Medford is a city northwest of downtown Boston on the Mystic River in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. At the time of the 2020 U.S. Census, Medford's population was 59,659. It is home to Tufts University, which has its campus along the Medford and Somerville border.
Native Americans inhabited the area that would become Medford for thousands of years prior to European colonization of the Americas. At the time of European contact and exploration, Medford was the winter home of the Naumkeag people, who farmed corn and created fishing weirs at multiple sites along the Mystic River. Naumkeag sachem Nanepashemet was killed and buried at his fortification in present-day Medford during a war with the Tarrantines in 1619. The contact period introduced a number of European infectious diseases which would decimate native populations in virgin soil epidemics, including a smallpox epidemic which in 1633 killed Nanepashemet's sons, sa