West Medford in 1870.
[Read before the Medford
Historical Society, May 16, 1904.]
HE old poet with whose writings we struggled in our schooldays, relates that when Aeneas
told before Queen Dido of the siege of Troy
, he remarked, ‘quaeque ipse miserrima vidi, et quorum pars magna fui
If I may be allowed the old pronunciation I may also be allowed a free translation: ‘All of which I saw and part of which I was,’ and so with so illustrious an example the speaker may not be deemed egotistical if, in the remarks of the evening, he uses the personal pronoun somewhat.
I wish to antedate the time announced on our program, and by the president, by some years, and ask you to take a backward glimpse of the ‘West End,’ for so was that portion of Medford
It is not my intention to take you into ancient history, but to ask you to view the locality, first through a schoolboy's eyes.
The schoolboy lived in Woburn
, and the big Lippincott
's Gazetteer on the teacher's desk informed him that his home town was connected with Boston
by the Boston & Lowell Railroad and Middlesex Canal
; it might well have added to these, the public highways.
Of these latter, High and Woburn streets, as well as the canal and the railroad, passed through the West End
. One hundred years before this, Medford
citizens had found the most central
or most convenient
location for their meeting-house and first schoolhouse at the foot of Marm Simond's Hill on High street, and in 1829 the most convenient situation for the West End
schoolhouse was [p. 82]
a little way up Woburn street. For fifty years the canal had its Landing No. 4
, with its freight yard, lock and tavern, and some two miles of its channel in the West End
. The railroad that had succeeded it in popular favor also had stopping places at Symmes' Bridge, Medford Gates
, Medford Steps and Willow Bridge, all in the western part of Medford
The Lowell Railroad was opened on June 24, 1835, and is said to have been the first to carry passengers into Boston
In your schoolboy's time, it was still in its infancy, i.e
., it wasn't twenty-one years old. It followed closely the route of the canal, crossing it in West Medford between the Steps and the river and, carefully avoiding the centres of population, made its way between two villages for its entire length.
As the mountain wouldn't come to Mahomet, Mahomet had to come to the mountain; so in proximity to the various stopping places, people began taking up a residence.
In 1851, by the incorporation of the town of Winchester
lost a part of its territory, mainly that it had acquired from Charlestown
, and which was known as Baconville
, and the Symmes' Bridge
became Bacon's Bridge.
Later it was called Mystic Station and is now known as Wedgemere.
When a boy I used to enjoy the ten-mile ride over the railway to Boston
on more or less frequent occasions, and for several months attended school in that city, going to and fro each day.
The panorama presented to my gaze through the rattling windows of the cars became fixed—photographed as it were—in my memory.
Come with me now (in imagination, at least,) and look on the scene, and see the picture as it appears to my view tonight.
We will take one of the cars of the train in the old station at the foot of Lowell street in Boston
It is one of the old timers, with low roof and black haircloth seats, with two-sashed and four-paned windows that rattle merrily as the train rolls none too smoothly [p. 83]
over the short iron rails laid on the stone sleepers that were boated down from Tyngsboro
on the canal.
Metallic letters nearly a foot high, along the outside of the car, inform you it is the Woburn Branch
train; while the engine with its big smoke stack (an inverted cone) has its tender piled high with wood, for coal is not as yet used on the railway.
The bell rings and we are started on our way, and after some fifteen minutes ride mainly through a deep cut the train stops at a little shed, and the brakeman shouts, ‘Willow Bridge.’
A lone passenger has raised the target beside the track, and climbing the car steps leaves the little shed alone in its loneliness, for no care-taker is there, and we move on again.
Now we are in the ancient town of Medford
Possibly it is afternoon, and the western sunlight illumines the turnpike and distant marshes, and the river's course, like a ribbon of silver, winds along in their midst.
The ships building along the banks of the Mystic
, the nearer brickyards, with their water-filled clay pits and shed-covered and perhaps smoking kilns, or the long piles of newly-made bricks, and the bare-footed brick makers, with the great piles of cordwood beside the track are in plain sight.
