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MailTribune.com
  • What are those grooves outside Melello's?

  • Latte-sippers leaving a downtown cafe need only glance underfoot to see a piece of Medford's history.
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  • Latte-sippers leaving a downtown cafe need only glance underfoot to see a piece of Medford's history.
    Thin grooves cut meticulously into the sidewalk are perhaps all that's left of Medford's first firehouse, old Station 1, at the corner of Sixth and Front streets.
    The building housed the city's only fire engines and was the gathering place for the largely volunteer force at the turn of the 20th century.
    The grooves played a key role in firefighting response, says Dan Marcisz, a Medford firefighter who has dabbled in department history.
    The engines were horse-drawn then, and the grooves improved traction as the horses hoofed out to the street, Marcisz says.
    "They were all horse-drawn there, never motorized," Marcisz says.
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