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J'.UIJ.T AlH.Hl IT'iO.



129



known as Noliility Iiill. came into the J^o^scssion of the late Jndye
H.-r-L.Ti in K^;,4. and he re-iih-Hi there. until his death in 1.S67. ]n
a lar^'c n in m t'-'.e t!iree-^.tor_\- ell on tiie iinrdi >ide. tiieie u-ed to
I'r. .■.•^ I am inf'jruied hv Mr. William S. Harton. a fine ijieee of
\\0:.d ear\ip_; o\er tiie niaiule, rejire-er.tin.; tlie lion and unii;orn.
The vw.ud c;it i:lu>tration of tlie Ciiandler or I'artun he)n-e, here
u'iven. is iVoiii a jihotograph taken a short lime hetore it was
de:r..i|i-hr^!. and yi\e^ a good idea uf it^ aj-pearanre at that time.
In ti'.e \\\rd in front, and aNo on Mani -treet. were tall liuii(jnwoo(l
trees ]-l..;-.ted In- .sheriff Chandler, wha'h, with th.e shiruhhery. made
it c ne of t'le mi/-t attr<i(ti\e oM-iime man-inn-, and • grcjuiuls in
tov T:. Ti'^e art:-t uIkj co])ied the [ihot^giaph hia> made the ham
of Col. I-aac D.ui-. jn^t north of the hoa-e. a;)!>ear as an ell, and
ha- als.) negleeted to indu ate the low wnnlows in the third >lory
of "i'.e true ell.

It v.a> not ni_\- intention in this pai^er to -peak of any huildings
on Main >:reet -onth of Park ^tIeet. hut I will mention the house
of tile !':te ludi^^e Ciiarles .Mien, which wa- on tiie -oath corner (jf
Park -treet. wii!i its u.n-den extending for -cne d;-tance on Main
s:reet. cavl h.ick to tiie Noiuich and Won e-ter raihoad. On the
o';i-i:.i>ite .-iiie of Mam >treet, an.l e\tendiii_; uea.rlv to Au-tin -treet,
\va< ••Nh.'.ihiv Iliil": among the residents tliere were lldward
I)enne_\ ( ::i t;ie I ir. Sargent hou-e), .\ntiion\- (_'ha-e (1S4;,), and
(;cor.:e T. ilice.

Of the Old S j'lth Chmch. huilt in 1763, it is not neces-ary to
sa_\ nr:c:-i. a- it- In.-torv i^ welt ki'.own to you all, and i^ often re-
terred to in th.e i-uhlication^ of thi- ."-^^.liety. In the earl_\- i!a\-, of
the town liii^ cimnh was u-ed not only for re!i.,-ious services but
as a i»Iacc for town meetin.;-^. for tiie aiuuial electii.>ns. and any
bu-ine-s rei juirin^ tiie ai liou or aj;jiro\'al <jf the citi/en-. The
1 'e( laraiion of Independence wa- first puMicly read in Ma-sa-
chusett- from the roof of the we<t porch of thi- chu.nh. the reader
being I-aiaii Tiunna-, the p.uiiotic ed.ilwr of tiie Mi!<Mjif!u<,f/< Sj\\- ;
an! it wa- in tiie .S/r that the 1 ieclarati.-n was ]irinted. July 17.
1 776. for the f;r-t time in a New hingland neu-j^aper. \kirious
ch.'mges have been made in tiie appear.mce c.f liii- ancient edilK.e
.since its erection, both in its exterior and interior ; but 1 tlunk that



130

the iiicnilHTS of this Society will hl^tcc with mc in thinkin:,^ that it
is a great jnty this historic hnildiiiL; of our city ( (.uld not have been
allowed to retain more of its old-time heaut)- and simpliciiv.

