MIDDLESEX CANAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY
MASSACHUSETTS

Submitted to:
The Middlesex Canal Association
Douglas Bruce McHenry, Secretary
15 Chilton Street
Belmont, Massachusetts, 02478

Submitted by:
The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.
210 Lonsdale Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860

September , 1998

 

ABSTRACT

At the request of the Middlesex Canal Association, PAL has completed a comprehensive survey of archaeological properties along the entire route of the historic Middlesex Canal. Chartered during the initial period of canal development in the United States, the 27-mile-long Middlesex Canal was constructed between 1793 and 1803, and played a significant role in the early industrial development of the nine towns through which it passes (Charlestown, Medford, Somerville, Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington, Billerica, Chelmsford, and Lowell). The primary goal of this project was to locate and document known and potential archaeological resources along the Middlesex Canal corridor using Massachusetts Historical Commission survey methodologies. In this regard, the project was successful and the survey recorded a total of 12 historical archaeological sites associated with the canal, and initiated the archaeological sensitivity of the canal corridor. Of the total number of recorded sites, the survey documented seven sites ancillary to the function of the canal. Included were two canal courtesy bridge abutment sites, the Baldwin/Carter Farm Bridge Abutments site (WOB-HA-1) in Woburn, and the Brown’s Footbridge Abutments site (BIL-HA-36) in Billerica. The survey recorded two aqueduct abutment sites, the Ipswich River (Settle Meadow) Aqueduct Abutments site (WMG-HA-4), and the Sinking Meadow (Lubber’s Brook) Aqueduct Abutments site (WMG-HA-5), both located in Wilmington. Recorded ancillary sites also included two sluiceways, the Content Brook Sluiceway site (BIL-HA-37), and the Richardson’s Mill Sluiceway site (BIL-HA-38), both in Billerica. In addition to the above, the survey recorded two culvert sites, one associated with the Richardson’s Mill Sluiceway site, and the other (BIL-HA-42) located on Lowell Street in Billerica. The survey identified and recorded one site associated with the construction of the canal. Located in the Wilmington Town Forest alongside the Middlesex Canal, the Maple Meadow Aqueduct Stone Quarry site (WMG-HA-2) includes a quarry pit and quarried boulder field. Within the quarry boundaries, the survey also recorded the location of the Tow Line Grooved Boulder site (WMG-HA-3), perhaps a singular surviving example of its kind. The survey recorded four sites, all in the town of Billerica, that directly related to the operation of the canal. The Floating Towpath Peninsula site (BIL-HA-39), and the Floating Towpath Anchor Stone site (BIL-HA-40) were part of an ingenious system of bringing the canal through a mill pond on the Concord River. A short distance away, the survey recorded a surviving lock chamber (BIL-HA-9) under a parking deck in the Talbot Mill yard. The chamber, complete with carved granite pivot posts, is in remarkable condition. Finally, the survey recorded the Red Lock Basin Retaining Wall site (BIL-HA-41). PAL recommended that further research include a subsurface testing program to verify the archaeological sensitivity of those portions of the canal not visible on the surface. This includes most of the canal corridor south of Winchester.

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Project Description

At the request of the Middlesex Canal Association (MCA), PAL has completed a comprehensive survey of archaeological properties along the entire route of the historic Middlesex Canal. Chartered during the initial period of canal development in the United States, the 27-mile-long Middlesex Canal was constructed between 1793 and 1803, and played a significant role in the early industrial development of the nine towns through which it passes (Figure 1-1). Surviving portions of the Canal, as well as associated historic and archaeological resources along side it, are important tangible links to the early history of transportation, industry, and engineering in the region.

Reconnaissance Survey Objectives

The primary goal of this project was to locate and document known and potential archaeological resources along the Middlesex Canal corridor using Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) survey methodologies. The survey products will serve as the basis for a subsequent nomination of the Canal and associated resources to the National Register of Historic Places and other planning activities. Survey results were also used to develop town-specific archaeological sensitivity maps showing the expected locations of canal-related archaeological resources.

The archaeological survey followed MHC methodologies and standards as set forth in Public Planning and Environmental Review: Archaeology and Historic Preservation, State Archaeologist’s Permit Regulations (950 CMR 70.00), The Protection of Properties Included in the State Register of Historic Places (950 CMR 71.00), Historic Properties Survey Manual Guidelines for the Identification of Historic and Archaeological Resources in Massachusetts (1992), and Guide to Prehistoric Site Files and Artifact Classification Systems (1984).

Project Authority

The archaeological survey is part of the Middlesex Canal Comprehensive Survey Project. The project was funded jointly by the MCA and the MHC, and by the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, through a matching survey and planning grant administered by the MHC.

Project Staff

Virginia H. Adams, Director of Architectural Projects, directed the historic properties, assisted by Matthew Kierstead, Industrial Historian, and Jessica M. Snow, Architectural Project Assistant. Archaeological investigations were directed by James C. Garman, Principal Investigator and assisted by Paul A. Russo, Project Archaeologist.

CHAPTER 2
RESEARCH DESIGN AND FIELDWORK METHODOLOGIES

Scope of Work

The Middlesex Canal Corridor Comprehensive Survey consisted of two parallel components: a reconnaissance/intensive above-ground survey and a reconnaissance archaeological survey. The survey considered the full range of historic and archaeological resources associated with historic patterns of the canal’s construction, usage, and related economic development. The survey provides a full accounting of existing portions of the canal, as well as known and expected archaeological sites and historic buildings, structures, objects, burial grounds, parks, and landscapes that are structurally and historically significant to the Middlesex Canal. Resources surveyed included both representative and outstanding examples of identified property types linked by period, theme, form and style, and geographic distribution.

The reconnaissance archaeological survey identified important canal features which were present or had the potential to exist as archaeological remains, rather than standing structures. Survey tasks performed as part of the archaeological survey included review of map evidence and secondary sources relating to the canal’s development; preparation of archaeological sensitivity maps for the route of the canal; and a walkover survey of the canal. Archaeological remains encountered during the walkover of the canal were photographed and included on the sensitivity maps. PAL prepared 12 MHC site forms for potentially-significant archaeological components of the canal.

MHC inventory forms, maps, narrative history, reports, and National Register recommendations are produced in electronic and paper copy formats using a variety of computer applications, including Microsoft Access 2.0, Omniform, Generic Cadd 6.0, and Corel WordPerfect 8.0 on IBM-compatible computers. Paper copies of all products produced according to MHC requirements have been supplied to the MCA and MHC. Electronic copies of the survey database, inventory forms, and all other computer-generated products were also made available to the MCA and MHC. The work carried out was organized into four phase products, which are described below.

Phase I

Tasks:

Coordination and Base Maps

At the outset, PAL met with MCA project coordinators and MHC staff to discuss the scope of the project and to assess available documentary materials and base maps.

Background Research

The 1980 survey and feasibility study, existing inventory forms, and National Register of Historic Places nominations for the Middlesex Canal on file at the MHC were reviewed for completeness and adherence to current standards. Initial research was undertaken to familiarize the survey team with important themes and events in the history of the canal and alert it to the types of resources likely to be encountered in the field. Research included study of available historical sources, encompassing information pertaining to surficial and bedrock, USDA soil maps, historic period maps, USGS maps, aerial photographs, and publications available at local and state repositories. The Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth and National Register files at the MHC were reviewed to collect information on previously recorded resources in the canal corridor.

Interviews were conducted with the nine town local historical commissions (LHC) and knowledgeable local informants, including members of the MCA and Middlesex Canal Commission, to gather information relating to the canal route, known and potential sites, and other important issues.

Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey

The archaeological reconnaissance survey (950 CMR 70) required a permit from the State Archaeologist. As part of Phase I activities, PAL prepared a formal research design and methodology which was submitted as part of the permit application. Approval of the permit constituted authorization to proceed with field investigations.

Phase I tasks included the preliminary background research on existing secondary sources. These sources were used to prepare archaeological sensitivity maps showing the expected locations of canal-related archaeological resources. The maps stratified the length of the canal into areas of visible, not visible and unknown for the presence of archaeological resources. Information about archaeological components was also entered into the same database used for the above-ground resources.

Phase I products included:

• application for the State Archaeologist’s permit;

• working maps of the canal corridor to be surveyed, and large-scale base maps to be used to identify inventoried properties; and a

• methodology statement that incorporated:

1) a summary of survey objectives with a description of the study area boundaries and an assessment of existing documentation,
2) criteria for selecting properties for survey,
3) procedures to be followed in the survey and the form of products to be created,
4) expectations about the kind, number, location, character, and condition of historic properties to be recorded, and
5) preliminary bibliography of existing sources.

