communicated to him the thanks of the town, entering the same on the records. Tucceeded by others prior to 1874. Equally fallacious is this inscription, said to have been upon the bell: Presented to the town of Medford, Mass., by Peter Chardon Brooks as a slight token of the esteem he holds for the people among whom he was born and bred. As a matter of fact, Mr. Brooks was born in North Yarmouth, Me. Mr. Brooks was born in North Yarmouth, Me. I have quoted the above from Revere Bells, by Dr. Arthur H. Nichols of Boston. Dr. Nichols was grossly misinformed in the matter by a Medford man, and only learned of the error after his book had found a place in the library of the Medford Historical Society. He at once conceded the accuracy of the Medford records of selectmen
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 17., An old Medford school boy's reminiscences. (search)
e except at the top of the flood. Besides the ordinary water borne freight to Medford, this great wharf had a monopoly of the inward molasses bound to the distillery, and of the outward bound rum. Great casks lay everywhere, almost hissing in the sun heat, and as the molasses casks came without any bungs, its odor went to the skies almost as rummy as the rum itself. The boys did not like it, but the old salts did. Later it had a far reaching effect upon an infant industry started by Mr. Peter C. Brooks a mile and a half off at the extreme western edge of the town. He secured a lot of bees and decided to make his own honey. All went well till a far-roving bee of his happened upon Blanchard's wharf. He knew that the world had nothing better for him, and he lit. He stowed a full freight, went home, and next morning returned with all his sisters, his cousins and his aunts. All loaded, and the same thing went on till the time for the honey crop arrived and Mr. Brooks then found his
across his lands, and thirty-three years later came the railway. The former he spanned by a beautiful arch of granite, that his descendants kept intact long after the highway of the waters vanished, but which is now a thing of the past. Near the house were venerable oaks, spreading elms and ever-green pines, the growth of many years. To these, and along his borders, Mr. Brooks added many others; and so the grounds came to be a place of beauty as the years passed on. But in the development of a modern residence section the stately mansion of a century ago was not adapted, and, impracticable to remodel, it has succumbed to inevitable fate. Its occupants for the century have been good citizens, generous and helpful, and are remembered as such. A few weeks more and the last vestige of the house so well and favorably known will have disappeared, new streets been opened and the homes of new-comers taken the place of the mansion house of Peter Chardon Brooks on Grove street. M. W. M.
m the ford passed along the narrow path on the verge, just above high-water mark, and east bound ones along the gravel beach to the Cradock buildings. This was a varge-way, just as New England country folks call it now. Maybe, when long ago, in some easterly storm and swirling tide, the varge-way could not be used, a potato cart struggled over the great bastion (or bluff of the hill) and its driver named it (and rightly, too, a high street or way) and the name held. We may well conclude that High street name owed its existence to our potato cart and its successors and not to the county of Middlesex. Thomas M. Stetson. In Woburn (settled by Edward Johnson and others as Charlestown village in 1640) the earliest streets, i.e., roads, were Up-street and Hilly-way. These settlers went thither, without doubt, via the Ford at Mistick, the Vargeway and Brooks' corner. Their Up-street was a gradual rise, and their Hilly-way a counterpart of the grades of Medford's high street. editor.
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 20., Notes Epistolary and Horticultural. (search)
yman, Mrs. Edward Brooks, John Wright Boott. Francis was a physician and botanist of note who spent most of his time in England. His brother William was a botanist of local fame. The former, born in Boston, 1792, died in London, 1863. The latter, born in Boston, 1805, died there, 1887. He spent much time in summer in Medford studying its flora. He was accustomed to pass Sundays and Wednesday nights at the home of his relative Francis Brooks, whose father, Edward, oldest son of Peter Chardon Brooks, married Eliza Boott, 1821. of Boston. Alfred and Howard the two youngest sons, died in comparatively early life. Martha the eldest daughter had received a superior education to her sisters, under the patronage of a wealthy aunt in England, to whom she soon returned after remaining a short time with her family here. She married Mr. Freme a rich merchant who lived near Liverpool and her house became the resort of American travellers. Having no children, she came back to this count
tured this same brass bird (which fell at his feet when the spire was pulled down in 1839), and carried it home with him. In the fifth story of this tower was placed in 1810 the first of Medford's public clocks, a gift to the town by Hon. Peter Chardon Brooks. We read in Paul Revere's Ride It was twelve by the village clock When he crossed the bridge into Medford town Doubtless the hour was right, but Mr. Longfellow was thirty-five years ahead of time, by poetic license. To be historiche ground, was the last built by municipal appropriation. State and church being separated, each church organization must build for itself, and according to its taste and means. That they did so may be seen in the illustrated pages 340-41-42 in Brooks' History of Medford. These views are worth a careful study. They show a sturdy character, sensible and careful construction, architectural taste, both elaborate and modest, in all. In that of the Second Congregational Meetinghouse, 1824, we
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 25., The Medford Indian monument (search)
which housed several generations for just a century, when his grandson had it torn down. Twenty years more, and the old waterway, the Middlesex canal, was cut through its site across the highway and through the farm then in possession of Peter Chardon Brooks. He began in 1802 to erect back from the old way, fittingly called Grove street, a mansion house befitting his means—he was the merchant prince of New England. It took four years for its completion, and meanwhile the canal was finished aviding his farm into two parts, the farm buildings on one and the new and stately dwelling on the other. The canal proprietors were obliged to build and maintain an accommodation bridge in such cases, which they did. After some twenty years, Mr. Brooks replaced their plain wooden bridge with one of dressed stone, a beautiful elliptic arch of Chelmsford granite, which was in keeping with his well-kept grounds that were a place of beauty. Through these passed the leisurely travel and traffic o
n the shaded hill slope. This view is also delineator Rawson's primary work; but the sculptor was J. W. Watts, a resident of West Medford, and noted for his excellent work in steel engraving. The views of the so-called Cradock house and the residence of Gorham Brooks give us the oldest and most realistic portrayal; the latter is made more so by the slave-wall in front and the distant view of the old wood-burner engine and cars on the railroad, then not very old. The Edward Brooks (Peter Chardon Brooks, 1802) residence is another. Of this fine estate scarce a vestige now remains, but the view is an excellent one. The view of Walnut-tree hill was also by Rawson and made from Broadway in Somerville. But two buildings, Ballou hall and Packard hall, crown its summit, and one dwelling at the end of Professors row, for the college had but just been instituted. Beyond are the hills and spires of Malden, which then included Everett, and nearer, the winding Mystic with its broad marshe
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