Medford is a city 3.2 miles northwest of downtown Boston on the Mystic River in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. In the 2010 U. S. Census, Medfords population was 56,173 and it is home to Tufts University. Medford was settled in 1630 as part of Charlestown, the area was originally called Mistick by Thomas Dudley, which his party renamed Meadford. In 1637, the first bridge across the Mystic River was built at the site of the present-day Cradock Bridge and it would be the only bridge across the Mystic until 1787, and as such became a major route for traffic coming into Boston from the north. The bridge would be rebuilt in 1880 and 1909, until 1656, all of northern Medford was owned by Cradock, his heirs, or Edward Collins. Medford was governed as a peculiar or private plantation, as the land began to be divided among several people from different families, the new owners began to meet and make decisions locally and increasingly independently from the Charlestown town meeting. In 1674, a Board of Selectmen was elected, in 1684, the legislature granted the ability to raise money independently, and in 1689. The town got its own meeting room in 1690. The land south of the Mystic River was known as Mistick Field and it was transferred from Charlestown to Medford in 1754. This grant also included the Charlestown Wood Lots, and part of what was at the time Woburn, parts of Medford were transferred to Charlestown in 1811, Winchester in 1850, and Malden in 1879. Additional land was transferred to Medford from Malden, Everett, the population of Medford went from 230 in 1700 to 1,114 in 1800. After 1880, the population expanded, reaching 18,244 by 1900. Farmland was divided into lots and sold to residential and commercial buildings, starting in the 1840s and 1850s, government services expanded with the population. Tufts University was chartered in 1852 and the Crane Theological School at Tufts opened in 1869, during the 17th century, a handful of major public roads served the population, but the road network started a long-term expansion in the 18th century. The Medford Turnpike Company was incorporated in 1803, but turned what is now Mystic Avenue over to the city in 1866, the Andover Turnpike Company was incorporated in 1805, but turned what is now Forest Street and Fellsway West over to Medford in 1830. A horse-powered street railway running to Somerville and Charlestown in 1860. The street railway network expanded in the hands of private companies, and went electric in the late 1890s. Streetcars were converted to buses in the 20th century, interstate 93 was constructed between 1956 and 1963
Medford Square, the intersection of Main Street, High Street, Forest Street, Salem Street, Riverside Avenue, and Ring Road
1790 bird's-eye view from Bunker Hill of the "Malden Bridge" across the Mystic River, with Medford in the background.
1852 map of Boston area showing Medford and rail lines.