Perhaps it is market day and the stock yards are full of lowing cattle and bleating sheep (just unloaded from the long trains that have come down from New Hampshire
) or out on the highway a cloud of dust marks the passing of a drove toward Cambridge
All this we see near Willow Bridge.
It must not be understood that any bridge there was constructed
The road to West Cambridge
crossed the railway by a wooden bridge of more durable material, but large willow trees along the borders of Winter Brook
evidently united with the bridge in suggesting a name for the railway station, which, though still on the Medford
side of the line, is now called North Somerville.
After passing the cattle yards a road might be seen passing below the track, and on the left toward the setting sun, loomed up [p. 84]
the three-story hotel called the Somerville House
Farther away at the top of Quarry Hill
was the old Powder House, a relic of long ago when the Medford
people went thither for their grist to be ground—for it was once a windmill tower.
Three buildings crowned the top of Walnut Tree Hill
, as it was formerly called, the beginning of Tufts College; and the depot across the track, as was also the college site, became known as College Hill
Perhaps we have waited a few years and taken another train, and our picture has grown and improved some.
We may be seated in new cars, the first of the monitor top, the metallic letters have been succeeded by painted ones, the hair-cloth seats by plush, and the windows with glass of larger size.
The seat backs are locked securely, so none can be turned by passengers, and the stoves have an iron strap around them to hold them to the car floor and their doors are like a surly dog—well chained up; and not without reason.
It is before the days of steam or air brakes, but some inventive genius has equipped the train with a system of levers, wire ropes and pulleys, by which the engine driver can apply the brakes to the wheels of an entire train and bring it to a sudden standstill.
Sometimes it was
sudden, and passengers vacated their seats involuntarily, or the stove doors would fly open, scattering hot coals and ashes generously.
Just back from College Hill
on the right, sheltered by the trees and hedges, was, and still is, the Stearns residence.
With its brick windmill tower it was an attractive sight; to which was added the interest of its connection with another railway
, the underground railroad of ante-bellum days.
Passing the old station of Medford Steps with its long stairway—this was on the right hand—and under a bridge now removed, and emerging from the railway cut, the most noticeable object was the First Parish Church, with its several storied steeple, one of which [p. 85]
contained the original town clock presented by Mr. Brooks
, while higher up was the bell cast by Paul Revere
At this time it will lack the ornamental finish given later by the Toughs
(college boys), that of a black stovepipe hat securely fastened on the three-pronged lightning rod that surmounted the top story of the steeple.
Below the meeting-house the terraced gardens of the Bigelow estate sloped away from High street to the mouth of Meetinghouse Brook
, while scattered along the road were the old-fashioned houses, some now demolished, among them that of Parson Turell
, others remodeled and still remaining.
As the train moved along the view of these was quickly broken by the seamed and scarred promontory of Rock Hill
, where once was the home of Nanepashemit
, and which commanded a view of the river in either direction.
No bridge spanned the river at Auburn street as now, but the disused canal, innocent of water, was plainly visible before reaching the loop in the river near the mouth of Whitmore Brook
, where once a ship was built and launched.
Scattered here and there on the gentle slope from High street to the river, and on the steeper side of Mystic Hill were some fifty dwellings in 1870, among which the Brooks schoolhouse
stood sharply out as a central figure.
These formed the bulk of the West End
—the West Medford of 1870.
To the left of the high embankment in which is the railway arch across the Mystic
, was a stretch of marsh crossed by the embankments of the old canal, and beyond these, the tall, graceful chimney of the pumping station of the Charlestown Water Works, then just completed, but now disused.
