The taverns of Medford.
The Blanchard Tavern.
[Read before the Medford
Historical Society, November 21, 1904.]
Continued from Vol.
VIII., No. 1.
This house was built about the year 1752 by Mr. Benjamin Parker
, at one time treasurer of the town of Medford
By deed dated June 6, 1752, Mr. Jonathan Tufts
sold to Mr. Parker
one-half acre of marshland, bounded easterly on the county road; southerly on land of Merrow
; westerly on land of said Tufts
, and northerly on Mystic river
This lot of land is the same as that [p. 26]
lately occupied by Messrs. Page
, and also that occupied by Mr. John Crowley
The whole property has been taken by the Metropolitan Park Commissioners
for a parkway.
The land described as that of Merrow
is the same as that upon which now stands the paint shop in the possession of Mr. Nathaniel Ames
In the year 1753 Messrs. Ebenezer Merrow
and Thomas Welsh
were fined ‘for setting up a fence on the highway between said Merrow
's dwelling house and Medford river, ten rods in length.’
This fence extended across the whole front of the Parker
lot, completely shutting him off from the highway.
It is perhaps not generally known that when the inhabitants of the town of Charlestown
sold the lot of land upon which stands the Central Fire Station and the Symmes' buildings
, they also sold with it ‘a two pole way leading down to the river above the upper side of the bridge, bounded easterly upon the Country Road
10 1/2 poles.’
This sale by the town of Charlestown
was the foundation of the claim of Mr. Merrow
, but the two pole way had then become a part of the common highway and Mr. Merrow
's encroachment made him liable to a fine.
A part of this passage to the river was filled up in the year 1880 when the present stone bridge was built.
The estate remained in the Parker
family until the year 1776, when it was sold to Mr. Hezekiah Blanchard
, and the house on the lot was called a dwelling house.
None of the Parker
family were innholders, and Mr. Blanchard
did not take out a license as one until the year 1780.
From the year 1753 to 1780, Mr. Blanchard
was licensed as a retailer of liquors, and the record says that he kept his shop in the house of Mr. Benjamin Parker
After the purchase of this estate by Mr. Blanchard
he improved the building by the addition of a dancing hall (the hall was in the second story in the corner next the river), calling it Union Hall
When this addition was made it is impossible to determine.
In the Columbian Centinal
, September 3, [p. 27]
1796, the following advertisement appears: ‘Union Hall
, is now completely fitted up for the reception of large companies, with every convenience to promote festivity and happiness, the house is furnished with the best of Wine, Porter
and other Liquors and every kind of refreshment called for can be supplied, Tea, Coffee &c. provided either morning or evening and those who are fond of an afternoon's excursion for amusement and exercise can be accommodated to their minds, the distance from Boston
is about 5 miles, a distance not so long as to occasion fatigue and long enough to promote exercise, the commands of the Public are respectfully requested and every exertion shall be made to give pleasure and satisfaction to every guest by their humble servant Hezekiah Blanchard
, who also manufactures the best of Spirits and will sell them by wholesale or retail at reasonable prices.’
During the latter days of the occupancy of this building as a tavern there was suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the dancing hall the model of a full rigged man of war (the Chesapeake
), and upon its flag was inscribed the dying words of Commodore Lawrence
, ‘Don't give up the ship.’
A sign post with a swinging sign and the inscription ‘Union Hall
, H. Blanchard
,’ with a foul anchor as its emblem, stood at the southerly end of the building.
Prior to the year 1804, when Cradock bridge was first provided with a draw, the road and land in that vicinity was about three feet lower than at present, and on high courses of the tide it was not uncommon for people to float around in boats in the road and upon these premises.
This house was one of the most popular houses in the vicinity of Boston
, and many sleighing and dancing parties were among its guests.
It was also a common rendezvous for the people of Medford
, and all the current events of the day were discussed over a plentiful supply of Blanchard
's own manufacture.
On that part of the land adjoining the road and river was a grocery store and in the rear stood a small distillery.
