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In 1849 tne Rock post-office was established. Israel Smith was appointed the first postmaster, and served until October, 1889. He was succeeded by John Q. Morton, Harvey N. Atwood, Herbert L. Cushman, Clarence L. Cushman, and Joseph L. Turner.
N the diary of Miss Rebecca Scollay we find many entertaining pictures of Middleboro life, and the places with which she was familiar. A quotation from this may help us to imagine the Four Corners of long ago.
"I remember my first visit to where is now the village of the Four Corners. There was not a house there then. There were several farms scattered on the way between there and Muttock village. Morton town was quite a neighborhood with a goodly number of houses. There was a tavern there, kept by Mr. Levi Wood and called Wood's Tavern. There was also a hall at the Morton house where the young people used to assemble and have their dances and winter pastimes."
This in 1775! It is hard to realize that the enterprising and flourishing centre of the town was then a densely wooded
tract with a few houses at Court End. The tavern kept by Mr. Levi Wood stood on the site of the residence of the late Charles F. Peirce, and bore the usual sign of the king's coat of arms, which hung over the entrance door. After the close of the Revolution this sign was removed and some appropriate words substituted, indicating that it was a place of resort for the patriots.
The old Silas Wood house, now standing, was built shortly
THE SILAS WOOD HOUSE
before the war, the date being on a tile in the chimney; later it was occupied by Deacon Abiel Wood. A little to the south was the store kept by Mr. Silas Wood; this, and that of Mr. Leach in Muttock, were the only stores in town. Mr. Wood was a wealthy and influential citizen, a man well known throughout the colony for his integrity and ability, and his opinions were sought after and respected in all matters relating to public affairs.
Of the houses built at the close of King Philip's War none, perhaps, attained so much celebrity as the Morton house, which at the time of its removal in 1868 was undoubtedly the oldest house in town. There was no monument so closely connected with the early history as this old Morton house, which stood directly in front of the spot where the house of the late Albert G. Pickens now stands, and it was with great regret to many that this venerable pile, associated with so many interesting events, and the home of so many prominent men and women, should have been taken down in order to straighten Main Street at this point. Mr. Pickens decided that the house was too old to be moved, so he sold the timber, and it is now in one of the Crossman houses on Crossman Avenue. He built a new house near the old site, but farther back from the road, on the land owned by a descendant of the Morton family until within a few years. There is a tradition that this house was built before King Philip's War, and was spared in the general destruction of houses on account of the friendship existing between King Philip and John Morton, but this is undoubtedly erroneous, as it lacks confirmation, and there are many facts which prove the contrary, so that we may say that the old Morton house was built soon after the resettlement of the town, by John Morton, Jr. The first house, built by John, Senior, was near the river, the site of which can still be identified. There John, Jr., probably lived as a boy, and on returning after the war he erected this house. At the time of its removal it was about sixty feet in length, twenty feet in width, of two stories, with a gambrel roof, and stood upon an open green, without fence, trees, or shrubbery about it, with an end toward the street. When it was first built, the street was probably at some little distance; it was considerably enlarged, additions having been made at two different times. The southern part was the original building, and upon the walls were shingles made of the first growth of pine, put on when the house was built, but worn so thin by exposure to the weather that they were not much thicker than ordinary brown paper. Portions of the garret were known as the "Guinea rooms," from the fact that they were occupied by the slaves.
Ebenezer Morton inherited the place from his father. His wife, Madam Morton, a lady of remarkable intelligence and social influence, was an intimate friend of many in the colony, who often enjoyed the generous hospitality of her house. She was a devout christian woman, a member of the church, of strong will and energy, and a leader of the sect called the " New Lights." Their daughter Mary married Ebenezer Spooner in 1743, and their daughter Phcebe was the wife of Andrew Oliver. She did not choose to return to England with her fatherin-law and family, but shortly after their banishment she came with her son and daughter to this house, where she lived until her death in 1831. Before the Revolution the many guests at Oliver Hall in Muttock were in the habit of visiting at the old THE DR. CLARK HOUSE
Morton house and enjoying the cheer and hospitality which the family and their friends so bountifully dispensed.
Another of the old houses in Morton Town was the Clark house, built about 1710 by Seth Morton, from whom it was called the Morton house until purchased by Dr. Clark. This nomenclature causes some confusion in the early history. Built of solid oak timber, with high pitched roof and steep gable ends, it was moved with difficulty to its present situation (the house now occupied by E. B. Dorrance) on rollers propelled by men with handspikes, a work of much interest to the townspeople. In the hurricane of 1815 much damage was done all through the village; the roof of this house was so wrecked that a new one was necessary.
Dr. Samuel Clark, a descendant from Thomas Clark, for whom Clark's Island was named, was born in Plymouth in 1732. He settled in Middleboro about the year 1752, and soon after married the daughter of Ebenezer Morton. He was not only a skilful physician, but a man of good judgment, commanding the universal respect of the people of the colony, scholarly in his tastes, and well informed on all matters of colonial history. He kept a journal, in which he recorded the incidents of interest connected with the early history, particularly what had come to him from the first settlers relating to the Indian War and the struggles and hardships of those trying years. He was a friend of Dr. Franklin, and his journal contained an account of conversations, anecdotes, and interviews with him; also, a minute description of Oliver Hall, of its distinguished guests, and of the reception which Dr. Peter Oliver gave to Dr. Franklin. It is a matter of the most profound regret that