THE OLD IRON WORKS.
These justly celebrated works, the first of their kind in this country, were situated on the west bank of the Saugus river, about one-fourth of a mile north of the Town Hall, on the road leading to Lynnfield, and almost immediately opposite the mansion of A.A. Scott, Esq., the present proprietor of the woolen mills which are located just above, the site of the old works being still marked by a mound of scoria and debris, the locality being familiarly known as the “Cinder Banks.” Iron ore was discovered in the vicinity of these works at an early period, but no attempt was made to work it until 1643. The Braintree iron works, for which some have claimed precedence, were not commenced until 1647, in that part of the town known as Quincy.
Among the artisans who found employment and scope for their mechanical skill at these works was Mr. Joseph Jenks who, when the colonial mint was started to coin the “Pine Tree Shilling,” made the die for the first impressions at the Iron works at Saugus.
The old house, formerly belonging to the Thomas Hudson estate of sixty-nine acres first purchased by the Iron Works, is still standing, and is probably one of the oldest in Essex County, although it has undergone so many repairs that it is something like the boy’s jack-knife, which belonged to his grandfather and had received three new blades and two new handles since he had known it. One of the fire-places, with all its modernizing, a few years ago measured about thirteen feet front, and its whole contour is yet unique. It is now owned by A.A. Scott and John B. Walton.
Near Pranker’s Pond, on Appleton street, is a singular rock resembling a pulpit. This portion of the town is known as the Calemount.
There is a legend of the Colonial period that a man by the name of Appleton harangued or preached to the people of the vicinity, urging them to stand by the Republican cause, hence the name of “Pulpit Rock.” The name “Calemount” also comes, according to tradition, from the fact that one of the people named Caleb Appleton, who had become obnoxious to the party, had agreed upon a signal with his wife and intimate friends, that, when in danger, they should notify him by this expressive warning, “Cale, mount!” upon which he would take refuge in the rocky mountain, which, being then densely wooded, afforded a secure hiding place. Several members of this family of Appletons have since, during successive generations, been distinguished and well known citizens of Boston, one of whom, William Appleton, was elected to Congress over Anson Burlingame, in 1860.
Recently, one of the descendants of this family has had a tablet of copper securely bolted to the rock with the following inscription:—