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Historical inaccuracies.

The communication of Mr. Hooper, which precedes, is very interesting. We wish to refer to its three specific mentions of possible error.

First. As to the eleven maps of Medford, ‘bound in an atlas.’ We were informed at the city engineer's office that nothing of the kind was there, only the single Walling map, and that such an atlas would be very desirable. It is not an uncommon occurrence for schemes of publication to fail, and it was then and there suggested that such might have been the case in this particular. This was not ‘classed among the Medford myths.’ By the statement of Mr. Hooper, who writes from personal knowledge, it appears to have been an actual existing fact, and that until ten years ago. The query naturally arises, What has become of the said ‘eleven sections bound together in an atlas’? It is certainly desirable that its whereabouts, or fate, be known.

Second. As to the author's not unfriendly criticism of the view of the earliest bridge over the river. It is not at all surprising that in the reduction from the three and a half feet of the ‘original sketch’ to the three and a half inch half-tone of the Register, the ‘cedar tree’ [p. 15] of the artist should be mistaken for the Unitarian church steeple. Mr. Hooper admits the artist's error in house location, and frankly says it is, ‘like all other ideal pictures,’ open to criticism. The ‘island’ he refers to, with its trees, is surely a subject of interest. We trust its story, with Legend of Lydia, will be secured ere the deepwater Mystic our Representative Burrell advocates becomes a reality.

Thirdly. About the ‘Bower.’ We plead not guilty to ‘conscious historical falsehood’ (italics our own) in this count of the indictment (if such it be). We have consulted the dictionary, which is a help in trouble, and find some twenty meanings of false and a dozen of falsehood. This latter, in the quotation of Mr. H. from John Fiske, is doubly qualified. Certainly the writer of the ‘Midwinter Ramble’ is now in a maze, if not then in the ‘Bower,’ for by the communication of Mr. H. the ‘Bower’ mentioned by Mr. Brooks was not where the writer thought he had found it, not by ‘a dam site.’ We will now quote Mr. Brooks, (page 393):—

There was a mill at the place now called the ‘Bower,’ about a mile north of the meeting-house of the first parish, carried by the water of Marble Brook. The banks, race, canal and cellar are yet traceable. This was used for grinding grain and sawing timber. It was on land owned by Mr. Dudley Wade.

The mid-winter rambler had read the above, had never heard or read elsewhere of this mill or dam site, and accepting the only mention known to him as correct, wrote, ‘Yes, this is the’ Bower ‘(so-called fifty years ago), the site of the ancient mill.’ He regrets his inaccuracy, renews his plea of ‘not guilty of historical falsehood,’ and suggests a pilgrimage of interested readers to the real site of the ‘Bower’ as located by former President Hooper, and farther on to the dam, of which structure so much remains intact after the lapse of two centuries and which so few have ever seen, but which is well worth visiting.

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