Just here Menotomy River (now degenerated into Alewife Brook
), finishes its sluggish course from Fresh Pond
to the Mystic
, and here it was that Governor Winthrop
once spent an October night alone (in 1631), an uninvited
guest in the vacant dwelling of Sagamore John
Still looking out from the car window to the left, we would see the [p. 86]
bath houses on the river's bank, for the waters of the Mystic
were clearer then than in later years; the fish were abundant, for a little farther up stream were the nets of the fishermen stretched across the river to the opposite bank in Somerville
Drawn up on the Medford
side, perchance, might be the fishers' boats, for here was Landing No. 4
of the old canal days.
An enormous willow, over four feet in diameter, and several sycamores shaded the spot, while the great stone walls of the canal lock, overrun with blackberry vines and filled with a growth of bushes, told the story of the passing of the old waterway.
This was accentuated by the slowly decaying timbers of the aqueduct across the river, from whose supporting braces hung the sedge grass left by the flood tide.
Empty for nearly twenty years, it had been exposed to the decaying forces of nature and it was a picturesque ruin.
Beyond this, a broad plain (its nearer edge having been excavated over a century earlier in the manufacture of bricks), sloping slightly away, revealed the course of the Mystic
, which, stretching out like an encircling arm with its hand holding a little island, reached the lower lake just above Wear Bridge.
A bracelet for the wrist was formed by the Wood
's dam. This though useful
, was n't considered either ornamental or desirable by the devotees of boating; a little later it was the scene of angry dispute and destructive visitation, and finally the subject of litigation, resulting adversely to the occupants of the picturesque and willow shaded mill on the Menotomy
As we ride, all this flits by in less time than it takes to tell it, unless perchance the train is one of the accommodation kind, making thirteen stops in ten miles. It stops and leaves the cars stretched across High street. This station was formerly called ‘Medford Gates
,’ as it was then as now at a grade crossing.
As a protective measure, gates consisting of long planks drawn horizontally from a box on either side of the street, telescoped together beside the track, and barred the passage of [p. 87]
teams during the passage of trains.
These have fallen into disuse and are removed, but a man is stationed with a red flag to guard the crossing.
We notice that he has lost an arm, the result of an accident while in the company's service some years before.
The little station occupies the acute angle between High street and the tracks, and here we alight.
Looking squarely away down the road, we see the Usher Bridge
and the Rawson farm
on ‘Goat Acre,’ while following High street we see the open tower of the Town Hall
, and the clustering church spires of Arlington
, and remember that one April morning, nearly a century before, Paul Revere
hurried along this same road to Menotomy
To the left, and across the street stood the eaglecrowned flagstaff, that some years before used to stand on Main street near Medford Square, and earlier still was a mast in some Medford
Enclosed by a rough picket fence, which was painted yellow, it was near to the well, later forgotten, into whose covering some one broke a few years ago. Back of this was the seminary building now known as Mystic Hall.
Two rows of poplar trees bordered a walk across the field to the Mystic Mansion
, erstwhile the Medford
Westward from the seminary was the three-story residence of Mr. Smith
, with its tower with windows of colored glass, and the hundred-foot barn beyond.
These were destroyed in various incendiary fires, for a time so numerous in Medford
Across High street and extending to the shores of Medford pond, and off across the line into Winchester
, lay the estate of Mr. Brooks
, then as now a place of beauty.
At that time two great black walnut trees reared their stately forms skyward, near the old brick wall built by Pomp, the slave; for others beside Colonel Royall
had slaves in Medford
in the old colonial days.
There is now but one of these trees, and a rare specimen of its kind.
It marks the location of the old [p. 88]
mansion of ‘colony times, when we were under the king.’
From a point in the road just beyond, Bunker Hill
monument could once be seen.
For some days during my Boston school attendance I watched the removal of a barn or shop from the vicinity of the canal landing, across the railroad to the summit of Mystic Hill (to which the flagstaff has been removed, and there remains). This building was there remodelled, and made into a dwelling, with a four-story tower.
Years later it was partially burned, and in its second alteration and removal lost the two upper stories of its tower, and is not now the conspicuous object it was in the seventies.
And now having shown you the picture of the West End
as the schoolboy saw it, let me say something of the West Medford of the early seventies, as the boy, then a young man, observed it.