The down Hall, as originall\- erected in 1.S24-5, was a much
smaller building than it now is, it having been enlar-ed bv an addi-
tion to the east end about the year 1S41. In thi.^ vear there were
three entrance doors in front, there having been but two originally.
Some years later, in order to make more r(;om lor othces, one of
the stairways was removed, and at the same time the doors on each
side of the center were given up.* The hnver .story, o\er the
present p.)li( e otVice and locku];, was arranged for two small halls,
known as the east and wot town hall.,, and were used t"or meetin^^s
of societies and political gatherings, and a!^,o rented for exhibitions
and various other purposes. .After the enlugement (,f the buiMing,
the upjXT hall \wis hjr se\eral years used by the town for elections
and other muni<ipal purposes, k'or manv years the lectures of the
Worcester ].\-ceuin were given in this liall. Here, too. in i.S;i,
Jenny I.ind sang betore one of the largest audiences ever L;alhered
within its walls ; and the first concerts of the famous Cermania
]land in Worcester were gi\en there, t!ic popular director of our
Musical Festivals, Carl Zerrahn, being the nuti-^t. and William
Schult/.e, first \iolin.

The east and west town halls were used at the time of the an-
nual cattle show for the exhibition of dairy products, needle work,
and other useful and fancy articdes whicli made up the indoor ex-
hibition of that day. In the basement of the building, now used
for i)olice jjurposes, were three stores, occupied at various times
by L. Burnet \- Co. (G. I'aine), Horace .\yres and James Sliep-
ard, in the grocery business ; and Joseph Converse, Leonard White,
butchers, and others. .At the east end, with an entrance from the
Common, was the engine hou-.e of Compain- Nn. 4, known as the
'"Torrent."

In the ujiper hall, the speaker's desk was, for several years after

♦ The CDi-ncr stone uf the Tou'ii Hall was hiid Au-u.-t 2, 1S24, with nia-uiiic
ceremonies; and the dedication took pla^'e .May 2, 1S25, uith an a.ldie.^ l,v
Hon. |ohn I )avi^.



tlu' enlarL;(-'nu'nt of the l)ui!(liiiL;, on th.e north side ; three rows
of benches, one raised alifi\'e the odier, extended round three sides
of the room. The jilat form \va-> afterwards renioN'ed to tlie east
end, the i^allery there lieiiii,' tala-n awa\- to make rofim for it. The
\\'oreester (liiards at one time had their armory in the attic at the
west front of the Iniildini;. On ( 'hu'eiidon 1 larris's map of tlie town,
|)ublislie(l in 1S29, is a cut sliowini; llie 'I'own Mall as it was when
first built ; another (lit, i)ul)lislied. a few years ai^o, shows its a])-
pearance before the town pump and the lar^e ehn trees at the head
of Front street were remosed. It was under these trees that blind
1 )e\ter, the show man, used tt) station his exhijiition wa^on, with its
wonderful cdllei tioii of waxworks, whieh if hickens hail seen, might
have yiven him material for additioir> to his account of the t'amous
collection of .Mr>. Iarle\-. Mr. l)exler 1 remember as a verv cor-
pulent man, w.tlkiiiL; with diliicully and totally blind ; but potwith-
standini; his iiifirmilw he was not easily deceived bv th.e street
Ljaniins of th it dav, when ihev undertook to palm oif on him a
counterfeit ( oin, i.»r a ten cent pieee in.-.lead of a nmeiience, the reg-
ular prii c of admission. 'I'ho.ic of vi>u, who as bo\'s saw the N'an
which carried the show, looking \erv miK h like the traveling da-
guerreol\]ie ])alace of cjur daw will undoubledh' recall it, and the
enjoyment \-ou drri\ed from seeing the '■lifelike'' representations
of AN'ashiiigton, ('.en. Jackson, or the blood-curdling murder of
jane MTrea bv the Indian^, on exhibition inside.

The Common, a^ \-oii know, was originally much larger than it
now is, extending a-> far north en Main street as Mechanic street,
but wa^ reduced t(j its j /resent limits long ])revious to the time of
which I am speaking. .Xbout 1S.40 or a little earlier, it presented a
\er_v dilferent appearame from what il does t(;-da\- ; then two
streets ran diagonall\- acio.^^ it, one from front lo I'ark street, with
a guide board at the westerly end informing the traveler that it was
the road to Millburv and Sutton ; the other was from the west end
of Park street to iMdiit street, near the [iresent site of the Sol-
diers' .Monument. Xear the site of the lligelow monument, and
trunting we>t, was the gun house for tlie ki-cping of the cannon be-
longing to the town ; abo the heaise liou^e, and hook and ladder
company's ([uarters. These building - were afterwards moved lo
the east side of the burial ground, fronting Salem si|uare.