 

Phase II

Tasks:

Background Research

The second group of tasks included conducting additional documentary research to identify historical themes, events, and persons that were important to the history of development of the Middlesex Canal. The selection criteria for the above-ground survey detailed in the project goals and methodology statement was applied to all properties identified during the reconnaissance survey, and a list of properties to be intensively surveyed was generated. This list was organized by town, canal segment, and, where appropriate, street address and identify any State Register of Historic Places properties to be included in the survey. An outline of the reconnaissance archaeological report, including a brief summary of research results was prepared.

Coordination

A meeting with MHC staff and the MCA project manager was held at the end of Phase II to review the property lists, draft forms, and narrative history outline. During this meeting the list of properties to be intensively surveyed was finalized with the agreement of all parties.

Phase II products included:

• a list of areas and individual properties surveyed, arranged alphabetically by town and street address;

• an outline of the reconnaissance archaeological report; and

 

Phase III

Tasks:

Reconnaissance Archaeological Survey

The field walkover was conducted in this phase, as well as outstanding research on known and expected archaeological sites. The field survey was conducted in conjunction with the above-ground intensive field work. The MCA assisted in the field walkover.

A draft archaeological reconnaissance report, draft archaeological inventory forms, and draft maps was prepared. National Register criteria were applied to determine the potential eligibility of archaeological resources for inclusion in the NRHP. All draft materials were submitted to MHC and MCA for review and comment.

Phase III products will included:

• draft archaeological reconnaissance report;

• unnumbered archaeological inventory forms;

• a draft list of all areas and individual properties recommended for nomination to the National Register; and

• a draft archaeological sensitivity map of Middlesex Canal resources.

 

Phase IV

Tasks:

The final phase will involve developing, in consultation with the MHC survey and MACRIS staff, an approved lettering and numbering system for inventoried properties and adding the numbers to the forms; preparing the final archaeological reconnaissance report and management recommendations; completing National Register Criteria Statement forms and attaching them to the appropriate inventory forms; preparing a final base map identifying inventoried areas and properties; generating a street index of inventoried areas and properties; and preparing a list of further study recommendations.

Phase IV products will include:

• two sets of MHC inventory forms (one set will be prepared for MCA and the second for MHC on 24 lb. bond paper of at least 25% cotton fiber content and accompanied by a full set of original black-and-white photographs);

• two sets of the large-scale base map (one for MHC, one for MCA) with all surveyed areas and properties identified by inventory number;

• two copies of the final archaeological survey report; and

• four paginated, unbound copies of the Survey Report (two copies for MHC and two for MCA)

 

CHAPTER 3
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT

This chapter presents background information on regional and project area-specific environmental parameters. The parameters discussed below indicate that during the physical evolution of the landscape, the Middlesex Canal project area hosted a diverse resource base consisting of woodland and wetland flora and fauna. Information contained in this chapter provides the physical setting for predicting the types of cultural resources that might occur in the project area, discussed in Chapters 4 and 5 of this report.

Geomorphology and Bedrock Geology

The Middlesex Canal passed through two major tectonic zones. From Charlestown north to Wilmington the canal corridor lies within the Milford-Dedham Zone. This is a complex zone comprising Upper Proterozoic quartzite, volcanic and plutonic rocks intruded by Upper Proterozoic calc-alkalic granite, metamorphosed to gneiss in the west and southwest. It is unconformably overlain by uppermost Proterozoic sediments of the Boston and Bellingham basins, by Lower and Middle Cambrian sediments, and by Upper Silurian-Lower Devonian volcanics and sediments of the Newbury basin. It is cut by Upper Ordivician and Devonian alkalic granite, and overlain unconformably by Pennsylvanian continental sediments, by Triassic-Jurassic basins, and by Cretaceous coastal plain sediments. From Wilmington to Lowell the Middlesex Canal passed through an intrusive complex known as the Nashoba Block. This zone is comprised of shale, marble, and volcanics of uncertain age, metamorphosed and synchronously intruded by Ordovician plutons and intruded by post-metamorphic Silurian plutons. The Nashoba Block also includes Upper Proterozoic and Ordovician Massabesic Gneiss (Zen et al 1983).

Materials of economic value, prehistorically and historically, occur within the two tectonic zones. Prehistorically, the Milford-Dedham Zone, especially in the vicinity of the Boston basin, contained several source materials important to Native American stone tool manufacture including quartzite, argillite, rholite, tuff, basalt, and slate. Although the Milford-Dedham Zone contained material of historic value, it was the Nashoba Block with its compliment of granite varieties that was much more important to the canal builders.

Surficial Geology

The surficial geology of southern New England is attributed to Pleistocene glacial effects. The final Pleistocene glacial advance and retreat during the Wisconsin period eroded and displaced bedrock, realigned drainages, and deposited till, erratics, and glacial moraine. Evidence of these effects are widespread. The landscape was covered both by glacial till, a "heterogenous mixture of rock particles ranging in size from clay to fine silt to boulders [erratics]" (Power 1957) deposited directly by the retreating ice, and by sand and gravel outwash, deposited by meltwater streams. The resulting landscape consists of kame terraces, outwash plains, and ground moraine. Other glacially formed landscape features occur in localized areas and include swamp deposits of partially decomposed organic material mixed with sand, gravel, and alluvium, and pockets of sorted sand, gravel, and silt (Power 1957).

Soils

Soils within the Middlesex Canal corridor are varied. In Charlestown, Somerville, Medford, soils within the canal corridor are classified under various urban soil complexes, particularly Merrimac-Urban land complex, Urban land Boxford complex, Woodbridge-Urban land complex, Urban land Canton-Charlton-complex, Charlton-Urban land-Hollis Complex, and Scio-Urban land complex (USDA 1986). As the canal leaves Winchester and transects north toward Lowell , soils trend toward typical Middlesex County soils. Well drained loamy soils occur in areas of low disturbance, like Paxton, Montauk, and other series developed in compact glacial till. Also present are soil series developed in glacial outwash. These soils, like the Merrimac and Windsor series are excessively well drained, overlying loose stratified sand and gravel. Watered sections of the canal and portions of the corridor that pass through wetlands tend to be associated with poorly drained soils such as Freetown Muck, as well as wet substratum urban complexes (USDA 1986)

Drainage Patterns

The Middlesex Canal corridor crosses major river drainage basins, principally the Concord-Assabet-Sudbury, the Merrimack-Shawsheen, the Charles, and Boston Harbor. Encompassing portions of Lowell, Chelmsford, and Billerica, the Concord-Assabet-Sudbury river basins are a major tributary system of the Merrimack River. Before joining the Merrimack at Lowell these rivers traverse a variety of terrain and change character several times, traversing wide meadows and suburban and rural country side. The Merrimack and Shawsheen river basins occupy portion of Billerica and Wilmington. The Shawsheen is a major tributary of the Merrimack River, entering that river in Lawrence, Massachusetts. South of the Shawsheen River basin, most of the Middlesex Canal Corridor lies within the Boston Harbor Basin system, with portions of Somerville touching on the Charles River Basin. A major contributor to this system is the Mystic River. The Mystic River is classified as an urbanized system, dammed by flood control and salt water control dams (Bickford and Dymon 1990).

Past Environmental Settings

A general chronology of vegetation patterns from about 14,000 (B.P. [years before present]) to the recent historic period has been assembled Based on recent palynological research at locations across New England (Gaudreau and Webb 1985) (Table 3-1). Palynological investigations have not been conducted in close proximity to the project area. However, data collected for other areas of central Massachusetts, including a sediment core from Nipmuck Pond in Mendon (Newby et al. 1987), should be somewhat representative of the broader region.

Table 3-1. General Chronology of Vegetation Patterns in Southern New England, ca. 13,500 to 1000 B.P.

Years Before Present Forest Types and Major Trends
13,500 Spruce parkland forest with shrub birch, alder, and herbaceous plant species (sedge).
12,000 - 11,500 Pine-dominant boreal forest with jack pine, red pine, spruce, and alder.
10,000 More mesophytic pine dominant forest with white pine, hemlock, and white birch.
8,000 Oak forest established along major east/west ecotone crossing central Massachusetts. Mixed conifer/ hardwood forest north of this boundary.
6,000 - 4,000 Hemlock and beech increase north of central Massachusetts ecotone. Oak-dominant mixed deciduous forest to south of ecotone.
4,000 - 3,500 Oak-dominant forest with hickory, beech, yellow birch, and white pine. Period of maximum diversity in regional deciduous forests.
3,500 - 2,000 Regional cooling trend with increase in spruce. Oak and hemlock decline; hickory and chestnut become important species.
1,000 to historic period Oak/hickory forest type with some birch and beech.