The ‘Hillside’ was unknown, as the term began to be applied some sixteen years later, when the name of Medford Steps was discontinued by the railway company.
Only two houses were in that section, and but one, that of Mr. Perkins
on Winthrop street, near the reservoir, was occupied.
A little later Mr. C. C. Stevens
moved into the other, just completed on North street.
His nearest neighbor was Billy Hamilton
, often called the wild Irishman
, but his
home, as well as that of Bernard Born, the engineer at the water works, was within the limits of Somerville
At that time (May, 1870,) there were but eighteen houses west of the railway.
Of these eighteen the mansion and farm houses, one house on Canal street, belonging to Edward Brooks, and two houses owned by the railway company, occupied by Rueben Willey
the station agent, and Daniel Kelley
, the flagman, formed a part.
On Bower street were the residences of Horace A. Breed
and Henry T. Wood
, while near the centre of the plain was the dwelling of George Spaulding
, which, with its cruciform shape and two-story cupola, was a noticeable object, and sometimes called the steamboat house.
The home and two smaller [p. 89]
houses of Gilbert Lincoln
, and the newly built house of Florist Duane
completed the number not included in the ‘Smith
This comprised the territory lying between High street, the railroad and the river, with a small portion across the track, adjoining Canal street. Some twenty years before it had been laid out in lots, and given the name of ‘Brooklands,’ which name, however, had not clung to it. Possibly it blew away in the tornado of August, 1850, and like some more tangible objects was lost to general knowledge.
Had I in 1870 any intimation that in this year of grace, 1904, I would have been expected to tell the assembled friends about ‘West Medford in 1870,’ I would have taken a more careful and broader outlook and made specific preparation for the same.
It seems a little curious, however, that the present occasion should so nearly mark the anniversary of my first actual
visit to the little village.
On the third Monday evening in May, I met by appointment one of the new owners of the Smith
estate at the railway station and took with him a hasty view of their recent purchase.
Coming from Woburn
by the inward train, I had a half hour to spare ere the outward train arrived.
This I improved by strolling about the village, making the schoolhouse my objective point.
Two houses on Auburn street and two more on Allston
, and all in the rear of the school were nearly completed: these naturally came in for a share in my observation.
On meeting my appointee, we at once repaired to the ‘Mansion’ on Canal street. Sixteen years before, the schoolboy had been interested in the alterations and repairs then being made upon it; especially in the great four-paned windows—then a novelty—and the gilt letters over the western door, that informed the passers that it was the ‘Mystic Mansion.’
Built in 1812 by the town of Medford
, it was for forty years the almshouse.
Sold by the town, and remodelled in '54, it was for a few years one of the ‘Mystic Hall Seminary’ buildings, and after [p. 90]
the seminary's transfer to Washington
it was occupied by various parties, but vacant at the time of our visit.
A long greenhouse, in a ruinous state, occupied the corner of the lot, where once stood the district schoolhouse; while giant elm and willow trees stood on either side of the driveway, and shaded grounds and street alike.
The various outbuildings gave abundant evidence of neglect, and the glamour of romantic association was dispelled on entering the classic halls of the mansion.
A hasty survey of its interior was followed by a walk across the field to the old ‘Canal Tavern,’ which with three dwellings on Canal street and the seminary building, made up the eighteen houses I have named.
A few days later (May 26), as the result of an interview with all the proprietors, the ‘Smith
estate’ came under my superintendence, and soon after, taking up my abode in one of their houses, I became a resident and citizen of Medford
In the seminary building, in what was once known as Everett Hall, Ellis Pitcher
kept a grocery; selling out that spring to Sawyer
, and they, soon after, to J. E. Ober
, who then had a milk route there.
No other store of any kind was kept in the West End
, but a Mr. Reed
, who resided on Allston street (in the house recently burned), sold dry goods
from a wagon and supplied such as came to his house for them.
