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Notes about town.

During the past month several vessels, loaded with lumber from the Provinces have come up the Mystic, the first consignment to Medford by water for eighteen years. With three discharging at the same time, Foster's Wharf has something of the old-time look. But the old shipbuilding days never had over a hundred craft hauled up on wharf and mill-yard for winter quarters, as may now be seen.

The Jonathan Brooks house (at the present writing) is being repaired, and so takes on a new lease of life. With the exception of three windows in the roof no [p. 23] change is made in the exterior appearance, but new sills and timbers beneath a new floor make the old homestead secure.

This would delight the heart of Medford's historian could he visit his childhood's home. But we fancy he would take exception to the recent statement of a Boston daily that Jonathan Brooks was the founder of the Brooks family in America, and that Governor Brooks was born, lived and died in this house, as was also stated by the same Journalist who was given the subject to ‘cover.’ Upon being told, prior to its publication, that the same was incorrect, he replied, ‘I haven't time to hunt up the facts, but must write something.’

Molasses rock, above the Fellsway, is said to be in danger of destruction. We have never heard of any historic significance attached to it. The peculiar feature whereby it got its ‘sweet name’ is its geological formation. Several sections of a different kind of rock, running perpendicularly through it, give it an appearance not unlike the ‘we paint the earth’ advertising signs. Molasses or paint spilt on its top might look thus, but wouldn't be as lasting.

We regret to record the demolition of the Meridian monument, erected in Medford by Harvard College over sixty years ago,1 during recent months. A stone dwelling, of the cottage type, has been erected on the bluff overlooking Winthrop street, and part of the stones of the cairn form a small portion of its walls. At a recent visit to the spot, the capstone and a few of the larger quoins lay near its site, as yet disused.

We are told that the owner of the new structure is interested in educational matters, which adds to the surprise and regret occasioned by the seeming needless removal of the old scientific landmark. [p. 24]

Mr. Dame gave his High School boys at one time as a subject to write on, ‘The Brooks of Medford,’ advising an actual search and tracing to their sources. Doubtless the young people found the latter interesting. One brook is today a sort of ‘lost river’—the tributary of Meetinghouse brook, which has its source near Smith's lane between Woburn and Winthrop Streets. We were told to look there for remains of the projected Stoneham railroad, but found instead that Lily pond lane (near the rock-cut) crosses the Albree brook which flows underground for many rods before it emerges to view in another enclosed field, where must have been the mill-pond of John Albree, the Medford weaver.

Some rods from the lane are parallel stone walls, about three rods long, through which the brook flows, and in the open space between, the ground slopes in either direction to the brook.

No, this wasn't the railroad at all, but was a drinking-place for cattle, unique but useful, and an arrangement not often seen.

Will some one find for us the boundary lines agreed upon by Caleb Brooks, John Hall, Thomas Willis, Stephen Willis and John Whitmore of Medford, in 1680, or locate the points named?

‘From a great tree in the orchard, to a black oak tree * * * to a stake standing up in the land between Brooks and Francis * * * to a little black oak * * * to an old stub in clay land * * * to a little black oak bush near the river.’

1 See Register, Vol. XVI, p. 45.

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