Hey!!!!!! Glad to see you're still "fossilizing" out there. Been a while!
Melrose's 'online communications' have lately become so politicized that it's difficult to have even a civil back and forth discussion, to the point that it's simply not worth it. A shame, but hopefully, eventually, both "sides" will calm down.
Nice to "see you" here again, and hoping you and your family have a great holiday season.
Shinnied, not shimmied.
Yaknow.........you're right! [:)]
A few days ago we were talking about tonic. Well; I am cleaning in the cellar and what do I find, 9 empty WALKER'S bottles. How many of you remember them? They are even in the wooden case (although slightly beat-up). As the bottles are ether clear or green the manufacture placed the following on the label FLAVOR NAME ON CROWN. Can anyone remember when they went out of business?
I remember Walker Beverages well, since my father was a mechanic at the abutting Sunoco gas station, and used to bring home their tonic often. I can't recall when it closed, but was it tied to when Crystal Spring became polluted?
When Walkers was in business, what is now JJ Grimsby's was a Howard Johnsons.
I think I'm going to check it out today Old guy and I'll let you know.
I don’t want to sully the integrity of this string but I do have a confession to make.
Where was Walker's located? I have vague memories of getting tonic nearby, glass bottles in wooden crates, but I pictured it being on Main St Saugus near the Wakefield line. Was there another one there?
We used to go to Crystal Springs for water, and then go blueberry picking afterwards.
Patty, I remember going there about 15-20 years ago, and as I recall at that time the "pipe" was still there, along with some sort of sign indicating "....the former site of Crystal Spring...." or something like that. Let us know.
Hey Geezer, are you sure Walkers went out of business? I could be completely wrong and I don't know why but I have this "glimmer" of a memory that maybe Walkers burned down? I do remember the the buildings were basically all wood and one story, I think. But I have to admit, I'm 100% unsure of this.
Maybe I'm thinking of Haywardville? The little village in the Fells that never made it?
Hmmmmmmmmm, not sure if it's cuz you 'planted it' or not, but that glimmer sorta sounds familiar. But I'm almost positive that it was somehow related to Crystal Spring becoming polluted, in which case it may have been one of those "accidental" fires! I certainly remember it as all wood and one story.
We hafta get someone from the Melrose Historical Society on this string to answer questions like this! [:D]
Across the bottom of the label it is WALKER'S MIDDLESEX FELLS SPRINGS MELROSE, MASS. Now whether they ran a pipe over from the spring, or just drove a pipe into the ground, I don't know.
I do remember renting a horse at the stables locate on W'Wyoming and after riding through the woods, stopping at the spring to get a drink of water.
The "confession" thing didn't just slip by Ms. Wright, we're still waiting. Unless of course it's that we are just a bunch of nuts, in which case it's more like a statement of fact. (speaking only for myself, of course!)
Check the new string Geezer
That certainly was the spring Patty. Good Job! And you may have stumbled upon the lost village of Haywardville when you crossed over and checked out the woods behind the hospital. You might want to follow the link below. It will tell you all about it and it even has pictures of what to look for. All the buildings are gone so this will be more of an archeological tour.
I think the only construction going on at the old hospital site right now is the MWRA putting in the giant water tank. The developer sold off a portion of the land to the MWRA in frustration due to the many years of lawsuits from the friends of the fells. I believe the friends of the fells was in favor of the water tank taking the place of some of the residential units.
WOW! Thanks Old Guy! I also stumbled upon an article by Mr. Leonard Dalton describing the town and how the guy that made surrys told Goodyear about heating rubber and Goodyear stole the idea! Now I can't find the article. I wish Melrose Mirror had a search feature so I could find it again.
I'm off to explore Haywardville! and they say I'm a Melrose hater....NOT!
What a great link OG, thank you! When you mentioned Haywardville earlier in this string, I knew that it sounded familiar, but admittedly I wasn't quite sure why, and knew little about it. The link you provided gave a lot of information in a 'quick read'.
I had always enjoyed those small "waterfalls" in the Fells as a kid, and spent many hours creating things to and then watching them 'go over' the falls, but I haven't been there for years. As much as I usually avoid woods in the summer because of ticks, this string and that article have prompted me to want to take my dog (yes, my dog Patty, but I DO always pick up, even in the woods!) for at least one more visit to that area.
Thanks again OG (and Patty too).
You're both welcome.