The earliest forest type following the retreat of the glacial ice sheet (ca. 13,500 B.P.) consisted of a spruce parkland with significant amounts of shrub (birch and alder) and herbaceous (sedge) plant species. This was succeeded by a closed pine-dominant forest that moved into southern New England between about 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. The pollen evidence indicates that a boreal forest environment existed ca. 11,500 years ago and was characterized by jack pine, red pine, white birch, spruce, and alder trees. By about 10,000 B.P. the forest composition had shifted to a more mesophytic type of forest dominated by white pine with white birch and some hemlock. An increase in oak within regional forests followed the expansion of white pine between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago. Oak was firmly established as a component of forests by about 8000 B.P. and marked a major ecotone that extending from east to west across southern New England. This ecotone remained in place throughout the middle and late Holocene and extended from southern coastal Maine across north-central Massachusetts, traversing the Worcester Plateau area from northeast to southwest direction.

The elevated uplands of the Worcester Plateau appear to have been a significant ecological boundary on the southern edge of a mixed conifer/hardwood forest. This major boundary remained in place to also form the northern limit of the oak dominated deciduous forest in southern New England. North of this boundary zone, hemlock and beech increased as components of the mixed hardwood/deciduous forest between 6000 and 4000 B.P.

A general cooling trend in climatic conditions across the entire Northeast occurred after 4000 B.P. In both northern and southern New England, forest populations of spruce increased (mostly at high altitudes) and moved farther south (Gaudreau and Webb 1985). After 3,500 years ago the relative amounts of oak and hemlock declined in the Worcester Plateau area. These changes took place over long periods of time.

Early indications of the alteration of forest cover by prehistoric populations 1,000 years ago appear in recent pollen cores taken in southern Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Herbaceous plant species (Ambrosia, Tubuliflorae) increased in significant numbers at about this time; these are weed species typically associated with forest clearance (Bernabo 1978:87-88; Suter 1985). The pollen core from Nipmuck Pond did not contain evidence (Ambrosia pollen increase) of forest clearance during the late prehistoric period. Instead, an oak/hickory forest type with smaller amounts of birch and beech covered this area. This forest type resembled the classic oak (C-zone) forest recorded from other pollen coring sites in southern New England (Deevey 1939; Newby et al. 1987).

Present Conditions

Specific project area conditions for each of the Middlesex Canal corridor sections are discussed in Chapter 6 of this report as part of the walkover results.

 

CHAPTER 4
NATIVE AMERICAN CONTEXT FOR THE PROJECT AREA

Native American Settlement and Land Use in the Middlesex Canal Corridor Vicinity

River drainages and related topographic features were strategic units of Native American resource exploitation territories and settlement systems. From the Middle Archaic to the early historical period, various types of data such as lithic resource use and ethnohistoric descriptions of traditional land holding suggest that Native American land use systems were oriented to regional drainage systems (Hudson 1887; Dincauze 1974; Snow 1980). It is necessary to consider the larger geographic context in order to understand cultural resources in relation to both regional and local patterns. For the Middlesex Canal corridor an appropriate unit of study is the Concord-Sudbury-Assabet River drainages.

The PaleoIndian Period (12,500 - 10,000 B.P.)

A large body of data of variable quality from known sites and artifact collections can be used to document about 10,000 years of human activity in the Concord-Sudbury-Assabet River drainages (Table 4-1). Isolated diagnostic PaleoIndian projectile points have been reported from several artifact collections in the Sudbury and Concord drainages, but no definite components or sites dating to this time period (ca. 9,500 years ago) have been identified. One possible basal fragment of a fluted PaleoIndian point is known from the Heard Pond Site in Wayland, and several other fluted points have been identified from sites in Concord (Wayland Archaeology Group 1981; Blancke 1982). It seems likely that sites of this earliest time period are present, but have not been identified.

The Early Archaic Period (10,000 - 7500 B.P.)

By 8500 B.P., during the Early Archaic Period, hunter-gatherer groups occupying the Concord-Sudbury-Assabet drainages had already begun to use raw materials from several extensive lithic source areas in eastern/southeastern Massachusetts. These non-local sources of fine-grained, volcanic rocks, including a wide range of porphyritic and aphanitic felsites, rhyolites, and several types of metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, were used in varying amounts throughout the entire pre-Contact period.

Early Archaic bifurcate base projectile points showing a range of stylistic and temporal differences have been found at several of the largest, multi-component Archaic/Woodland period sites in the riverine environmental zone. In particular, artifact collections from the Heard Pond Site and the Davis Farm Site in Sudbury each contain several bifurcate base points chipped from both local quartzite and rhyolite or felsite from source areas in eastern Massachusetts. At least 16 bifurcate base or Kirk-like points are known from 10 find spots or sites located in the middle and lower section of the Sudbury drainage and the upper Concord River just below the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers. It is still unclear whether the bifurcate base points surface collected from large sites near the Sudbury River represent Early Archaic depositions on those sites or isolated, discarded items.

Morse's Farm, a small site in Wayland that reportedly yielded a bifurcate base point, is located outside the riverine environmental zone on an elevated kame delta. Some variation in the location of Early Archaic activities and potential site areas is suggested by this find spot and with additional information it should be possible to outline a basic settlement pattern for this time period.

The Middle Archaic Period (7500 - 5000 B.P.)

Following the Early Archaic Period and particularly during the Middle and Late Archaic (ca. 7500 to 2500 B.P.) periods, locally available materials became increasingly important as settlement and resource exploitation activities became more restricted to defined territories. During the Middle Archaic period, lithic materials from source areas in the elevated upland sections of the Assabet and Sudbury drainages were locally important. Raw materials such as quartzite from the Westboro Quartzite Formation and amphibolite schist from parts of the Marlboro Quartzite Formation were used for projectile points and other chipped stone tools.

The increased emphasis on locally available lithic materials after about 7000 B.P. was first noticed in Middle Archaic assemblages from the Merrimack basin in southern New Hampshire. This also seemed to be a regional trend across much of eastern Massachusetts (Dincauze 1976). For Middle Archaic hunter-gatherers occupying the Concord-Sudbury-Assabet drainage area, Cambridge argillite from sources in the northern half of the Boston Basin was the most important non-local material. Fine-grained, silicic tuff or mylonite, probably derived from outcrops along the Bloody Bluff fault zone on the northwestern edge of the Boston Basin, was extensively used in the first half of the Middle Archaic. Volcanic materials from source areas on the northern and southern edges of the Boston Basin were also used, particularly the porphyritic felsites found within the Lynn and Mattapan volcanic complexes (Chute 1966) and rhyolite from the Blue Hill Range (Naylor and Sayer 1976; Ritchie 1979).

The number of known Middle Archaic sites relative to those of earlier time periods provides graphic evidence of extensive use of the Sudbury-Concord drainage basin by 7,000 years ago and this area was a major focus of Middle Archaic activity in eastern Massachusetts. This area has been identified as one of several concentrations of regional importance within the southeastern New England region (Dincauze and Mulholland 1977:440-441). The high frequency of Middle Archaic components on riverine zone sites suggests that subsistence/settlement activities were focused on river meadow and adjacent wooded wetland environments.

Table 4 - 1 Prehistoric Cultural Chronology for Southern New England.

TABLE CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE

The distribution of Middle Archaic components indicates a fairly intricate settlement pattern in a variety of riverine and upland environmental settings; these components range in site size and internal complexity. Several small, possibly single component sites found in upland settings contrast sharply with the previously known larger riverine zone sites (Ritchie 1982). In addition to Neville, Stark and Neville variant projectile points, chipped and ground stone tools such as gouges, semi-lunar knives, whetstones, biface preforms, choppers and plummets have been recorded from avocational excavations at several sites in the Sudbury drainage (Fowler 1950; Carlson 1964).

Local Westborough quartzite and rhyolite or felsite from sources in the Blue Hills and Charles-Neponset River drainage area were used for Neville points. Stark points were primarily chipped from distinctly local lithic materials such as quartzite, crystal tuff, and amphibolite schist or argillite from source areas in the Charles River drainage. The local quartzite, mylonite, crystal tuff and amphibolite schist were quarried from bedrock outcrops located in upland sections of the Sudbury-Assabet drainage and demonstrate that Middle Archaic populations were making extensive use of local resources (Ritchie 1979). The Asparagus Experimental Station (19-MD-86), North Bridge (19-MD-487), and Hosmer's Rock (19-MD-103) sites are good examples of riverine zone Middle Archaic components and the Barthel's Farm (19-MD-20) site along upper Elm Brook near Minute Man National Historical Park is one of the few upland zone components from this temporal period. The group of 21 Neville and Stark points from the Asparagus Experimental Station Site in the Ben Smith Collection is one of the largest known assemblages of Middle Archaic material.

The Late Archaic Period (5000 - 3000 B.P.)

After about 6000 B.P. more diversified sets of non-local and local lithic materials were utilized, probably reflecting a broad trend in the general approach to exploiting resources of all types. Late Archaic Period cultural groups developed lithic technologies based on different sets of preferred local and non-local raw materials. Laurentian Tradition affiliated groups, active from 5500 to 4500 B.P., relied heavily on the quartzite found in various parts of the Westboro Quartzite Formation. Source areas along the western edge of the Worcester Plateau probably provided almost all of this raw material, which was the primary local lithic type found on sites in the upper Sudbury and Assabet river drainages. Fine-grained volcanics from the major source areas to the north (Lynn Volcanic Complex) and on the southern edge of the Boston Basin (Blue Hill Igneous Complex, Mattapan Volcanic Complex) were also widely used.

