history

A quick peek at Melrose homes ...

... in photos, a random look at local properties ...

from Don Norris



Everybody who lives here knows that Melrose is an exceptional place --  a place of homes, hardly zero industry, pick just about any church and it's nearby -- and we have hills, good scenery -- just about everything -- except good roads.




So every once in a while we Stringers take a tour of our town, try to count the pretty places -- but find it's just too, ah, on-going. After all, the town was started in the early sixteen hundreds - just about 400 years ago! Indians used the ground then, camping around the shallow (but beautiful) pond left over from the last ice age.




Colonists moved in, farmers cleared the ground and planted the crops, and soon other families moved in, claimed some land and built a home. We still have two or three of those old original homes from the 1700's.



The so-called population explosion occurred when the new railroad was built, in the early 1840s. Apparently a few executives of the Boston and Maine Railroad had already chosen Melrose as the ideal place to reside, and so we [the people] got no less than three railroad stations. Wakefield got two, Reading was the end of the line.




We had a revolution (so to speak) in 1849, which brought about the
creation of this place as a separate, independent, bonified community
called Melrose. The name probably came from the Scots' town of the same
name. By that time we had plenty of churches, a small shopping area along
Main Street, a railroad with three convenient stations, and our own town
government.




Some fifty years later, we chose to become a full-fledged American City,
with a board of aldermen and a mayor to run things -- the job was part-
time back then.

Homes -- new modern, classy homes went up, land became a profitable
commodity, the farms slowly disappeared -- the last one (we think) of
which was the Kiley Farm, at the east end of Upham Street. It was still in
operation when the Norris family (this writer) moved here in 1947.

So that's it. A brief tour of our city. Today we have some ten thousand
homes plus a number of brand new apartment complexes. It's still a pretty
place, and a good place to live. As for my nasty comment about the roads,
because of 'keeping up with the Joneses', our leaders have chosen a new
direction for our tax funds -- better, bigger, higher housing paralleling the
old railroad tracks. Ah! More tax income, less strain on the establishment.

We are still known as the Bedroom of Boston, but our roads surely are
bumpy.  



August 7, 2015











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