The early names of Medford's streets.
OWN to 1829 the people of Medford
apparently cared little for uniformity in the names of their highways.
It is probable that so long as ways were few, public convenience made no demand for names.
With the increase in numbers, however, a fixed method of designating the various ways became important; and at the town meeting in April, 1829, the selectmen for that year were directed to assign names to the streets.
Their report, indorsed ‘Names of the Streets
, May, 1829,’ is still on the files in the office of the City Clerk.
It read as follows:
Whether, as a matter offact, the town adopted all these names I do not know.
Certainly some of them did not [p. 175]
last many years; for only old residents of Medford
or students of her history will recognize all the ways now known as High, Salem
, Main, Riverside avenue, South, South Winthrop, Medford, Harvard, Fulton, Cross, North Winthrop, Woburn, and Grove streets. Several of the names are improvements on the present nomenclature, for there was a meaning in them, lost in the present names.
Court street, for instance, designated the shortest way to Court at East Cambridge.
It would be interesting to know why the names of many have been changed.
I hope some one may be led to find this out and put his discoveries in print.
The report brings to mind very forcibly that in May, 1829, Somerville
, and Winchester
W. C. W.