Small Stemmed Point Tradition lithic technologies demonstrate the most extensive use of local lithic sources. This probably reflects a basic pattern of resource use that was dependent on the raw materials available within well-defined river drainage exploitation territories around 4000 to 3000 B.P. Cobbles of quartz collected from deposits of glacial outwash were used throughout the area. Vein quartz extracted from bedrock outcrops provided a majority of the raw material for groups around the headwaters of the drainage system. Lithic resources used by Small Stemmed Point groups included some of the same distinctly local materials (lithic tuff, mylonite) used during the Middle Archaic Period.

Primary dependence on non-local volcanic materials from many different sources in eastern Massachusetts is one of the features of the Susquehanna Tradition lithic technologies in the study area. Fine-grained porphyritic felsites obtained from quarry sources in the uplands between the Neponset and Charles drainages and rhyolite from the Blue Hills were the materials most often used by groups occupying the Concord-Sudbury-Asabet drainages. Porphyritic and aphantic-textured felsites (e.g., Saugus jasper) from the Lynn Volcanic Complex north of the Boston Basin were also used. Exchange networks of considerable extent were apparently employed in the procurement of these and many other varieties of fine-grained, extrusive volcanic materials including cherts from source areas in east-central New York (Dincauze 1968). Susquehanna Tradition stoneworkers also made use of lithic resources found in the Worcester Plateau area, exploiting a group of steatite sources in the upper Blackstone drainage. The only locally derived materials used with any regularity were fine-grained varieties of Westboro Quartzite Formation.

Sites that can be affiliated with various Late Archaic cultural complexes show the greatest frequency and widest distribution in different environmental zones than sites of any other time period. Surface collections from the larger, multi-component sites along the Sudbury River drainage invariably contain projectile points considered to be diagnostic of the three major cultural traditions (Laurentian/Brewerton-Vosburg, Small Stemmed Point, Susquehanna) within the Late Archaic Period. The Ben Smith Collection contained Late Archaic projectile points of various types from 73 sites in the area. Over 80 percent of the sites investigated by Smith that could be placed in any temporal period contained Late Archaic components (Johnson and Mahlstedt 1982:11).

Settlement and resource use patterns of the local cultural complexes representing the Laurentian Tradition are poorly known. Characteristic Otter Creek, Vosburg, and Brewerton series projectile points tend to appear mostly on sites also used by earlier Middle Archaic hunter/gatherer groups for exploiting the riverine wetland environmental zone. More substantial depositions of Laurentian affiliated cultural material have been found on sites in the headwaters area of the Sudbury and Assabet River drainages.

The most diversified patterns of settlement and resource use are illustrated by the frequency and spatial distribution of Late Archaic Small Stemmed Point Tradition sites and components. Some large, riverine zone locations also used by earlier groups (Neville/Stark, Brewerton) such as the Heard Pond Site, and the Davis Farm Site in Sudbury were probably base camps, judging from the large numbers of diagnostic projectile points (Squibnocket Triangle, Small Stemmed) picked up there by collectors. The Ben Smith Collection contained over 60 Small Stemmed points from the Davis Farm Site (Johnson and Mahlstedt 1982:11). Riverine wetland zone resources were also exploited from many other smaller site locations oriented to tributary streams and wooded wetlands.

Some potential single component sites identified in the area between the Sudbury and Assabet River drainages also show that small groups of these people were exploiting upland zone resources. Utilization of many different plant and animal species is suggested by the distribution of small, resource extraction type sites along the edges of streams, bogs, and kettle hole swamps (Ritchie 1983:89). Upland zone resource exploitation by Small Stemmed Point hunters about 4,200 to 3,500 years ago was clearly documented at the Flagg Swamp Rockshelter in the nearby Assabet River drainage (Huntington et al. 1982).

Three sites in the Sudbury-Concord River drainage containing Late Archaic cremation burials, the Mansion Inn cemetery (Wayland), the Vincent Site (Sudbury), and the Call Site (Billerica), were used to define the Susquehanna Tradition in southern New England. The Vincent Site was a single, isolated example of the cremation burial pits that composed the much larger Mansion Inn cemetery; a radiocarbon date of 3470125 B.P. was obtained for the Vincent cremation burial feature. The Call Site contained a group of cremation burial features belonging to an early Susquehanna Tradition phase (Atlantic phase). Burned artifacts recovered from cremation burials on these sites show that Susquehanna tradition hunter-gatherers were using a diversified tool kit of hunting (projectile points, bifacial knives), woodworking (full grooved axes, adzes, gouges, whetstones), and processing (pestles, scrapers, hammerstones, soapstone cooking vessels) equipment. Participation in regional trade/exchange networks by these people was demonstrated by tools made of lithic materials from source areas throughout eastern Massachusetts, Maine, and eastern New York (Dincauze 1968). From a review of various artifact collections, it is obvious that Susquehanna tradition groups concentrated their resource exploitation activities in the riverine wetland environmental zones.

Surveys in upland areas near tributary streams and wetlands draining into the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers have identified several small, probably single component sites with Susquehanna Tradition materials. Several sites containing bifacial preforms and Wayland Notched points like those from the Mansion Inn cemetery have been found in upland areas between the Sudbury and Assabet rivers (Gallagher et al. 1985). The Black Rabbit Site (19-MD-587) is a moderate sized (ca. 1,100 sq m) Susquehanna Tradition camp probably created during a single seasonal hunting/collecting episode in the headwaters of the Shawsheen River. This site is located north of the Virginia Road section of Minute Man National Historical Park (Mowchan, Schneiderman, and Ritchie 1987). The Hartwell Farm Site (19-MD-119), located a short distance north of the park on Elm Brook, contained a Susquehanna Tradition component marked by Atlantic and Susquehanna Broad-like projectile points.

Many of the same riverine site locations with Susquehanna Tradition components were also used by Terminal Archaic/Early Woodland period hunter-gatherers, ca. 3,200 to 2,500 years ago. Diagnostic Orient Fishtail and some Meadowood projectile points have been recorded in collections from some of the large riverine zone multicomponent sites in the Sudbury-Concord River drainage. While most of the known Terminal Archaic components are in the riverine zone, a few find spots of Coburn-like or Orient Fishtail projectile points along the upper sections of various tributary streams suggest that there is an upland aspect of Terminal Archaic settlement/resource use that has not been recognized.

The apparent low frequency of Terminal Archaic/Early Woodland period sites in interior areas is probably due to the traditional reliance on certain projectile point types (Orient Fishtail, Rossville, Meadowood) as indicators of components dating to ca. 3,000 to 2,500 years ago. The small sample of four Meadowood and four Rossville points within the Ben Smith Collection demonstrates the relative scarcity of these artifact types. Assemblages containing a variety of Small Stemmed projectile points with associated radiocarbon dates ranging from ca. 3200 to 2000 B.P. have been reported from a growing number of sites in the southeastern New England region.

The Early Woodland Period (3000 - 1600 B.P.)

Early Woodland depositions containing Orient Fishtail, small stemmed points and small amounts of Vinette-like ceramic sherds on the Cedar Swamp 3 Site in Westborough (Hoffman 1985, 1986:10) have been dated to between 2,650 and 2,170 years ago. The earliest ceramic vessels, consisting of thick bodied wares with cord-marked exterior surfaces and burnt rock temper (Vinette I type), apparently were in use during the Terminal Archaic to Early Woodland transition.

Throughout the Merrimack River basin an expansion of settlement patterns relative to the preceding Early Woodland is evident from the number and distribution of Middle Woodland components. Consistent with patterns recognized throughout New England, this was a period of apparently increasing population and intensive long-distance interaction. A study of Merrimack Valley Middle Woodland ceramics, indicated that the drainage became a single, homogeneous interaction unit towards the end of the Middle Woodland Period (Kenyon 1983). Late Middle Woodland components are marked by a high percentage of exotic lithics, and that the distribution of these lithics (particularly Pennsylvania Jasper) is directly associated with Jack's Reef components dated between A.D. 500 and 800 (Mahlstedt 1985; Luedtke 1987; Goodby 1988).

The Middle and Late Woodland Periods (1650 - 450 B.P.)