The postoffice (established in 1852) was, in ‘69, kept by Mr. Pitcher
, who was in June of ‘70 succeeded by Mr. Willey
; and for ten years the railroad station housed it. Six houses on Woburn street and six more on Purchase street formed the outlying district called Brierville.
This name must have flown also, as I haven't heard it so called for thirty years. Through this section, some eighteen years before, was begun the Stoneham Branch
The iron rails were never laid, nor did the ‘iron horse’ come; and there were
those that said that Medford
people knew not ‘a good thing’ etc., and that, fearing the loss of the depot in Medford Square as a terminal, they gave little support to the enterprise.
However this may be, the owner and resident who removed his house from the corner of High and Allston streets to Purchase street had some faith in it, and though requiring a bridge across the intervening valley and waiting for thirty years, the occupants are now
accommodated by the frequent passing of the electric
car with the pneumatic
The rest of the village of ‘70 was grouped around the Brooks school
building, whose ample grounds speak well for the foresight of the town of ‘67.
This portion had been laid out in lots, and streets opened in 1845, and in nine years thirty-five dwellings had been erected.
These are readily distinguished today.
residence, now like ancient Gaul
—divided into three parts—and removed, occupied the site of the brick and stone building bearing his name; and was surrounded by numerous trees, of which the maples on Playstead Road are a part.
The great spreading elm (a little in the street to be sure, but a thing of beauty), had not yet been ruthlessly removed; while the big horse chestnut, wrenched and torn by the tornado of 1850, still stood at the end of Warren street. The old
Usher house, decrepit with years, was on the present postoffice site, as was a little one-room building, in which a variety store had once been kept.
Beside this was Captain Wyatt
's residence, which, enlarged a little, still remains, till recently the residence of his grandson, William Cheney
corner’ had not begun to take on the various additions and alterations, for neither Chinese
nor yet ‘Mikado laundry’ had arrived.
had not yet come to engage in the livery business, which for over thirty years has been a stable
one, though conducted by several proprietors.
with his express came not till ‘71, nor was he located beside Whitmore Brook
till five years later.
's omnibus made no trips to Medford Square, nor did, indeed, till ‘76, while the bobtail
car which succeeded the omnibus would at that
day have been deemed a wild enterprise.
Purchase street (now Winthrop
), had been open some twenty-five years, and Woburn street, once the main road to Boston
, was but little used, as the northern travel came not up Marm Simond's Hill.
Sugar Loaf Hill
had not been cut out so widely, nor yet by the action of the stone-crusher granulated and spread on Medford
streets, to sweeten
the experiences of travel.
Purchase street was Medford
's ‘Via Dolorosa’—the way to the almshouse and the silent city of the dead.
Mystic Hill, rocky and bare at its top, was beginning to be invaded by dwellers, but they were few and far apart.
Nestled in a little hollow on its western slope was a pond, whose denizens in ‘the good old summer time’ made night melodious, informing the listener that ‘Paddy got drunk—got drunk.’
Shaded by willows, and surrounded by a tangled growth (possibly suggesting the name of Brierville), its waters found a way into Whitmore Brook
The stone tower on Hastings Heights, as we call the hill now, overlooks the place; while the site of the pond is surrounded with houses, the homes of recent comers and residents.
In 1870, water was introduced into Medford
from Spot Pond
, and building operations commenced upon the long vacant Smith
estate, which for some years was called by some of the hill dwellers the ‘Flats.’
had forgotten, or, perhaps, never knew, that years before, their
location was rather contemptuously called by some of their townsmen the ‘Fag-end
Of the residents of the West End
in 1870 a few words will not be out of place.
I shall speak only of such as came more particularly under my notice.
Coming to the village with the intention of there making my home, the Sabbath gathering of the people attracted my attention.
This was held in Mystic Hall (in the old seminary building), and was under the auspices of the West Medford Christian Union (a non-sectarian organization), as no church of any order then existed in West Medford.