[p. 28] Mr. Blanchard
's last year as landlord was in the year 1800.
(He died in the year 1803.) He was succeeded by his son, Hezekiah Blanchard, junior
Hezekiah, junior, died in the year 1818 and was succeeded by Messrs. Isaac W. Blanchard
, Samuel Blanchard
, and others.
heirs sold the estate in the year 1833 to Mr. Joseph James
, who in company with Mr. Milton James
, established a lumber yard on the premises.
A portion of the old tavern building was sold to Mr. Jacob Butters
, who removed it to another location on Main street and fitted it up into a double dwelling house; it is now standing opposite the head of Mystic avenue and is numbered 133 and 135 Main street. The old tavern was the headquarters of the Medford
and Boston Stage Coach, Samuel Blanchard
The Medford house.
This house stands upon land purchased in the year 1803 by Mr. Andrew Blanchard
of Mr. Ebenezer Hall
It was part of a tract of land purchased by Colonel Royall
of Mr. Jonathan Tufts
in the year 1755, and devised by him to his daughter, Herriot Pepperell
, and by her sold to Mr. Hall
in the year 1800.
The house was probably built by Mr. Blanchard
in the year 1804.
It was opened as a hotel in the year 1805, and was known as the Medford Hotel
Its first landlord was Mr. John Jaquith
He was succeeded by his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Jaquith
, and by Messrs. Seth Mayo
, Rufus Frost
, Samuel Kendall
, Moses Jaquith
, A. Proctor
, and others.
On May 11, 1835, a company of thirty-five gentlemen and one lady formed an association known by name of the Medford Hotel
Association, for the purpose of purchasing certain lands and tenements situated in Medford
, to be used and occupied as a hotel.
The capital stock consisted of one hundred eighty-three shares, par value per share, one hundred dollars. [p. 29]
|Thatcher Magoun, Jr.,||5|
|Joseph Manning, Jr.,||5|
|George W. Porter,||5|
|George L. Stearns||5|
|Thomas R. Peck,||5|
|S. P. Heywood,||5|
|B. M. Clark,||1|
|Thomas H. Floyd,||3|
|Nathaniel H. Bishop,||10|
|Andrew Blanchard, Jr.,||5|
|Francis R. Bigelow,||5|
|John W. Mulliken,||5|
|Joseph and Milton James,||5|
|Waterman & Ewell,||2|
|Isaac and James Wellington,||2|
|Isaac H. Haskins,||2|
|James O. Curtis,||2|
Under this association, which had for its main purpose the keeping of a temperance house, the building was enlarged.
In the upper story of the ell was a large and commodious dance hall.
The first landlord under this new arrangement was Mr. Marcus Whitney
, and he was succeeded by Messrs. David Carleton
and James Bride
The movement for the keeping of a temperance house failed, and in the year 1845 the estate was sold to Mr. Augustus Baker
, who kept the house for many years.
He was succeeded by Messrs. A. J. Emerson
, Peter A. Garvey
, Daniel K. Emerson
, Charles H. Day
and J. F. Folsom
The house is at the present time under the management of F. M. Viles
, and is known as the Medford Inn
The Columbia house.
On Main street, nearly opposite Royal street, stood a house called the Columbia House
It was first kept as a public house by Mr. Augustus Baker
, who afterwards was landlord of the Medford House
At the time Mr
purchased the Medford House
, Mr. James Bride [p. 30]
was its landlord.
When Mr. Baker
took possession of that house, Mr. Bride
removed to the Columbia House
, vacated by Mr. Baker
The Columbia House
was afterwards used as a private dwelling.
A few years ago it was removed to a court, leading from Mystic avenue, and after being cut into two parts, was remodeled, and these are now used as tenement houses.
The brick house standing on the north side of High street was built in the year 1756, by Mr. Thomas Seccomb
, upon land purchased by Mr. Seccomb
of Philip Carteret
, the deed being dated May 20, 1755.
