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At Medford's old civic Center (continued).

by Eliza M. Gill.
Referring to the former article in last Register, relating to the Watson house, John Usher should have been the successor of Joseph Barrel, Jr. The first word in third line of page 14 should have been omitted, making the reading thus-‘as a counterbalance, also a Loyalist,’ etc. The Mrs. Wallace mentioned should be Mrs. Savage.

With these corrections we will leave the Watson house, with its notable memories, and speak of the house on Rural avenue, the residence of the late General Samuel C. Lawrence, who was Medford's first mayor. It was of more recent construction than others we have noted, and was built by Samuel Train for his daughter Rebecca, who married George Lemist.

While the Lemist family was there, the house was noted as being the social center for Medford's best families, and the writer recalls the complaint of one who said, ‘When the Lemists left Medford there was no society.’ Many fine parties were given in that house, and one has only to look over the pages of Blanchard the stable keeper's ledger to see how gay and select our old town was at one time. You will read there the names of wellknown people who gave parties, those who attended them, and learn that Mr. Blanchard's patrons went in good style, in hacks or sleighs, as the seasons permitted. You will also learn who hired hacks to go to Boston to attend the theatre. There is wonderful reading between the lines of old diaries and account books. [p. 26]

Mr. Lemist sold to Mr. Flint, who afterward, residing there awhile, moved with his family to California.

The next owner and occupant was a bachelor who was non compos mentis and of peculiar ways. This Mr. May was a man of wealth, who never was seen in public unattended. He went regularly with his coachman to the services of the First Trinitarian Congregational Church. The young people, with more thought of fun than pity for his misfortune, called him ‘Smiling May,’ for he was accustomed to talk to himself, and indulged in facial contortions.

The age of the writer encompasses the time of the two latter occupants of this house.

The story of the house in our day called the Train house has been fully told in the Register. Samuel Train was very fond of telling the story how one day he sat on the sidewalk of the Bigelow property, looked across the street and wished he might own the house he was gazing at. In 1828 his youthful wish was realized when he purchased the estate, and it was the home of the good deacon for forty-six years.

The house of Benjamin Hall, Sr., was inherited by his daughter Hepzibah, Mrs. Fitch, who sold it in 1833 to Dr. Daniel Swan for $5,000, ‘House, garden, orchard and a small piece of land in front by the river.’ The people of that period were careful, if they did not live in a ten-acre lot, to have a good view around them and ample space.

This house and one west from it, both now gone, were of the five Hall houses which faced the road to Woburn in the same sociable, neighborly way as three of them do today below Governors avenue.

The home of Dr. Swan, the beloved and benevolent physician, is remembered by many today. I attended the auction sale of the doctor's household goods with my mother, and noticing a very fine set of china, asked her to buy it, and was much disappointed that she did not. It was purchased by George Barr, who also bought [p. 27] the Royall house, intending to make it his home, but gave up the project as it was not favored by his wife.

Our family had been patrons of Dr. Swan, and my mother was given a case containing many small glass vials filled with what seemed to be tiny sugar plums to us children. As they were not medicated no harm resulted to us by playing with them.

Nathaniel Hall, who lived in the Secomb house, had a later residence on his farm in the house now the farmhouse on the Lawrence estate. He was son of Willis Hall, and married Joanna Cotton Brooks. Their son, Peter Chardon Hall, married Ann Rose, daughter of Joseph and Ann Rose Swan, and lived on the old place.

My memory of this old house goes back to the time when I went there to visit my school friend, gentle Jennie Hall, who moved from Medford, and died early of consumption. There were several other daughters in this family. Little did I think then, as a young school girl, what interesting facts concerning this place were to come to me in later years. (Register, Vol. XVI, p. 18.)

One house on the other side of the river we will give a little notice. The George L. Stearns house on the east side of Walnut-tree hill was, previous to 1827, the residence of James Hall. It was bought by Capt. John King who, about 1840, sold the place to Mr. Rae, whose daughter was a pupil at Miss Bradbury's private school. Mr. King's family moved to Touro avenue, and in this house, now standing, lived many years. There his daughter, Harriet Winslow King, was born, who married Dudley Cotton Hall.

Mr. Rae sold his property to his son, who in turn sold it to George L. Stearns. This latter owner developed it into a fine place, and it has been known as the Evergreens in recent years. Through its hospitable doors have passed many distinguished people, and we may count it as a place of high thinking. (Register, Vol. XVI, p. 2 I).

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