On my first home Sabbath, with the good lady whom a few weeks before I had taken for better or for worse (I've found her better), we arrived early at Mystic Hall, and taking a back seat, instead of being observed of all observers, we
had an opportunity to see some of our new neighbors as they assembled.
Miss Addie Morss
served as organist and played the ‘Nuns' Prayer’ as a voluntary, and accompanied the congregational singing.
A French gentleman, the Rev. Louis Charpiot
, was the clergyman.
He was of the Trinitarian Congregational
order, and had but recently begun preaching in West Medford, being employed on the editorial staff of the Nation
then published by Mr. Usher
, who in the spring of ‘71 established the Medford Journal
, since which time Medford
has never been without a weekly paper.
He had been preceded by Rev. M. B. Chapman
, who had served for two years. Mr. Chapman
was a Methodist, and a student in Boston University, and boarded with Mrs. G. A. Spaulding
He was even then described as a brilliant preacher and elicited the remark from a shrewd observer, ‘I want to hear him again and see if he had all his powder in one gun.’
married while at West Medford, and one day just previous, said to Mrs. Spaulding
, ‘When I return I shall bring a lady with me. I think a great deal of her, I want you to, also.’
He is now known as Dr. Chapman
and is one of the professors in Boston University.
preached on Sabbath morning and evening; sometimes a lecture on current events was substituted for the evening sermon.
I well remember his review of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, and his biting sarcasm on ‘Napoleon the little
resigned in September of ‘71, and after supplies by various clergymen, the Rev. W. E. Huntington
was secured for the rest of the year.
A young man of rare promise, his services were greatly enjoyed.
He was the last of the Christian Union preachers and was of the Methodist Episcopal
After serving the largest churches of [p. 94]
his denomination in Boston
, he entered into educational work, and is now the president of Boston University.
Some of the church-going residents of the village continued their attendance at the churches in Medford
, but the newer arrivals found it inconvenient to do so, and these with the more aged found the village service attractive, while the Mystic
Sabbath School which had been organized a few years earlier, and two years later became Congregational, was well attended by the children and youth.
The only social organization of my knowledge was the West Medford Lyceum
and Library Association, which was incorporated in 1852.
During the winter of ‘70–‘71 it had a course of lectures in Mystic Hall, as also in previous seasons.
Since then the society has had but irregular meetings, though still legally existent.
What remained of its library was a few years ago placed in the Brooks School
Library, where it now remains.
George G. Lincoln
was its secretary and Herbert Magoun
The only business enterprises in West Medford in 1870 were the granite works of R. K. Carpenter
, the building business of John H. Norton
and that of John H. Duane
, the florist.
It could hardly be expected that a little village of less than one hundred dwellings, many of whose occupants were men of leisure, merchants, brokers, retired clergymen, bookkeepers and artisans whose places of employment were in Boston
, would abound in factories.
In 1872, a mattress factory was built on Auburn street, and operated by A. J. Kittredge
for a short time, when it was destroyed by fire.
In those days a good way to observe the citizens of the village was to take position near the railway station about train time, which not being as frequent as in later years would assemble the villagers in compact gathering.
To the earlier trains would come Mr. Lothrop
from his home on Purchase street, the Wilson
brothers, whose homes have just been removed to make room for the new church, [p. 95] William McLean
and Franz Diebold
, Franz Gockeritz
and Thomas Osborn
and Charles Hippisley
, the printers, John Pitman
, the fat and jolly boot maker, who kept the old curiosity shop in Brattle street, with his son Tom, and others also.
A little later, N. T. Merritt
, S. S. Leavitt
, George M. Ritchie
, Herbert Magoun
, Martin Nolte
, Deacon H. L. Barnes
, Nathan Brown
, J. H. Hatch
, Rodney Tay
, C. A. T. Bloom
, George Lincoln
and the Lanes
The older Mr. Lane
often came in a four-wheeled vehicle, like himself solid
. Later trains were taken by Commordore Hastings
, D. A. Gleason
, Edward Hall, the veteran auctioneer, J. W. Watts
, the three Hallowell
brothers, Ira Ackerman
, W. C. Craig
, J. P. Richardson
, C. M. Barrett
, John B. Hatch
, Nathan Bridge and Luther Farwell
; while George Spaulding
, the Traveller man, H. T. Wood
and Horace A. Breed
would come from their homes beyond the railroad.