132

The burial gro'.ini'., sil'iatcl at the ea>t end of tlie Common,
surrounded In- a low ^tfM;.e wall, had an entrance on the wc.-t end ;
and on the north -^idic uere t'p.e tombs ui the Wheeler and I)i\
}ami!ies. 'rhi> old Lrr.nand was lmvcu up tor burial ]iuri)o>es many
years ayo, and tlu,)>'j .;rave .-tones \\hi(h were not remo\e(.l were
laid tlat and cu\ere(_i \\i;h earth and Mi(i>. A member of thi?,
Society, with prai-ewijrtlu- foretliou-ht. liad copied the in-^criiiti(jns
from the old ^tone.- in tiie enclosiu'e. and prc>er\ed them in printed
form.* The-^e in-cr:i-tions have -ince been reptil)li>hed b\ this
Society, with lii,>tori(aI notes, and inscription^ from the burial
ground on Meclianic -treet. A plan of the Ljround wai abo made
l)y order of tlie (ity authorities, and deposited in the offn e of the
City Clerk.

On the southea.^t corner of the Conunon there stood tor man\'
years, a one->tor}' uu^jden s( hool hou-e, with c^ cu[)ola and bell,
which was n^ed wh.en I ua- a school bow for tiie South llo\-' I'ri-
mary Scliool, then under the charu'e of Mi^s C'aroline Coriiett,
(laughter of the late (,.)tis C'orbett. .\t one tune it wa.> u.-,ed tor the
evening sciiool for ajipreiuices, which was al'terwards kept in the
low r town lull.

Our i>re>ent efticient Cliairman of the Coivmii^sion on Tublic
Grounds would ha\e been h.orrified at tiie u.^es made of tlic Com-
mon forty or more Nears ago. for it was here that the ( ouiun cattle
shows were held. l-"our row- of pens tor the exhibition of ( .ittle.
swine and shee]), were |iut up' on the north side, near bront >treet.
and extending tVom the Norwich railroad track nearly to \U,ere the
Soldieis' Monument now is. The re-t of the Common wa^ gi\en
uj) to booths for the sale of refreshments of \ariou-. kinds; and
auctioneers' wagons, iVom which tliey sold v,hi])s, dr\- goods, soap
and cheap jewilry. Ciieap jacks traveled about the Common and
streets adjacent, selling toot:i:uhe drojjs, ra/i.rs, gilt rin-.-. and lui-
merous articles to temj.t tlie rural \i>itor. ( )ften thcie would be
tents pitclicd on the Common t'or the exhibition of mon>tre.-ities
ol \aricms l;ind<. sik h as a twodieaded calf, a manunothi horse

" Kpitaiihs fn.in the t'eiia-Icry mii Wcixc-ter (.■>;iniii(in,' uitli M^taMwiial
Notes. Keference>, and an liulex. I'.y W. S. I'.aiton. \V>irLc-iei-, 1S48. 1']!. ;,6.



A ROUGH DIAGRAid OF THE COIIIIOJf AKR ARJACEKT STREETS,

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or o\. fjt girl^. etc. AiTdss Front >tiect, wc-st of \slu're tlie track
of the N(irA'i(h r.iilroad \\>l(\ to he, \v;t-; an open space cxtcnilmy;
Uj Mcevianic -trcct. wiiirli wa^ lillcil will) ^ilands t\>r the ^a!e ot"
>hcet Liiiiyerbrcad, cake, pies and coniVt tinnere. ^ueet cider and
r.jot lierr. Ilcre would be heard tiie luiui call of the hot o\>ter
nun. to "walk up, tuinlile up, any wav to ^et uji, and huv a howl
(if hot ovster-;," — \"ery hot indeed, luit with vcr\' few o\^ters.

At the ea - t end of the Coinnicin, now ".'-^aleni Square" (tiien
known a-' '"ll-'pti^t Hill"), the trial tjf workini; oxen took [jlace.
Carts filled with ^tonc uere drawn and liacked,. up and down the
hill, amid the plaudit-> of the ( rowd, and the efforts of the marshals
to keep the lookers-on ou;.->ide the line.

