High street about 1820.
BOUT a hundred rods from Weir bridge, on the north side of High street was a small house owned by Spencer Bucknam
, occupied by a Mr. Peirce
, afterward by Isaac Greenleaf
for a few years, and then torn down.
lived afterward on Fulton street.
On the south side of the street was the Payson farm
of some fifty acres. The house and other buildings were a few rods from the Middlesex Canal
and family occupied this place from 1800 to 1830. Mr. Smith
was born in Lexington, Massachusetts
He was six years old when the battle of Lexington
occurred, and he had a distinct remembrance of the event.
The Payson farm
being so near to the canal bridge, Mr. Smith
's house was free and open to passengers taking the boats.
Over the bridge crossing the canal lived Thomas Calfe, the gardener for Peter C. Brooks
This house was on the corner of Grove street.
An eighth of a mile further east lived Miss Rebecca Brooks
lived in her house and carried on the farm.
This house was remodelled and used by Mrs. T. P. Smith
for a boarding school in the fifties.
The school was known as Mystic Hall Seminary for Young Ladies, and was very popular in its day.
Nearly opposite lived Miss Rebecca's brother Caleb, on the present site of the railroad station.
One of the first station agents of the Boston and Lowell railroad at West Medford lived there afterward.
He was known as ‘Dontey’ Green
This house was destroyed by the great tornado.
A few rods beyond lived Eleazar Usher
, in the house owned by his brother-in-law, Leonard Bucknam
‘Uncle Leonard’ was the keeper of the almshouse.
Opposite lived Major Gershom Teel
and afterward Captain Joseph Wyatt
This house, occupied quite recently by Mr. William J. Cheney
, is standing in 1905.
Just below the Usher house
lived Deacon Amos Warren
. Warren street was cut through the deacon's estate and named in his honor.
Later Mr. Reed
, father of Rebecca Reed
, whose story of ill treatment brought about the destruction of the nunnery at Charlestown
, lived in the Warren house
Just beyond Whitmore brook
, on the north side of the street, lived Captain Samuel Teel
This house is standing (1905) on the westerly corner of Brooks street. A few rods east—on the easterly corner of Allston street as now built—was a house occupied by Stephen Symmes
, who afterward moved to the west side of Mystic pond
The next occupant was Thomas Huffmaster
, who was killed during the tornado of 1850.
The site is now owned by the heirs of John H. Norton
, whose wife was a daughter of Mr. Huffmaster
About half a mile farther east, in the colonial mansion which still beautifies the street, resided Master Kendall, the teacher of the town school.
After him came Mr. Stickney
, Rev. Caleb Stetson
and Jonathan Brooks, who formerly lived in the ancient dwelling still standing at the corner of Woburn street. Both these houses are owned by the estate of Miss Lucy Ann Brooks
, daughter of Jonathan.
The mansion crowns the second slope of Ma'am Simonds hill, which in early days was called Bishop's hill, being dignified by a separate name in honor of the Bishop
family who were large land owners between Woburn and Allston streets.
Directly opposite the old Jonathan Brooks house dwelt Jeduthan Richardson
, in a very ancient house which seems destined soon to vanish before the march of modern improvement.
Edward L. Staniels
, who married Mr. Richardson
's daughter, succeeded him.
On the easterly corner of Woburn street was the house and farm of James Wyman
, gunsmith, [p. 46]
lived there for a few years, and the premises were next leased for ten years to Elijah Smith
The house long since disappeared, but the old cellar can still be seen.
would never sell the land, and often came to walk over the broad acres, getting pleasure enough from these excursions to pay for the lack of income.
He died in Boston
when over ninety years old.
A few feet from this house was the house and stable of Joseph Wyman
, the stage driver between Medford
His father owned the Russell farm
on Winthrop street.
and family, and later Edwin Johnson
, lived a little further down the hill.
The Joseph Wyman house
is standing, but the Weir house
made way for the house of Milton F. Roberts
on the easterly corner of High street court.
‘Ma'am Simonds hill’ was named in honor of Mrs. Joshua Simonds
who with her daughters ‘Nabby’ and Pamelia kept a dame school for many years in the house on the north side of High street. It used to be sheltered from the street by large lilac bushes which grew on the slope between the sidewalk and the roadway.
A face wall has been built and the sidewalk lowered, which adds to the comfort of the pedestrian and detracts from the picturesqueness of the house.
Next below was the old Putnam tavern, and beyond, the home of Minot Richardson
, whose daughter married Augustus Baker
, the proprietor of the Medford House
This house stood on the edge of the roadway, but has been moved back.
owned the house where Mr. George H. Bean
the florist lives now. Major Wade
's tannery was just east of this house, and family tradition says that he built the last named dwelling and two others opposite for his operatives.
Mr. A. D. Puffer
's mansion, remodelled and moved back from the street, was the home of Major Samuel Swan
and his son Joseph.
This house was originally the [p. 47]
Ebenezer Brooks mansion.
Previous to 1812 the house was occupied by his half brother, Captain Caleb Brooks
, who was guardian of his nephew Ebenezer.
Jonathan Porter's house, a few years ago demolished, was the home of William Furness
This house was formerly the residence of Parson Turell
The next and nearest neighbor was ‘Cherry
, so called because he made such excellent cherry rum. This house made way for Grace Church rectory.
Next came the house of William Roach
and, beyond, the Samuel Train house
This house was once the property of one Mr. Wyman
, who preceded Mrs. Rowson
as the proprietor of the famous select school for girls.