A little later the Brooks
carriages would come down from the Elms or the stone house on the hill, or Mr. Usher
, a tall and commanding personage in flowing cloak and tall silk hat, would stroll leisurely out from among the trees about his house.
I had almost forgotten one who came a little later than myself, but still an early dweller then—David H. Brown
, our worthy president.
Samuel Teele, Sr.
, lived in his house on High street. Gilbert Lincoln
and J. M. Brock
were carpenters by trade as was also J. H. Norton
, who employed a number of men. William Cheney
and Samuel Teele
were of the same trade.
, one of the master mechanics of the canal, was a familiar figure upon the street, though bowed upon his long staff by the weight of ninety years. Albert Samson
lived on Canal street and was bookkeeper for Foster
& Co; and Thomas Martin
, who set out many of the trees on Grove street and built many cellars, lived in the old Canal House.
was the former superintendent of the Gorham Brooks
estate, Dennis Harrigan
, the section master of the railroad.
A. B. Morss
lived near Woburn street and later printed the Chronicle
. [p. 96]
Rev. Charles Brooks
, the able historian of Medford
, Rev. D. A. Wasson
, the radical preacher, Abner J. Phipps
of the Board of Education, and Jefferson Hascall, D. D.
, were then also residents.
was the master at the Brooks school
and Miss Ellen Lane
one of the teachers.
Of the women of the village I can say but little, but must allude to Miss Lucy Ann Brooks
and Mrs. Usher
, each in their own way rich in good works, and ‘Auntie’ Cheney
, a veritable mother in Israel
A little later comers were B. C. Leonard
, H. B. Nottage
, Gardner Chapin
, Herman Judkins
, and others whom time forbids to mention.
1872 marked the organization of churches, and the call for more school accommodations, while a few fires emphasized the need of something more than the ancient hose carriage for protection.
New dwellings and churches were built, new residents came, stores were opened, and the growing village demanded new avenues of travel.
The solid stone piers and abutments of the canal viaduct invited Boston avenue, while Auburn street put up a rival claim.
The result was that the river was crossed in both places, opening the Hillside
and Cotting street districts.
Not a rapid, but a healthy growth has marked the section I have described and so gradually that only the flight of time brings it vividly to notice.
On the slope of the Hillside and on the level plain trees planted by private munificence and public expense (since Arbor Day obtained recognition) are rapidly adding shade and beauty to the growing section.
The same giant sycamores stand guard before the Jonathan Brooks
homestead, and reach out their arms in benediction upon the passers, while at Mystic street the vista of beauty seen as I looked all four ways in ‘70 is grown more beautiful by the lapse of years.
The city of Medford
is estimated to have had in January, 1904, a population of 21,500, with number of voters registered, 3,659; or six inhabitants to one voter.
of Allston street and Hillside, west
of railroad, 681 voters.
6 × 681 = 4,086.
Part of Ward
Three, east of Allston street and west
of Meetinghouse Brook
and up Winthrop street (to conform to West Medford of ‘70), contains about 120 houses.
If averaging five residents, would add 600 to 4,086 = 4,686.
In 1870 there were 13+10 = 23 houses on High street, between Meetinghouse Brook
and Lowell Railroad; 26+28 = 54 on side streets and 20 west of railroad, making 97.
If averaging six occupants, would give a total population of 582.
As there was but one of the Smith
estate houses occupied, and that
by only two persons, it is fair to presume that the population in ‘70 was about 500.
