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Officials in America
MEDF0RD is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts, being incorporated in 1630. Gov. Dudley, in his letter
of March 12th, 1630. to the countess of Lincoln, speaking of the “dispertiori” of the settlers who had just arrived
from England, says, “some of us upon Mistic, which we named Meadford." In Wood’s New England Prospect, printed
in London in 1639, the author, in givtug an account of the various settlements, notices Mystic or Medford in the
following manner: "The next town is Mistic, which is three miles from Charlestown by land, and a league and
a half by water. It is seated by the water side very pleasantly; there are not many houses as yet. At the head
of this river are great and spacious ponds, whither the alewives press to spawn. This being a noted place for that
kind of fish, the English resort thither to take them. On the west side of this river the Governor hath a farm,
where he keeps most of his cattle. On the east side is Mr. Cradock's plantation, where he hath impaled a park.
where he keeps his cattle, till he can store it with deer: Here, likewise, he is at charges of building ships.
The last year one was upon the stocks of an hundred tons; that being finished, they are to build one twice her
burthen. Ships without either ballast or loading may float down this river; otherwise the oyster bank would hinder
them, which crosseth the channel."
Medford is a large and flourishing village, built principally on the north eastern bank of Mystic river, which
here, though quite a narrow stream, is of sufficient depth to float to the ocean the numerous vessels which have
been built in the place. There are in the village four churches, 2 Congregational, (one of which is Unitarian,)
1 Universalist, and 1 Methodist. The above engraving shows the appearance of the village as it is entered from
the south, upon the Boston road. The south part of the town is composed of rich many soil, through which Mystic
river winds its way to the ocean. The northern part of the town is broken and rocky. The Middlesex canal and the
Lowell railroad pass to the westward of the village. Winter Hill, in this town, rises 124 feet above the level
of the sea. It is noted in the history of the American Revolution as the place of the encampment of Gen. Burgoyne
and his army after their capture. Population, 2,075. Distance, 14 miles from Concord, 2 west of Maiden, and 5 miles
John Brooks, M. D., LL. D., and a governor of the commonwealth, was a native and resident of this town. In 1837,
there were 239 hands employed in ship building; 60 vessels were built during the five preceding years, the tonnage
of which was 24,195; valued at $1,112,970. One hat manufactory; 10,043 hats were manufactured, valued at $40,275;
hat bodies manufactured, 40,000, valued at $20,000. Bricks manufactured, 1,200,000, valued at $7,200. Linseed oil
manufactured, 13,500 gallons, from 7,300 bushels of seed; value of oil, $14,850.
Historical Collections Relating to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.