I remember reading an article (maybe the one Patty saw) on Haywardville and I believe it said that two or three of the buildings you see in the pictures were actually moved to new locations in Melrose, one being W. Wyoming Ave. I'll see if I can find that article, but I doubt I saved it. That might be worth another excursion. Kind of like a "historical house hunt".
I had so much fun this weekend! Yesterday I parked at Crystal Springs and walked to where the flat area is. There’s a huge apple tree right on the corner where the lights are and just a few yards away an open space with more apple trees and crab apples.
The woods are like a wall but you can make out an opening. I walked through and was immediately met with the ancient rectangular holding trough for Spot pond brook! Behind it is a huge fallen down stone wall that someone built a set of stairs to get over the wall and onto a path that goes straight up hill and generally follows what’s left of Spot Pond Brook.
I decided that I wanted to follow the path all the way up to the top where the pumping station is on Woodland Road. Boy was that a hike but it was worth it. I saw two stone bridges and at almost the very top of the hill there was a massive stone hearth that had to be 30 feet high with a fire place on either side. The base of the hearth was all made of flag stones and was wide enough to walk around. That house must have been something 200 years ago. I did notice an old wooden rooster crate (that’s what it said on the outside of it because I wouldn’t know what one looked like!) stuffed into one of the fire places.
As I took the path back down the hill I took one of the paths that leads to Ravine Road, I really wanted to make a loop back to the flat meadow area again so I could try to find the granite molds that Mr. Dalton wrote about. The molds were used I guess for the rubber roofs and wheels for the surreys that Mr. Hayward made.
I went back to where the trough was and couldn’t find anything. I was about to give up because my Deep Woods Off wasn’t working anymore and spotted something in the woods a little distance from the trough. And there they were! Two huge granite blocks that had to be 5x5 feet wide. One had a perfectly round indentation and the other looked like two halfs of something that looked like they fit together.
Thank you Geezer and Old Guy for a great weekend! Now if you can give me another assignment for next weekend I’ll be thrilled to check it out and report back!
Excellent 'report' and description of things I have never seen and didn't know were there. Thanks for taking the time to recount your hike, though I think I got tired just reading about it! [:)]
One quick question, did you see any sign of coyotes?
OG, although I'm sure it's because 60+ years have faded the visual memory, I have to admit I did not recall this as how Crystal Spring looked:
I'm sure I was in the right place though, as the deja vu kicked in big time (well, that and the fact that there was a wooden sign fairly high up ob a nearby tree that says "Crystal Spring", lol). Quite an "uphill climb" (only cuz of the copd) but well worth it. Nice flashback!
You used to be able to drive through there, by taking a left about halfway down Pond Street, and coming out into the parking lot on the Fellsway. It also used to part of the HS Cross Country route in the late 50's and early 60's.
Nice picture Geezer! And don't worry, it's not you. Someone has been doing some maintenance/upkeep AND improvements in the last 60 years. I think, if you took all the rocks away and left the bricks in the middle and stuck a pipe through the bricks, you would have the 1950's version of Crystal Spring.
But who are we to Judge? It looks very nice and someone cares about it.
OH and Patty - I'll do some thinking, but I'm running out of places to have you traipsing around in (that isn't private property). Maybe Geezer has some special childhood places? Or maybe Septuagenarian? All this memory jogging must of popped something loose in those old noggins!
Or.... I could map out some of our top secret hide-outs my friends and I had where we would go to knock off a few beers. HEY! You could even bring a metal detector and see if you can find a few very old Schlitz cans!
Oh, and Septuagenarian, I remember that "cut through" too. It was a great shortcut if the traffic was backed up at the lights near Jerry Jingles Restraunt.
One other place I enjoy visiting Patty (but I suspect I was the absolute last person in the area to 'stumble upon it' a few years ago, and it's actually in Stoneham....gasp) is the quite picturesque Whip Hill estate, in Whip Hill Park, off of Perkins Street. A much shorter 'field trip' (it's only about a 3-4 minute walk from the small parking area) it's a english-tudor style home built by the Crocketts (of "bicycle Annie" fame??, if so it's actually "bicycle Angie")in the 30's. The house itself isn't open to the public, but the gardens are. Color-coded hiking trails are rock outcrop/flora and fauna trails, as there are no "ruins" that I know of.
WOW!! Good one Geezer. Patty, You're gonna like this one. I forgot all about it.
Thanks Geezer. I might even go there tonight after work!
