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Malden, MA (1873)

Malden History, 1873 — Malden is a large and prosperous town lying in the eastern extremity of Middlesex County, 4 miles north of Boston, with which it has communication by the Boston and Maine [steam], the Saugus Branch (steam), and the Middlesex (horse) Railroads. It is bounded north by Melrose, east by Revere, south by Everett, and South-west and west by Medford. The number of dwelling-houses is 1,362; of inhabitants, 7,367; and of voters, 2,212. The valuation is $7,792,877; and the tax-rate, $1.48 per $100. The postal centers are Maiden, and Maplewood, a beautiful and increasing village in the northerly part of the town, which received its name from the number and fine appearance of its maple-trees.

The southerly parts of the town are low and marshy; but many picturesque and rocky hills, which command charming views of the neighboring cities and the ocean, diversify the northern sections of the town. A very pretty streamlet from Spot Pond in Stoneham flows from Melrose, giving some motive-power, and then, broadening into Maiden River, becomes navigable for boats up to the town. A beautiful pond of about 10 acres, near the center, has an outlet into this river. The local inequalities of Maiden afford eligible sites for building, and the demand for them is every day increasing. Edgeworth and Glendale are very charming villages, and present strong attractions to those seeking suburban residences. Linden Village, on the eastern boundary, is one among the fresh enterprises of the place.

Many of the citizens of Maiden transact business in Boston, as the crowded morning and evening trains to the city indicate; yet many branches of industry engage the attention of the citizens at home. The town has one or more establishments for the manufacture of dress trimmings, metallic pipes, Britannia ware, chemicals, dye-stuffs, patent leather, perfumery, palm-leaf hats, and India-rubber goods.

The Maiden Dye-House has long been celebrated; and brick-making and tanning and currying bring large revenues into the town. The private dwellings are generally tasteful in appearance, having lawns with flowers and shrubbery in front. The churches and schoolhouses display much architectural beauty. The new high-school house, erected at an expense of more than $30,000, and dedicated May 29, 1872, is a model of its kind, and an honor to the town. Maiden is well supplied with water from Spot Pond; and its streets and buildings are lighted with gas from works at Edgeworth. The town has a national and a savings bank; a hotel, called "The Howard House;" a lyceum, instituted in 1843; a Post of the G.A.R.; a brass band of music; a Choral Union; a Lodge of Odd Fellows, of Freemasons, and of Knights of Pythias; a Heart-and-Hand Division of Sons of Temperance; a Light Battery (Third M.V.M.); a Woman Suffrage Association; two well-sustained public journals, "The Maiden Tribune” and "The Maiden Mirror; " seven fine schoolhouses; and seven handsome churches. The pastors are the Revs. S. W. Foljambe, Baptist; J. J. Jones, Methodist; G. P. Huntington, Episcopal (St. Paul's Church; W. H. Ryder, Universalist; Thomas Gleason, Roman Catholic (St. Mary's Church); J. R. Richardson, Baptist (Maplewood). The Congregational church is without a pastor.

Maiden appropriated the liberal sum of $26,000 for the support of schools in 1872.

This place, originally a part of Charlestown, was incorporated May 2, 1649, and named, perhaps, from Maiden, a little parish in the county of Surrey, Eng. A church was organized in 1649; but the date of the erection of the first meeting-house is not known. In 1682 the town was in possession of a church-bell, which was placed upon Bell Rock, an elevated ledge, which still bears the old name. Among the early ministers was the Rev. Michael Wigglesworth, a poet as well as preacher, who was ordained in 1656, and continued as pastor until his death, June 10, 1705. He published in 1662 "The Day of Doom,” which comprises a version of the passages of Scripture referring to the final judgment. It passed through nine editions here, and two in England; and was, for a time, one of the most popular books of the country. In 1689 it was "voted at a publick towne meeting, that no young trees under a foot ever are to be felled for fire wood, under a penalty of paying five shillings for every such tree.”

In the year 1702 "John Spragne was appointed schoolmaster for the year ensuing, to learn children & youth to Read & Wright; and to Refmetick, according to his best skill: And he is to have £10 paid him by the town for his pains. The school is to be kept for all ye inhabitants of ye town, & to be kept at four severall places, at four severall times, one quarter of a year in a place.” The first schoolhouse of which there is any account was built in 1712, "Twenty foots in length, sixteen foots wide, and six foots studs between joints.” It stood between John Wilson's house and "ye pound.” Prior to the erection of the Charles-river and Maiden bridges (in 1786 and 1787), "a Malden lady,” says Mr. John Hayward in his Gazetteer of the State, "wishing to visit Boston by land, had to rise early, and travel by wagon, side-saddle, or pillion, through Medford, Charlestown, Cambridge, Little Cambridge (now Brighton), Brookline, Roxbury, and over the Neck, to the great metropolis; and, on arriving, was so fatigued with her day's journey, that she had to rest a day or two before she was able to make her calls.” The town has now not only constant railroad communication with Boston, but the prospect of soon becoming an integral part of the city itself.

Malden has given, among others, the following notable men to the world : — 
Jacob Green (1722-1790), an able divine, scholar, and patriot; Ezra Green (1746-1847), a successful physician; Timothy Dexter (1747-1806), remarkable for his eccentricities, and known as "Lord Timothy;" Daniel Shute, D.D. (1772-1802), a distinguished clergyman; Peter Oxenbridge Thacher (1776-1843), a celebrated jurist; Adoniram Judson, D.D. (1788-1850), a faithful missionary; John Bigelow (1817), an editor, and author of "Jamaica in 1850" and other works, editor of the "New-York Times” since 1869; Mary Elizabeth (Stebbins) Hewitt, a popular authoress and poetess.

A History of Maiden is in course of preparation by Mr. Deloraine Corey, a resident of the town."

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