Calling the present estimated
population of the same area 4,500, the rate of increase is as nine
Without wearying my audience with any further array of statistics, I will only say that the increase in every thing that goes to make up the civil, religious and educational, as well as the social, economic, and generally comfortable features of life, have kept pace with the growth alluded to.
And now let me say in closing, thanking you for your patient hearing, and deeming it an honor to have the opportunity of thus presenting this to you, that as I have read these names, I am reminded that while a few still remain, some have removed, while many have joined the great majority and rest from their labors.
Each, in his way, bore some part in making the West End
what it is. Last Sunday I ascended the stone tower on Hasting Heights, and surveyed a scene of rare beauty, one section of a city of homes that has arisen in the average length of a human life.
I thought of the village
to which I came thirty-four years ago today, and rejoiced that it has been my lot to live therein, to know something of its people, to build some of its dwellings and one of its churches, and to be a citizen of Medford
—‘a citizen of no mean city.’
|Power, Robert||Boston, May 3, 1771||Irishman.
In employ of Col.|
|Powers, Ann or Anna||Charlestown, Nov. 1, 1764||Aug. 26, 1765||In family of Jacob Hall.|
|Powers, Samuel||Aug. 31, 1797|
|Pratt, Abigail||Boston, July 2, 1765||May 6, 1766||In family of Thos. Seccomb.|
|Pratt, Isaac||Aug. 31, 1797|
|Pratt, Capt. Joseph||Aug. 31, 1797|
|Prentice, Stephen||Grafton, Apr. 1, 1767||In family of Benj. Teel, Jr.|
|Priest, Hannah||Scituate, Apr., 1757||Feb. 8, 1758||Maid infam.
of Benj. Peirce.|
|Prince (negro)||Feb. 2, 1753|
| wife and family|
|Pursel, Benjamin1||Dec. Ct. 1764||See Zaccheus Goldsmith.|
|Putnam, Eleazer||Charlestown, Dec. 4, 1765||Sept. 1, 1766|
| Mary (wife)|
| William (children)|
| John (children)|
| Ezra (children)|
|Putnam, Henry||Charlestown, Dec. 12, 1765||Sept. 1, 1766||In house of Benj. Parker.|
| Hannah (wife)|
|Puttam, Abraham2||Boston, Dec, 13, 1768||In family of Joseph Teel.|
|Rand, John||Jan. 30, 1791|
|Rand, Joseph||Jan. 30, 1791||Trader.|
|Rand, Mary||Jan. 30, 1791|
|Rand, Susanna (widow)||Jan. 30, 1791|
|Reed, Benjamin||Aug. 31, 1797|
|Reed, John||Charlestown, Mar. 30, 1762||Apprentice to Samuel Hall.|
| John, Jr.||Charlestown, Mar. 30, 1762||Jan. 1, 1763|
|Reed, Mary||Woburn, July, 1759||Nov. 21, 1759||Age 10. ‘Bound out’ to Jas. Wyman.|
|Reed, Sarah (wife of Joshua）||Woburn, Mar. 13, 1755||Mays, 1755||See Sarah Dix.|
|Reed, Reuben||Woburn, April 17, 1769||Single man. Farmer in employ of Col. I. Royal.|
|Richards, Sarah||Almshouse, Boston, June 17, 1762||Bound out until 18 yrs. old to Zacheriah Pool, Jr.|
|Richardson, Hephzibah||Reading, Oct. 18, 1760||Sept. 7, 1761||Servant in family of Hezekiah Blanchard.|
|Richardson, James||Jan. 30, 1791|
|Richardson, Capt. Jeduthan||Aug. 31, 1797|
|Richardson, Joshua||Woburn, Feb., 1762||Jan. 1, 1763|
|Richardson, Reuben||Aug. 31, 1797|
|Richardson, Sarah||Woburn, Mar. 30, 1762||Age 9, dau. of Hezekiah.
In family of Richard Creese.|
|Richardson, Sarah||Boston, June 17, 1762||Apr. 11, 1763 1735||Servant of Zach.
|Richardson, Solomon and family|