Medford MA

Medford MA

Medford is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States, on the Mystic River, 3.2 miles northwest of downtown Boston. In the 2010 U.S. Census, Medford's population was 56,173. It is the home of Tufts University.

17th century

Medford was settled in 1630 as part of Charlestown. The area was originally called "Mistick" by Thomas Dudley (a name which persisted for many decades), which his party renamed "Meadford".[1] In 1634, the land north of the Mystic River became the private plantation of former Governor Matthew Cradock; across the river was Ten Hills Farm, which belonged to John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony.[2] The name may have come from a description of the "meadow by the ford" in the Mystic River, or from two locations in England that Cradock may have known: the hamlet of Mayford or Metford in Staffordshire nearCaverswall, or from the parish of Maidford or Medford (now Towcester, Northamptonshire).[3]

In 1637, the first bridge (a toll bridge) across the Mystic River was built at the site of the present-day Cradock Bridge, which carries Main Street into Medford Square.[4] It would be the only bridge across the Mystic until 1787, and as such became a major route for traffic coming into Boston from the north (though ferries and fords were also used).[5] The bridge would be rebuilt in 1880 and 1909.[4]

Until 1656, all of northern Medford was owned by Cradock, his heirs, or Edward Collins. Medford was governed as a "peculiar" or private plantation. As the land began to be divided among several people from different families, the new owners began to meet and make decisions locally and increasingly independently from the Charlestown town meeting. In 1674, a Board of Selectmen was elected, in 1684, the colonial legislature granted the ability to raise money independently, and in 1689, a representative to the legislature was chosen. The town got its own religious meeting room in 1690, and a secular meeting house in 1696.[5]

18th and 19th centuries

The land south of the Mystic River was known as "Mistick Field". It was transferred from Charlestown to Medford in 1754.[6] This grant also included the "Charlestown Wood Lots" (the Medford part of the Middlesex Fells), and part of what was at the time Woburn (now Winchester).[7] Parts of Medford were transferred to Charlestown in 1811, Winchester in 1850 ("Upper Medford"), and Malden in 1879. Additional land was transferred to Medford from Malden (1817), Everett (1875), and Malden (1877) again.[3][8]

The population of Medford went from 230 in 1700 to 1,114 in 1800. After 1880, the population rapidly expanded, reaching 18,244 by 1900.[9] Farmland was divided into lots and sold to build residential and commercial buildings, starting in the 1840s and 1850s; government services expanded with the population (schools, police, post office) and technological advancement (gas lighting, electricity, telephones, railways).[8] Tufts University was chartered in 1852 and the Crane Theological School at Tufts opened in 1869.

Medford was incorporated as a city in 1892[10] and was a center of industry, including the manufacture of brick[11] and tile, rum,[12] Medford Crackers, and clipper ships[13] such as the White Swallow and the Kingfisher, both built by Hayden & Cudworth.[14]

Courtesy of Wikipedia.com
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Updated: 18th December, 2018 11:10 PM.