In the middle and lower Sudbury River drainage, most of the site locations used during the Terminal Archaic/Early Woodland period continued to be staging points for Middle Woodland resource exploitation; however, there was also a significant reuse of other sites that had been occupied during the Middle and Late Archaic. The Watertown Dairy Site in Wayland seems to be an example of this pattern; evidence for Terminal Archaic/Early Woodland occupation is minimal, but a definite Middle Woodland activity area containing ceramic sherds, turtle bone, and chipping debris has been identified (Largy 1983:104). At the Staiano Site in Wayland, evidence of intensive resource processing activity by Middle Woodland groups has been documented. Three large circular burnt rock features about 2 to 3 m in diameter appear to have been used for smoking and/or drying fish. The site is situated in a section of the Sudbury River known historically as the location of fishing weirs (Weir Hill, Weir Meadows) (Hudson 1887:45-49). Diagnostic Middle Woodland or early Late Woodland material associated with these features included dentate-stamped ceramic sherds, a Fox Creek-like biface/knife, and a Levanna point. Four radiocarbon dates ranging from 1610 to 640 B.P. were obtained on charcoal from these features (Blancke 1978:176-177). At the Hocomonco Pond 1 Site in Westboro, several large (ca. 2 m), circular burnt rock features containing ceramic sherds and some non-local lithic material (chert) appear to have been used by Middle Woodland groups for intensive resource processing (smoking or drying fish?). Similar large, burnt rock features have been reported in Middle and Late Woodland contexts at the Wheeler's, Shattuck Farm, and Garvin's Falls sites on the Merrimack River (Barber 1983; Luedtke 1985; Starbuck 1985). The location of all of these sites suggests that these features were directly related to the harvesting and processing of anadramous fish.

For reasons that are unclear, Middle Woodland groups in eastern and southeastern Massachusetts were procuring large amounts of exotic lithic materials (e.g., cherts and jasper) from source areas outside the southern New England region (New York, Pennsylvania). Ceramic wares from this time period (ca. 1600 to 1200 B.P.) show design influences from areas to the west and southwest. It seems likely that lithic raw materials as well as stylistic information were passed along well-maintained trade networks. Intensive use of hornfels from a specific source area in the Blue Hills is also a distinctive feature of Middle Woodland lithic technologies across eastern Massachusetts. Groups of hunter-gatherers occupying the Concord-Sudbury-Assabet drainage system involved in these regional patterns.

A few small Middle Woodland sites have been found near tributary streams in upland settings between the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers and settlement patterns were probably more diversified than generally indicated by the available site inventory (Gallagher et al. 1985). Known Middle Woodland components in the upper Concord River drainage are mostly restricted to the riverine zone and include the Punkatasset Field (19-MD-81), Poplar Hill (19-MD-88), and Old Manse (19-MD-89) sites which are in or near the North Bridge section of the Minute Man National Historical Park.

Middle and Late Woodland settlement patterns in the Sudbury drainage appear to be fundamentally similar, with a possible reduction in resource exploitation territories during the Late Woodland period. Some of the same riverine zone site locations along the Sudbury drainage such as Baldwin Pond (Wayland Golf Course, loci 1 and 2), Weir Hill 3 (Sudbury), and several areas around Heard Pond (Wayland) were probably fishing stations. The confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers seems to have been a focal point of Late Woodland activity; possibly for fishing at shallow rifts or narrows suitable for the construction of weirs or other fish traps. Just downstream from the confluence, near the North Bridge section of Concord (Poplar Hill, Old Manse, Battle Lawn/Buttrick Estate, North Bridge sites), there is such a location. Diagnostic projectile (Levanna) points in several collections were made of local quartzite and quartz with lesser amounts of Boston Basin derived felsite, rhyolite and hornfels. A similar shift to more use of local lithic material from the Middle to Late Woodland has also been recognized as a sub-regional pattern and was interpreted as evidence of increasing emphasis on local resources during the Late Woodland (Dincauze 1974:51; Goodby 1988).

Late Woodland to Contact Period (ca. 1000 to 500 B.P.) lithic resource use contrasts sharply with the preceding Middle Woodland pattern. Inspection of Late Woodland chipped stone tools (mostly projectile points from the Sudbury-Concord drainage indicates that most of the non-local volcanic material used for these items was obtained from the Lynn Volcanic Complex. Porphyritic and aphanitic-textured felsites (Saugus jasper and Melrose green felsite) from this general source supplemented local supplies of quartz and quartzite.

The Contact Period (450 - 300 B.P.)

In spite of reasonably good evidence for Late Woodland activity in most of the Sudbury River drainage, Contact period components or sites have not been identified. Several traditional land holdings, including one on the fall-line on the Sudbury River at Saxonville described in a mid-seventeenth-century deed, were being used for spring fishing and for planting fields (Temple 1887). Several locations including Nashawtuc Hill (Assabet/Sudbury River confluence) and a fishing weir on Mill Brook (Concord center) have been cited as locations of Contact period settlements. Burials discovered by avocational archaeologists in the Nashawtuc Hill area and on Poplar Hill (North Bridge area) may be late pre-Contact period interments.

Descriptions of early- to mid-seventeenth century activity from secondary sources and the use of native place names suggest that the area was inhabited. It is unclear if the early to mid-seventeenth century settlements in the Concord-Sudbury-Assabet drainage area near Marlborough (Ockoocangansett), Acton (Nagog Pond/Nashobah), and Tewksbury (Wamesit) were located near former Late Woodland or Contact Period villages. The apparent absence of identified fifteenth century to Contact Period sites may be the result of several factors; including decreased population size due to early-seventeenth-century epidemics, the re-use and destruction of these sites during early English settlement, and a shift in settlement patterns in which populations aggregated in large coastal zone villages.

 

CHAPTER FIVE
MIDDLESEX CANAL HISTORICAL CONTEXT

The Middlesex Canal is a 27.25-mile long, linear archaeological resource that traverses, from south to north, the Massachusetts communities of Charlestown (Boston), Somerville, Medford, Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington, Billerica, Chelmsford, and Lowell (see Figure 1-1). The northern 15.25 miles of the canal from Kilby Street in Woburn to the south bank of the Merrimack River in Lowell were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. This section of the canal was nominated based on its physical integrity. No physical remains of the canal were known to exist south of Kilby Street at that time. The canal infrastructure generally averages 75 feet in width, however, its route is sinuous.

The Middlesex Canal, completed in 1803, is significant as a major Federal Period (1775–1830) internal transportation improvement and an outstanding engineering accomplishment of the early nineteenth century. Operating 27.25 miles between Boston and Lowell (then Chelmsford) for almost 50 years, it was the second major transportation canal to open in Massachusetts after the 1795 South Hadley Canal. The canal was a financial business venture developed by regional entrepreneurs as a solution to costly and difficult overland transportation that hampered trade in the north-south axis between Boston and the Merrimack River Valley. In 1793, inspired by the success of European canal systems, a group of canal visionaries including Massachusetts Attorney General James Sullivan and native engineer Loammi Baldwin were incorporated as the Proprietors of the Middlesex Canal in an act signed by Massachusetts Governor John Hancock.

At this time there was no established civil engineering profession in America, and the first route survey, made in the summer of 1793 by Samuel Thompson of Woburn, was inaccurate due to inadequate equipment and experience. The proprietors attracted an experienced English canal engineer, Samuel Weston, who made another survey with Loammi Baldwin in July 1794. Baldwin made use of the first wye level and rod with magnetic needle in America. Their route was adopted, and construction began in September 1794. The project was financed through the sale of shares. Land was taken, and the canal route was divided into construction segments. Teams of contractors or landowners performed the work using primitive hand tools and animal power. Blasting was used and special excavating carts were developed. The canal was 20 ft wide at the bottom, and widened to 30.5 ft at the waterline. A ten-ft towpath lay to the east and a five-ft berm lay to the west. Construction included the first hydraulic cement used in America, and installation of a specially-prepared clay layer to prevent leaks, called "puddling," was employed. The route took advantage of topography wherever possible, hugging natural hillsides. Infrastructure relied mainly on timber construction, and included eight aqueducts over major watercourses, 20 lock chambers, and approximately 50 bridges. The canal was fed water at its summit in Billerica by the Concord River, and also by Horn Pond Brook in Winchester. The canal was completed for travel over its entire length in 1803. It was the longest canal in the nation and the most complex and innovative in construction.

The canal served as a transportation corridor for freight and passengers. Barges and rafts brought agricultural products, timber, building stone, and other raw materials and bulk commodities from Merrimack River Valley communities as far north as Concord, New Hampshire, and the canal towns south to Boston markets. Imported ocean trade products and manufactured goods were moved from Boston to new markets to the north. Both canal company and private craft carried passengers between Boston and Lowell. Transportation costs were lower than overland shipping, although canal operations were hampered by seasonal constraints. The company maintained official landings at Charlestown, Medford, Woburn, Billerica, and Chelmsford, where goods could be exchanged. Canal operations were controlled by strict regulations. Traffic was forbidden at night, and numerous taverns were located at lock and basin sites for the evening accommodation of canal boatmen and passengers.