Besides being n^cd for the annual, caltie show, the Common was
the jiarade ground for the mililia ; here the)' were re\'iewed, and
salutes were fired fr'am the town gun-, b\- Isaac Ikiitlett, thq old
gunner, tor want of an organi/ed aitillerv companv. It was quite
tlie tiling at tlut da\ for the militirN' companies to march up and
down Main sireet, luing salutes at different jioints in the street ;
and I d.i not remember that any but ladies and timid children ob-
iected. ( )n bast da\s it was the (ai<ti)m to ha\'e games of round
ball on the Common. whi< h .Utrac ted crowd.s of sjieciators, and to
:ny rnind were much more exciting; th.an our modern base ball.
Foot ball and cricket, too, were often pbned here. .\ local cricket
club w.,s organized twent\'-five (<r thiriN' vears ago, and Used the
Commoii for their pra( tiee games.

.■\s long ago as iSp^and.pj the Common was often used for
tent shows, mostly tii'isc ha\ing on exhibition wild animal-, or
ina.mnv'th hor-es and cattle. One of liie first shows I remember
upon tb.e Common, was about 1S30. w-heii the first (iiraffe or
( 'amcleopard e\'er brought alive to .America was exhiliiled. with
the Ibex, 'the dark-e\ed Cazelle" and odier trojiical animab. In
these e.ub d.ivs, sucii a tiling as a (un Us was not countenanced be
tile fathers of the lowai ; and diose who wished to indulge their
t.'.ste ioi' \h': equestrian arena, were obliged to go either to Miliburv
or HoMen, the seleclnuai of those towns probabl)' not being afraid
ol such, an unusual exhibition harming their coiisliluents. Oue of
the lirst circuses that 1 can remembier as licensed to exhibit iiere,



134

was that of Rockwell \' Stone, who set u|i their tents on the c^rounds
now occupied by RoL;ei^'s hlork and the iKipli-t ( huich on Pleas-
ant street ; and cvidciUh' with a desire to shmv the 'j^mnl ])t'0}ile of
Worcester that no harm cuuid come of it. they in\-ited all thecler^'y-
men of the town to attend the show, and di.Tlrilmletl a pamplilet
setting forth the wonders of the arena, and the strictly UKjral tone
of the exhibition.

At the jjcriod of whi( hd am s[. caking, it was custoniaiy for the
smaller show.i to ha\e their headquarters at one of the tavern^, and
give exhibitions either in some room or in a tent in the vjrd out-
side. In I S40 the .S],-^!' announces that Mons. liehin, the llelgian
Giant, "the talle.^t, strongest and best proportioned man in the
world," will be at the Uniud State> llotel, for one day and eve-
ning only, on his way to IloUon.'- In iX.v's the celebrated .'Siamese
Twins were oji exhibition at the Central 1 b)tel ; and about the same
time, a mastodon, one of the hr.^t disceAered in the country, was
exhibited at tiie same ]ilace.

In connection with tlie >ubiect of shows and exhibitions. I will
mention an unu.iual int ident whi< h oc:( urretl at Wore e^ter in the
sunmier of-iS.jj;, and of which the newspapers ol the day seem to
have made no mention. i'he reporter of liiat period is not to Ije
compared willi the one of to-da\' in hirnishing to iK-wspaper read-
ers local items which, if not of special interest at the time, would
jtrove of historical \alue )e;us after. It is, therekire, rather dis-
apix)intii\g to find so little in llie newsjKipers to refresh one's mem-
ory, as to oc(nrren( es that at the time created great ex( ilement in
the town.

In lulv of i>^43, the .S/'v contained an advertisement, uith a cait
of a buffalo at its head, amiomuang to the people of ^\'orcester
that there would be an exhibition in the rear of the Central Hotel,
of a herd of hfleeii buffaloes, "captured in the Rock\ Mountains."