It was formerly known as the Seccomb House
It was occupied for many years by Mr. David Simpson
, and kept as a public house, and was then known as Simpson's Hotel.
opened this house as a public house about the year 1866.) It is now occupied by several departments of the city of Medford
The Canal house.
This house stood upon the banks of the Middlesex Canal
and at the northwest corner of Boston avenue and Arlington street. It was opened and chiefly used as a stopping place for persons employed in navigating the canal.
Among its landlords were Messrs. Bowen Crehore
, Darius Wait
, Joseph Wyatt
and Jeremiah Gilson
, This house has been removed from its original location, remodeled into tenement houses, and these are now located at the foot of Canal street.
There were many persons licensed as innholders from the year 1690 to the year 1831, whose places of business cannot be located.
It is hardly fair, however, to speak of such places as taverns, for they were only saloons for the sale of liquors, and the same may also be said of some of those previously mentioned.
The following is a list of persons licensed as innholders in Medford
, from the year 1690 to the year 1831, both inclusive:—
L., 1822, 1823.
, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, 1774, 775, 1776, 1777.
, Hezekiah, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800.
, Hezekiah, Jr., 1800, 1802, 1803.
1804. 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818.
, Isaac W., 1819, 1820.
, Samuel, 1829, 1830, 1831.
, John, Jr.,2
1730, 1731, 1732, 1733, 1734, 1735.
, John, 1736, 1737, 1738, 1739, 1740, 1750(part of the year), 1751, 1752, 1753.
, Mercy, 1753, 1755.
, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 783, 1784, 785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789.
W., 1824, 1825.
, 1785, 1786, 1787.
, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820.
, Eliphaz, 1807.
, Lebeus, 1811.
, George B., 1826, 1827, 1828.
, William, 1769.
, Isaac, 1754.
, Hugh, 1754, 1755, 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762, 1763, 1764, 1765, 1766, 1767, 1770, 1771, 1772.
, Sarah, 1741, 1742, 1743, 1744, 1745, 1746, 1747, 1748.
Francis, John, Jr., 1717, 1718, 1719, 1720, 1721, 1726.
Francis, Capt. Thomas
, 1783, 1784.
, Charity, 1761.
, John, Jr., 1702, 1703, 1704, 1705, 1706.
, John, Sr., 1696, 1700, 1701.
, Stephen, 1697, 1698, 1699.
, Jonathan, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758.
Hills, Ebenezer, 1773.
, 1818, 1819, 1820.
, 1808, 1809.
, John, 1805, 1806.
, 1826, 1827.
, Josiah, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810.
, William, 1762, 1763, 1764, 1765, 1766, 1767.
, Samuel, 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831.
, John, 1754.
, Isaiah, 1820.
Lathe, Francis, 1714.
, Abner, 1758, 1759.
, Seth, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818.
, Seth and Rufus Frost
, Israel, 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762, 1763.
, Augustus, 1768.
, Lydia, 1719, 1720, 1721, 1726.
, Nathaniel, 1707, 1708, 1709, 1710, 1711, 1712, 713, 1714, 1715, 1716, 1717, 1718.
, 1812, 1813.
, Jonathan, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1786.
, Ebenezer, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1821.
, Philip P., 1827.
, Richard, 1703. [p. 32]
, Peter, 1713, 1717.
, Jacob, 1821, 1822, 1823.
, Charles, 1824, 1825.
, Timothy, 1755, 1756, 1757.
, John, 1749, 1750, 1751, 1752, 1753.
, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801.
, Abijah, 1795, 1796, 1797.
, Eleazer, 1798, 1799.
, Robert, 1792, 1793.
, Samuel, 1715, 1716, 1717, 1718, 1719, 1722, 1723, 1724.
Wait, Darius, 1813, 1814.
, Edward, 1778, 1779.
, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805.
, Francis, 1759.
, 1720, 1721, 1722, 1723, 1724, 1725, 1726, 1727, 1728, 1729, 1730.
, 1691, 1692, 1693.
, Samuel, 1819, 1820.