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by Jacob Marmor (pseudonym)

Friday, September 11, 1942

in What's New In Town

W. J. Sidis


        The Middlesex Fells is (or are) a large park area under the Metropolitan District Commission, something over three miles in both length and width.  It is much larger than any single continuous park in our metropolis except Greater Boston.  In our metropolis, however, it is only second largest.  The name “fell” is defined as a rocky hill, and that name is appropriate.  Most of the Fells is in the limits of Stoneham, but considerable parts extend into Melrose, Winchester and Medford, with a small part in Malden.  The Fellsway in Somerville and Medford, and Fellsway East in Malden, get their names from the fact that those boulevards lead to the Fells; similarly there is the Lynn Fells Parkway in Saugus and Melrose.  Spot Pond, a pond covering nearly two square miles, is part of the metropolitan supply system, and is located in the central part of the Fells.


        The Public Garden ducks have two homes, one on the island in the Public Garden pond, the other on an island of the East Lagoon in the Charles River.  They spend the night on the Lagoon, and the day in the Public Garden; they walk from one place to the other, through city traffic, twice a day.  This has been made the subject of a children’s story book, “Make Way for Ducklings.”


        The first transatlantic steamship, the “Britannia,” made its first trip to Boston in 1834.


        Once, about 35 years ago, someone, wandering in the farther reaches of Franklin Park, came on a little spring whose water tasted queer―bitter, sulphuric, and other-wise unclassifiable.  He jumped to the conclusion that it must be medicinal water; and the report spread far and wide.  People came to Boston from distant places to taste the wonderful Franklin Park spring water, and many cures were reported.  Then the Boston Board of Health heard of the matter, and investigated, with the result that the spring was closed up and safely covered up from the visiting public.  The remarkable flavor of the spring was due to very ordinary contamination.


        In Dr. Crane’s Quiz, that nationally syndicated newspaper feature, there recently appeared a question that might well have been a plug for our city.  It was: “Which one of these American ports is nearest by sea to Buenos Aires?  Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Boston,” the answer, of course, being Boston.  This column has long ago called attention to the relative nearness of Boston to South America, but has been met with considerable disbelief.


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