Patty dear, From now on, I think it would be wise to have Geezer and/or Old Guy at your side when you're out there expeditioning. Wouldn't want you to turn that pretty ankle of yours again or anything, although you'd surely turn the head of these dear chaps! Seriously, take care when you're wandering.
Now, Now, Now Geezerette, we'll have none of that "babying" of Patty on this string. Geezer and I are working hard to highlight important Historical activity and Patty is an important cog in this process.
She's doing a fine job of following Geezer's and my orders...... oop's....I meant to say.... "following our direction".... Yah! that's it..... direction.....and having loads of fun while being whipped into great shape at the same time!
Boy, it sure is annoying, though, when the Sports Agents start coming around, trying to steal your property away from you, don't yah think Geezer?
Yes, but not half as annoying as irregularity!
Thank you Gezerette for you concern. I have nice sturdy hiking boots and I'm very careful.
Hey guys....I heard that Melrose is also famous for inventing Marshmellows. Is that true?
Drove into Whip Hill just so I knew where it was but I got home too late. Maybe tonight!
Well... regarding your marshmallow question I can tell you that my response would be a very firm:
" Huh? "
I don't know if it was invented here, but I have a reproduction of a can with the label listing the following, Melrose Marshmallows Made by Emma E. Curtis Melrose. MASS.
Just shows ta go ya that, with people's help, you can still learn something "new" every day.
You sure are up early Geezer.
Yes I was, Remembering, and not too thrilled about it, it screws up my whole day! But once in a while the timing of the "nighttime necessity" for getting up and going back to bed is somehow off, with the third time occurring when it just doesn't make sense to (or I can't!) go back to sleep.
Great article, thanks for posting the link!
And Geezer's right, you can learn something new every day no matter how old you are. I do have a theory on how I missed this little piece of substantial Melrose information though.
I remember Crystal St. for the very "Big Old Cannon" that was across the street from where the Marshmallow factory would have been. I think the cannon was sitting in the yard of maybe the "American Legion Hall" building??? I think they even fired that sucker off once in a while for the July 4th or Memorial Day ?? (with blanks).
So we have a cannon on one side to the street and marshmallows on the other. You could of had the Necco factory sitting there and I still would have gone for the cannon.
What can I say.... that's what boys do.
Even that "dusted off" a forgotten picture OG. Now that you mention it, I do recall some type of 'Hall' at that corner, probably even the American Legion, as you said. Fascinating that one gets used to what's there now, and it takes something like this to jog the memory!
Whatever it was, I think they rented it out for functions and stuff. I remember my mother dragging me there once. I have no idea why. Probably a baby shower or something, on a day when she was babysitterless and had to drag me along.
I gotta get out more. I thought the American Legion and the cannon were still there.
Not really necessary Sept, that's what Google Earth is for!
This question might be wacky, because to be honest I've always wondered if it's a memory, or a dream from my childhood. I have a vague recollection of a friend and I exploring in the woods somewhere at Mt. Hood and stumbling upon a pig farm abutting the woods. If this is indeed a memory, I suspect it must have been in Saugus, because I can't imagine, even that long ago, the City of Melrose allowing one. Does anyone have any knowledge or memory of a nearby pig farm many years ago?
I grew up in Somerville and we had "collegiate kids or rats". Now your cool or not. I played the baseball card game for hours trying to win and getting a leaner was cool. Saturday was confession and beans and franks for supper. We ice skated all winter on ice made from the city flooding the park, no coaches just a bunch of kids having fun. In the summer it was "to the park" the recreation dept. would keep us busy all day and we loved it. My favorite was kick ball. Those days are gone forever except in memories.....
Your memory is very good.There was a pig farm in Saugus on the Melrose line.The road behind the Fish and Game takes you to the miniature golf and batting cages on Rt.1 The pig farm was at the top of hill.The owner was mean and had a pack of dogs roaming the area.One summer day we ditched our stingrays in the woods behind the Fish, Some how made friends with the pack of dogs long enough to open the gate to the pen.They were rounding up pigs for a week,and we were laughing for a month.When I caddied the next week,the stories from the golfers were hilarious.I often wondered if that sparked the first pig roast at the Fish?
Wow, that brought back one too. I remember always being baffled on Saturday afternoons when my Catholic friends had to leave whatever fun we were having to go to church. When I was old enough to 'sort of understand' what confession was all about, I couldn't figure out what sins they could possibly have committed, and be confessing to, at that age.
And OF COURSE franks and beans on Saturday!