From 1803 to 1807, under Canal Superintendent John Sullivan, the canal was slow to demonstrate its potential, as operations were hampered by repairs, uncollected tolls, and detained boats. Under Superintendent John Langdon Sullivan (1808–1820), tolls and other charges were enforced, repairs were made, and receipts rose, resulting in the first dividends to shareholders in 1819. Under Caleb Eddy (1825–1845), the canal remained profitable, and the company undertook a major capital rebuilding program in the late 1820s, rebuilding many timber structures with stone (Figure 5-1). The canal was not an overwhelming financial success during its period of profitability in the 1810s and 1820s. It did, however, serve as a model for more ambitious projects, and a delegation from New York State visited the canal in 1817 as part of efforts to develop the Erie Canal.

Shortly after the start of the Early Industrial Period (1830–1870), the canal’s fortunes began to decline in the face of competition from new, parallel railroads. The Boston & Lowell and Nashua & Lowell railroads, completed in 1835 and 1840 respectively, offered faster, year-round transportation, cut dramatically into canal traffic and profits, and moved civic and industrial development away from the canal route. By 1843 Caleb Eddy proposed sale of the canal as a water supply for Boston. In 1846, under the last superintendent, Richard Frothingham, the company began to sell off land. The last boat run between Boston and Lowell was in November of 1851, and the last trip was in April of 1852. Finally in October 1859, the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared that the proprietors no longer enjoyed their rights and the Middlesex Canal ceased as a corporate entity.

Post-Closure Impacts to the Middlesex Canal

Through the Late Industrial (1870–1915), Early Modern (1915–1940), and Modern (1940–1960) periods, and until the present time, the route of the Middlesex Canal has been slowly impacted by transportation, civil engineering, and residential construction, the last of which has been pervasive in all communities through which the canal route passes. Along the canal’s former path there are portions which still remain somewhat intact, but there are also segments where nothing is visible. Some of the modifications to the canal are old enough to be of historical significance in their own right, while newer ones have simply obscured it. The integrity of the remains of the obscured portions of the canal and its associated infrastructure is unknown.

In Charlestown, there are no visible traces of the Middlesex Canal Company complex, originally located in what is now the vicinity of Essex Street and Rutherford Avenue, due to residential construction and the construction of Rutherford Avenue itself. The mill pond was filled in for railroad yards in the mid-nineteenth century. Interstate 93 and the Sullivan Square rotary and underpass overlay the canal route, and residential and industrial development obscure the canal route from this point to the Somerville line. The canal route in Somerville and Medford is obscured by extensive late-nineteenth century residential development, as well as several instances of park, highway, and railroad construction. In Medford there is one remaining visible resource, the old canal tavern which was moved from its original location.

The portion of the canal along the Mystic Valley Parkway between the north end of Sagamore Street in northern Medford and Sandy Beach in southern Winchester was variously impacted by the construction of the Boston & Lowell Railroad in the 1830s, the Mystic Valley Sewer in the 1890s, and the Mystic Valley Parkway itself. A short, visible section of the canal is visible at the Metropolitan District Commission’s Sandy Beach Reservation. This is the only visible segment of the canal in Winchester and the first visible segment north of Charlestown. Further north in Winchester and Woburn the canal route was impacted in places by the mid-nineteenth-century construction of the Horn Pond and "Woburn Loop" railroad lines of the Boston & Maine Railroad. Late nineteenth and early twentieth-century residential home and street construction in Winchester and the south half of Woburn has obscured the remains of the canal.

The canal between Kilby Street in Woburn and it’s northern terminus in Lowell has fared better since its abandonment and includes numerous watered stretches. A major interruption exists at the Route 95/38 interchange, where the canal was culverted for modern highway construction. From this point north to School Street, the canal was restored and watered for recreational use in the late 1960s with unknown impact to its bed and towpath. Late nineteenth and early twentieth-century residential construction has obscured the canal north to the Wilmington line.

In Wilmington, acquisition of stretches of the canal by the Town of Wilmington and the Middlesex Canal Association have resulted in preservation of a significant, scenic section of the canal route. The construction of the modern Sweetheart Plastics industrial complex resulted in the covering of the canal route and reconfiguration of the Ipswich River near its crossing with the canal. The insensitive restoration of a short stretch of the canal north of Route 129 during the 1970s has impacted the canal. Lighter density residential construction and the proximity of the Boston & Maine Railroad right-of-way have lead to relatively good preservation of the canal in northern Wilmington, although the remains of the Lubber’s Brook Aqueduct appear to have been impacted by post-canal drainage changes. A major gap in the canal resulted from the late nineteenth century expansion of the Boston & Maine Railroad’s Billerica Shops complex, around which the canal was rerouted. At the Billerica Mill Pond area, mid-nineteenth-century adaptive reuse of the canal as a mill raceway has resulted in the preservation of the only intact lock chamber on the canal. Further north, the construction of the modern Route 495/3/110 interchanges and the Wang industrial complex at the Chelmsford-Lowell line has obscured the canal route, as has dense twentieth-century residential construction between Route 3 and the Merrimack River in Lowell, where railroad construction has obscured the site of the canal’s northern terminus.

Despite the impacts to the canal since its closure, the section between Kilby Street in Woburn and the canal’s northern terminus possesses sufficient physical integrity to have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The canal was also declared a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 1967. The canal route constitutes a significant historic archaeological resource associated with the history of American civil engineering and regional commerce and trade.

Specific Town Contexts

Charlestown

Charlestown is an oblong peninsula located in Boston Harbor at the confluence of the Mystic and Charles rivers and sits at the primary focus of routes west and north of the inner Boston region. It was incorporated as a city in 1847 and was annexed as part of Boston in 1873. The original land area was 424 acres, with 400 more added through a land fill project in 1910. Due to its access to the Middlesex Canal, the millpond, wharves, and a bridge to Malden, Charlestown became a key location for industrial development. As a historic urban center, the original seventeenth century street grid survives intact on Town Hill and is a prime example of early urban planning. After the damage suffered by the urban area during the Revolutionary War, the original town area was rebuilt in the late eighteenth century with the stimulus of Boston bridge connections. During the mid-nineteenth century the scale of residential housing in Charlestown shifted because of an increased proximity, via bridge and public transit, to Boston expansion. Industrial expansion was maintained through the mid-twentieth century along the Mystic waterfront area. This industrial development continued throughout the 1980s along the Mystic waterfront. Urban renewal projects have cleared much of the historic fabric along Miller’s River.

Canal Construction and Operation in Charlestown

Charlestown was the southern terminus of the Middlesex Canal and was the site of a cluster of significant, canal associated buildings as well as other canal resources. In 1803 the canal proprietors bought the Charlestown mill pond, its dam, and mills. Locks were used along the canal to raise or lower boats and rafts to various water levels. Upon entering a lock, a boat would be lowered or raised by draining water in to or out of the lock. When equilibrium was reached between the level of water inside the lock and the level of water along the canal route, the boat could continue along its way. Locks along the Middlesex Canal, at 80 feet in length and 10 to 11 feet in width, could hold only one boat or raft at a time. Within the mill pond there were two locks and Bridge #1. A tow path was built across the pond. In addition to these features, a large wharf, known as Landing #1, was constructed at the mill pond in 1808. Owned and operated by the canal company, landings were sites along the canal where goods or passengers could be loaded or unloaded from canal boats and rafts. Usually comprising a wharf and warehouses or other storage sheds, landings were meant to be the only places along the canal’s route where items were to be transferred between land and boats. A company employee tended the landing site. A pre-existing two-story building near the landing in Charlestown was made into offices for the toll collector and the canal agent. Also near the wharf was a storehouse, moved from Billerica, that was 80 feet long and 60 feet wide.

As the canal left the pond, it passed across Charlestown Neck and under Bridges # 2 and 3. Bridge #2 was called Adams Bridge and was rebuilt in 1823 before being moved to a farm in Medford three years after reconstruction. The third lock in Charlestown was the Malden Road Lock. Near this lock was a second landing and beyond the lock was an accommodation bridge. A dwelling house built in 1825 was located between the second and third lock. The west end of the house was a public house for boatmen. At this site a 100 foot long wharf was also built. In 1826, Adams Bridge was moved, the swing bridge over Lock #1 was rebuilt, the old boat house was turned into a stable for 21 horses, and a breakwater was built in the mill pond. A pre-existing house at Main and Canal Streets was turned into a tavern and a stable was constructed on the site in 1827. An addition was made to the house in the same year and several were also made to the Bunker Hill Tavern in 1828. Most taverns related to the canal were owned by the corporation and usually rented to the lock tender. He would derive income off of the boatmen and their horses, who paid for a place to rest, eat, and drink. The bar at taverns were often the center of nighttime activity. The drink of choice at most tavern bars was blackstrap, a mixture of rum and molasses. Facilities for keeping horses were also available at most taverns. A year later a brick office was built for the canal company near the tavern. Built to the company’s specifications, it was 26 feet long, 16 feet wide, and two storys high. In addition to a safety vault with iron doors, the roof was slate and the exterior was accented with copper gutters and conductors. The lock tender and inspector’s office, the collector’s office, and an area to accommodate boatmen during rainy weather were located in the building. Also in 1829, another dwelling house was built at the first lock for the lock tender and inspector. The last canal related structure built in Charlestown was a storehouse/shed erected in 1834 on the wharf in Charlestown.