* "Moils. lieliiii" \s;is afterwards mi exhihiUDii at Concert Hall, llosloii, in
coiiiieetiun uilli 1 lai 1 iiii;ton's 1 'loiaiiias; ami on a |ilay-liill, u^w l.'et'ne me,
aniioumiiig hi^ appeal. uiec tlitie, i^ a loiij^'h \\o.nl cut entil'eil a "Skelcli o[
Mons. Ik-liiii a- lie aj-peausl .at llic lloueiy Tlieater w lieir stru;;;.^liiit; \^itll
twehe men in the f'liant of i'.ilestine."



oD



Tiic ]^'.;'.lic were a:;0 infonncd tliat "no (lanL;cr need \ic api-rc-
iu-r.'.ied. as il.~y arc jicrftctly tame, docile, and harnile-s" ; also
tl'.at. ""as the exjiense of capt.irin.: and d.ri\in:4 theni from die
inouniains. :- ;-.-\:.vv tnor/Kous. a >iiniiar herd, will j.roh.ioiv never
aLrain ue seen in t;v!> jiortum of Americi." I am quite sure there
has ne\'er ueen >i:eh an cxhiitition in Wdn e~.ter since, nor is there
likeiy to be in the lu'.ure. as tiiat ino.^t inns'ilhiiLiIy given to our cit-
izens during the week adverti-ed lor tliis ^how.

Brierly ^ta;e 1. the -tory current at the time \va>. that sometime
during the n:gh-t. or in the earl}- murning t)f one of the davs of ex-
hibition, the r^'ies holdin^' up the tent in whicii the i)uffaloes were
shown, were C':t by some evil disposed ])er.>ons, who mav ha\e
been thir.-ti:',g iV.r a genuine buffalo liunt, and the whole herd let
loose in our -".reet^. (): courr^e e\er_\"bodv who was aware vi the
escaj.e of the v.i!i{ beasts became excited, and men and bovs joineii
in the chase ui'-ii t':e enraged owners, who were mounted on hor.^e*'-
back. 'Idle h. .r'.i weie soon >e].>arated, .^onu; going toward.s Hol<den,
where they Were <;f:erwar(!3 captured; and some went up Main
street, towan;^ Leicester, one or two of them being taken in the
pasture about c.j-ijjC'.-ite tiie present residence of Mr. T. }I. Dodge.
One I reineir.ier a> being c iia.-^ed by a cnnvd of men antl bo\s,
trom Front ^■.reet across to Meeiianic street, and down what is now
L nion >;reet. t.i! fii'.aliy the jioor animal, excited almost to mad-
ness, leajjed i). er a >tone wall, six or se\en feet liigli. which
formed jxut of th.e fuundation of Howe iX; llotldard's (now Rice,
Barton vN: Kaie-'s) machine >hop. tiien in jirocess of erection, and
here he was easily captured. It wa^ two or tluee davs belore they
were all secured : and the excitement of a \'entaij!e buffalo hunt in
Worcoter wa- one that liie ]>articipanls and lookers-on wouM not
soon forget : ar.d. a^ the ail\ erti>ement set forth, "will probabh' ne\er
again be seen in tiii.- j.art of America."

Trusting )0u wiil pardon this digression, we will now return to the
description L'f tive C'ommon and its surroundings, lu-t north of tlie
>choLil hou-e, wi-.ii an entrance facing the r>apti>t church, was the
town ])ound. an enclosure with a >,tone wall eight or nine t'eet in
height, where t'ne t'.eld driver - tuok strav cattle and swine hnnul



136

niiinin.; at lar^e. Aflcr the lirar^c hoM-r and othi;r l.inil(liiiij;s were
remuved from [hv center of ilie ("oninion. l\'.o of them wt-ie i»h<eil
on the ea^t end ot tfie l)uri,il eround fuiiiL; the Miuare. ap.d were
there ii^ed f )r -imilar ])!ii'[i()>e>. Whe-n the hrif k si hoo! holl-^e was
erected on tiie C'onimon, a h'tlle southca-~t of the SoKHers' .Monu-
ment, a room was ]iro\ided, on the east end, for tlie hunk and
ladder companN'.