Somerville

Somerville is an urban industrial city on Boston’s transport corridor to the northwest. Approximately 4.1 square miles in area, Somerville sits along the divide between the lower Charles and Mystic River watersheds. Originally part of the Charlestown grant of 1630, Somerville was formed as an independent town in 1842. Both the Fitchburg Railroad and the Boston & Lowell Railroad, later absorbed by the Boston & Maine Railroad, pass through the city. Somerville was a critical military position during the Revolutionary War and remnants of some of the fortifications still remain. During the early nineteenth century it became an important corridor of turnpike, canal, and railroad routes from Boston. With the development of east/west trolley routes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, rapid suburban subdividing took place, and an extensive street grid, with a dense residential fabric, followed. In the twentieth century national industrial meat packing, candy, and specialty goods firms moved to Somerville. In the 1980s, Somerville suffered because of its fringe location and neighborhoods in East Somerville deteriorated, while industrial land along railway yards was abandoned.

Canal Construction and Operation in Somerville

The Middlesex Canal’s passage through Somerville was dotted with only a few features and structures related to its operation. Heading in a westerly direction after entering Somerville, the canal passed beneath Bridge #5. Another bridge, Tuft’s accommodation bridge, spanned the canal just beyond the hill known as Plowed Hill or Mount Benedict. The only other features important to the canal’s operation through Somerville were Lane’s Bridge, a culvert, and a stop gate to prevent water loss when parts of the canal were emptied for repairs. The canal ran very close to Mystic River before it crossed into Medford. The curvature of the canal, combined with the geographical boundaries of Somerville and Medford placed the route of the canal briefly in Somerville later along its route. This brief segment of the canal contained stop gates before the canal re-entered Medford.

Medford

A town of approximately eight square miles in area, Medford was formalized as an independent town in 1695. In 1892 it was incorporated as the City of Medford. Medford lies entirely within the watershed of the Mystic River and in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries small streams provided the town with waterpower. The town was the site of the first bridge over the Mystic River. Brick making has long been one of the town’s main industries as the area is rich in clay deposits. The early nineteenth-century presence of the Middlesex Canal, as well as turnpikes and early railroads connecting Medford to Boston and New Hampshire, continued the town’s economic growth and divided the area between the industrial east side and the affluent west side. Medford Square became the town’s commercial center, and in the nineteenth century Tufts University established itself in Medford. By the twentieth century, the area saw increased development as a suburban district because of metropolitan trolley routes. During the middle of the twentieth century the industrial activity along the Mystic River lessened as the area was converted to recreational use and a highway corridor.

Canal Construction and Operation in Medford

The town of Medford was rich with canal-related features and structures. Due to its proximity to the Mystic River, Medford was the site of a branch canal that connected the main Middlesex Canal with the Mystic River. Whereas there was only one lock along the canal in Medford, many bridges spanned the canal there and a sizeable aqueduct carried the canal over the Mystic River. As the canal entered Medford, but before it reached the place from where the branch canal extended, the canal passed under two accommodation bridges, one called Adams, and over two culverts, one of brick.

The outlet from the main canal to the Medford Branch Canal was regulated by gates and led to a circular basin. The branch canal extended from the basin and fed into the Mystic River. Along the canal, locks were used to raise or lower boats and rafts to various water levels. Upon entering a lock, a boat would be lowered or raised by draining water in to or out of the lock. When equilibrium was reached between the level of water inside the lock and the level of water along the canal route, the boat could continue on its way. Locks along the Middlesex Canal, at 80 feet in length and 10 to 11 feet in width, could hold only one boat or raft at a time. The branch canal had a pair of locks. Boats and rafts waiting for passage into the branch canal from the main canal were stored in an area of the main canal widened just beyond the basin outlet. The branch canal was frequently used by rafts transporting timber for shipbuilding to the Mystic River shipyards.

Beyond Medford Bridge was Landing #3 where a warehouse and wharf sat on the south side of the canal. Owned and operated by the canal company, landings were sites along the canal where goods or passengers could be loaded or unloaded from canal boats and rafts. Usually comprising a wharf and warehouses or other storage sheds, landings were meant to be the only places along the canal’s route where items were to be transferred between land and boats. A company employee tended the landing site. Bridge #9 was not named, #10 was called Tufts Bridge, and #11 was known as Cutler’s Bridge, Teal’s Bridge, or Leonard’s accommodation bridge. After passing under Cutler’s Bridge, the canal briefly exited Medford into Somerville before re-entering Medford. At this point there was an aqueduct that carried the canal over the Mystic River. The imposing and strong aqueduct was 135 feet long and 14 feet wide within the wooden trough. The two granite abutments were 100 feet from each other and each of the three piers and two abutments was 20 feet long, 6 feet thick, and 12 feet high. First constructed in 1803, the trough and piers were rebuilt in 1829. The only lock on the main canal passing through Medford was connected to the aqueduct. Medford, or Gilson’s, Lock had a lift of eight feet and was rebuilt in 1829. In the immediate vicinity of the lock and aqueduct was Landing #4.

The tavern for boatmen passing through Medford was called the Canal House and opened in 1803. Most taverns related to the canal were owned by the corporation and usually rented to the lock tender. He would derive income off of the boatmen and their horses, who paid for a place to rest, eat, and drink. The bar at taverns were often the center of nighttime activity. The drink of choice at most tavern bars was blackstrap, a mixture of rum and molasses. Facilities for keeping horses were also available at most taverns. The lock tender lived in the Canal House too. Five years after its opening a barn was added and in 1830 the house and related buildings were repaired. The tavern was enlarged to hold more guests. An extant site, the Canal House is located at 76 Canal Street (ca. 1803) (MDF.397). After leaving the Mystic River and its complex of aqueduct, lock, and tavern the canal traveled beneath Brook’s accommodation bridge, Bridge #12, and Peter C. Brooks’ bridge. Mr. Brooks’ bridge was built in 1821 and was an expensive, well-crafted, Chelmsford granite, elliptical arched bridge. As the canal reached the Wilmington-Winchester line it crossed a wooden culvert and passed a set of stop gates.

Winchester

Winchester was originally part of the Charlestown grant, part of which became the town of Woburn in 1642. This area was first settled in 1640, and through the Colonial Period (1675–1775) was largely agricultural, with some mill villages on the Aberjona (Mystic) River (MHC 1981:1). According to Federal Period (1775–1830) figures there were only 35 houses and perhaps 200 people in this area in 1797, the year the Middlesex Canal Company charter was granted. During the Federal Period, agriculture remained dominant, although home production shoe shops were in operation in association with Woburn’s emerging leather industry (MHC 1981:4).

Canal Construction and Operation

Major canal infrastructure features in Winchester included the Symmes (Aberjona) River Aqueduct, Gardner’s Lock, and the Hollis (Stone) Lock Complex. The Symmes (Aberjona) River Aqueduct carried the canal over the Symmes River on a bridge. The site was laid out in April 1802, and completed later that year. It was originally a timber structure only 12 ft wide, which slowed traffic as boats had to wait in basins to cross the aqueduct one at a time. In 1828 the aqueduct was rebuilt to a width of 40 ft using granite blocks (Lawrence 1942:111). Gardner’s Lock consisted of two lock chambers that allowed boats to ascend or descend between levels of the canal. This lock site was laid out in May of 1802, completed that year, and rebuilt in 1825 (Lawrence 1942:112). This complex included a lock tender’s house, barn, and outbuildings constructed in 1830, and a tavern. Operation on the canal at night was forbidden, and taverns at locks were operated to accommodate canal boat operators and passengers. The Hollis (Stone) Lock Complex performed a similar, but more complicated function. In addition to passing boats between levels, intake and wasteway infrastructure at this location fed water from Horn Pond Brook, the only other source of water besides the Concord River, into the canal. This complex was completely rebuilt with granite in 1825, and included a carpenter’s shop and horse change station, where canal boat towing animals were fed, rested, and exchanged.

The canal was spanned by bridges where necessary. Huffmeister’s Bridge on Church Street, then known as Huffmeister’s Row, was named for landowner Andrew Huffmeister, a Hessian soldier captured during the Revolutionary War, who remained in America to become a farmer (Lawrence 1942:112). An accommodation bridge, Bridge 14, was located south of Gardner’s Lock and allowed passage for animals on agricultural land separated by the canal (Lawrence 1942:112). An example of the ephemeral nature of canal crossings is Bridge 15, which was abandoned for legal reasons by 1819, and stood somewhere between Fletcher Street and the Wildwood Cemetery. Brick culverts were also constructed in several places to carry small streams under the canal prism.