In m_\' hovhooil da_\s Salem s'juare was known as "li'pti-t Hill"'
from tlie 'hmi h of that denomination hcin-" located theie. 'i'lie
hill was (lit down -^ome years aL;o, Imt w.is formerh' (piite steep,
and ailordcd llic i.oys ol die neiuhhorhood an e\( ellnit ( oastinL^
place, and v.idi no feais diat a ( it}' mai -lid (,)r policeman would in-
terfere with the sport. The lusl ^Klpli•^t meetiii:; hou-^e, dedicUed
in I'si^:;, was burnt in i'^^]<> \ and tlua f;ie is one of die earliest
recollections of niv \onth ; liNane; as 1 did at that time, in do^e
pro\imit\ to it. a \er\' \ i\ id imple-^^ion was made on \nv mind.
'J'he S/>v. in it- repoil t)l"tlie fire. sa\s : ••.\ot a sin;-;le arlic le was
saved. . . . 'i'he pulpit wis furnidu'd widi a p.iir of \er\- wiliiaMe
lamps, and the connre^ation liad re( end\- -applied them-eK'es w ith
new copie- of W'iiK hell's Watts'- Son-,- and Ihmns." Tiie cattle
])ens of the .\e,rii ultural So< iet_\'. which were stored in the hase-
miuit, were aKo de-troyed.'

Cioiny liack to .Main street, and taking tiie north side of ]'"ront
street under coiiddeialion. we should Inid under the "( )ld Com-
;>oimd " luu'ldiuL;, with an c-ntrance on ]''ront street, an ealiiiL;: house,
kept in i.S_ii-j jiy Mr. Meiit/er, who ]iroli.il)ly (Opened there at'ter
beinLr Inunt out on .Mecha.mc street : he wms succeeded 1)\ (deoru'c
C.eer in iS^2 j;. 'i'he first luiildinL;- fitu'iiL; I'lonl street was occu-
jiied in i.'^.p) liy .A. (ilea-on .\: Co.. the luin cousi-tiiiL; of .\uslin
(deason and Stephen 'I'at't, who, in .\pril, 1 '"■'.vj. f'rmeil a copart-
nership fir cariyini,^ i^n the \\"e-t India .jood.sand grocers- hu-iness.
.Al'ter the retirement of Mr.( 'deason, in iS.) 1 , .Mr. da ft carried on the
business for -everal years, at'terwards mo\in;.; to the block at the
corner of front and d'rumbull -treets. lakin^^ his son into partner-
ship, who still coiitinue^ there.



* RfV. S.Timu-1 !!. Swaini was imstor of the lii-t r-nplist cliiiieli in lS_;o.



.■)/



Other occupants of stores on Front street, between Main street
nnd the Norwich r.nlroad, from 1.S39 to 1S4-, were Aii-iur (C. W.)
\- Iohn - on. and C'liarlo l!oarduian, in the L,Toccr)' hu>ine.is ; (_'ha-
pin ((',. K.) \' KoL^'cr-. ('!'. M.) (up slaiis in the same bnihhng
with Doardiiian ), and Iliiam Imxuc h, m iiic hoot and ^h.oe trade ;
Watson i.\; Xuttim;. and S. V. Stone, hakcis. A Mr. ('.. Spaulding
also had a :.,r(Hcry ^torc here about this time. In tlie store next
to tile raih'oad, lau iu-> llcacli was in the wool business ; and later,
.■\aron ]'>illiiiL;^ iu the stove and tinware business. 'ITiis was the
store owned and occ upietl for man_\- \ears by Sumner I'ralt. and
lately removed to make way for the ].iresent hand.some brii k block
built by him.

About iN_p).\aroii Howe, wIkj had been landlord of the old
Eaton ta\ern on h'ront street, kept a fish market in the basement
{;f one of the stores oppo>ite the d'own Ibill. }lenr\' W. Miller,
as early as i.S:?;, uas in the (hair and turnuure business in onu of
the old buildiuLjs op|i.)siie ilje Town Ilall, with a W(jikshop in the
rear of the stores. Smith Kendall (cluur painter ) iepresentin_4 him
m the business. .Samuel 1 latrin^lon. town undertaker, and ]]. (',.
I'anrid^e, manuiat turer ot hirniture, were otlier occupants of stores
iietween Main street and the railroad.'



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