Only one building, the Canal Toll (Kimball) House at 3 Middlesex Street (ca. 1803) (MHC WNT.538), survives in Winchester from the period of operation. This toll house was located adjacent to a large basin south of the Hollis (Stone) Lock. The toll keeper was responsible for collecting passage tolls and checking the passport and cargo of passing canal boats (Middlesex Canal Company 1830).

By the end of the Federal Period in 1830, Winchester experienced some growth due to shoemaking, with perhaps 400 to 500 residents. Minor settlement occurred along the canal axis. By the 1830s there were 35 shoe shops, mostly along Washington Street, east of the canal, and small mills were in operation on the Aberjona River and Horn Pond Brook. Robert Bacon was producing felt hats on the lower Aberjona River by 1825 (MHC 1981:5). Construction of the Boston & Lowell Railroad in 1835 at the start of the Early Industrial Period (1830–1870) resulted in rapid population growth, with 1,353 residents by incorporation in 1850, when Winchester was formed as an independent town from portions of Woburn, Medford, Somerville and Stoneham (MHC 1981:1).

Woburn

A town of 13.1 square miles in the Fells Upland district, Woburn was first established in 1642. During the Colonial Period tanning and dyeing developed as industries along the Aberjona River. The population of Woburn during this time dropped severely due to the smallpox epidemic. By the start of the Federal Period the population rose to approximately 1,515. During the Colonial and through the Federal Period tanning and shoemaking supplemented the predominantly agricultural economic base. By the nineteenth century shoemaking stood in direct competition with agriculture as the leading industry in Woburn. Other industries present in Woburn included mills, workshops, and tanneries. The mid-nineteenth century also saw a significant increase in population and significant growth as a Boston suburb because of the Boston rail connection with the Woburn town center. Leather and shoemaking remained the dominant industry in Woburn until the early twentieth century. By 1930, however, the economic character of the town shifted greatly as many new industries were introduced. Woburn was absorbed into the metropolitan suburban setting by the 1950s and since 1945 its population has nearly doubled. Today urban decay pervades the town center.

Canal Construction and Operation in Woburn

Woburn was the site of many taverns related to canal travel as well as numerous bridges, culverts, and locks. As the canal entered Woburn from Winchester, it soon reached Horn Pond. Much activity centered around this small body of water. Along the canal, locks were used to raise or lower boats and rafts to various water levels. Upon entering a lock, a boat would be lowered or raised by draining water in to or out of the lock. When equilibrium was reached between the level of water inside the lock and the level of water along the canal route, the boat could continue along its way. Locks along the Middlesex Canal, at 80 feet in length and 10 to 11 feet in width, could hold only one boat or raft at a time. To adjust the height of the boats’ travel nearly 50 feet at the Horn Pond site, three sets of double locks were employed. Culverts, sluiceways, and basins were also incorporated into this process of raising and lowering boats. The locks were, at first, all constructed from wood. Between 1828 and 1837 nearly all were rebuilt of stone. Along the shore and across from these locks several taverns sprung up to accommodate boatmen who needed room and board. Most taverns related to the canal were owned by the corporation and usually rented to the lock tender. He would derive income off of the boatmen and their horses, who paid for a place to rest, eat, and drink. The bar at taverns were often the center of nighttime activity. The drink of choice at most tavern bars was blackstrap, a mixture of rum and molasses. Facilities for keeping horses were also available at most taverns. The first of the taverns near Horn Pond was a small one consisting of a bar room for the boatmen and an open shed for horses. It was situated opposite the upper locks and east of the tow path. Sometime around 1824 a second tavern was constructed opposite the middle locks, on the same side of the tow path. Larger than the first when constructed, it was added on to in 1827. Later still, a larger tavern was built just south of the first tavern on Horn Pond. An exception to the general manner in which taverns were built and owned by the corporation was made as Horn Pond grew into a noted resort area. A private company built a very large and finely appointed tavern that had various outbuildings and other recreation features. Whereas the extent to which boatmen made use of this vacation-oriented tavern is questionable, the Horn Pond House at 7 Lakeview Terrace (ca. 1840) (WOB.21) was definitely a destination for many tourists and people on holiday. In the vicinity of Horn Pond the canal company also owned an ice house, which was rebuilt in 1825.

The canal next encountered a number of bridges, culverts, and basins. After exiting the Horn Pond locks the canal ran beneath Wyman’s Bridge and crossed two culverts, one of brick and the other of wood. Next the canal widened into three basins followed by a sluiceway and more stop gates. The canal company built a Toll Keeper’s House at 5 Middlesex Street (ca. 1803) (WOB.22). The canal then passed below a series of bridges, starting with Wright’s Bridge. It was at this bridge that the canal was most difficult to navigate. The canal snaked through a cut 25 feet deep, that was only 21 feet wide at Wright’s Bridge and was followed by a severe curve. After Wright’s Bridge the canal went under N. Parker’s accommodation bridge, Edgell’s Bridge, Baldwin’s Bridge, and Loammi Baldwin’s accommodation bridge. Abutments from the Baldwin accommodation bridge are extant (Figure 5-2). There was a landing south of this bridge. Owned and operated by the canal company, landings were sites along the canal where goods or passengers could be loaded or unloaded from canal boats and rafts. Usually comprising a wharf and warehouses or other storage sheds, landings were meant to be the only places along the canal’s route where items were to be transferred between land and boats. A company employee tended the landing site. Loammi Baldwin’s house, The Loammi Baldwin Mansion (ca. 1802) (MHC WOB.1 and NR) still stands today and is situated a short distance from the canal in what was Newbridge Village. The core of the house was first built in 1661 by Henry Baldwin and enlarged into a mansion by Henry’s great-grandson, Loammi in 1801 or 1802. The house has been moved approximately 100 yards east of its original location. Loammi Baldwin was an important figure in the construction of the canal. He was appointed the first sheriff of Middlesex County and went on to serve as engineer and construction superintendent for the canal. To the west and north of the Baldwin mansion was the 1790 House (ca. 1790)(MHC WOB.12), a structure that was not inhabited but instead was where Loammi Baldwin held many social events. A ball to celebrate the completion of the Middlesex Canal was held in the 1790 House in 1803. Beyond the 1790 House the canal passed over a half-culvert before heading under many more bridges. Samuel Thompson, who made the first attempt to survey the land and plan the canal’s route but was inhibited by inadequate measuring devices, lived in the Samuel Thompson House at 31 Elm Street (ca. 1730) (WOB.23) west of these bridges. Interspersed between Nichol’s, or Tay’s Bridge, Eaton’s accommodation bridge, Buxton’s accommodation, or Thompson’s Bridge, Lyman’s Bridge, and Tay’s Bridge were several sluiceways, brick culverts, and stop gates. Before leaving Woburn the canal passed Kendall’s Tavern and Tay’s Tavern.

Wilmington

A town of 17.12 square miles in area, Wilmington is located in the Ipswich River watershed and was formed as an independent town in 1730. In the eighteenth century Wilmington prospered as an agricultural town and enjoyed limited industrial potential during the late nineteenth century with agriculture and transport services. The location of the Middlesex Canal along the Main/Shawsheen Street axis refocuses development to Wilmington Center during the nineteenth century. By the early twentieth century Wilmington was an important corridor of the Boston-Lowell automobile highway routes. Tract development occurred around Silver Lake and commercial services sprung up along the Main/Shawsheen Street axis.

Canal Construction and Operation in Wilmington

Wilmington was rich with many bridge sites, aqueducts, and several locks. As the canal entered Wilmington it crossed a culvert of wood before encountering Maple Meadow Brook, where the Maple Meadow Aqueduct (ca. 1802, 1930s) (MHC WMG.902) carried the canal over the brook. Supported on two stone abutments, 19 feet apart and resting on one stone pier, the aqueduct was rebuilt in 1819 and in the 1930s by the WPA/CCC. Before reaching the Ipswich River Aqueduct the canal passed beneath Butters Bridge, widened into two large pools, passed beneath Jaques Bridge, and passed by a culvert and sluiceway. The aqueduct across the Ipswich River was approximately 15 feet long and rebuilt in 1826. The Ipswich River (Settle Meadow Brook) Aqueduct Abutments (ca.1802) (WMG-HA-4) still survive (Figure 5-3).

Four years before the aqueduct rebuild, Gillis’s Lock, a wooden lock sometimes called Jaques’ Lock, was rebuilt. Along the canal, locks were used to raise or lower boats and rafts to various water levels. Upon entering a lock, a boat would be lowered or raised by draining water in to or out of the lock. When equilibrium was reached between the level of water inside the lock and the level of water along the canal route, the boat could continue along its way. Locks along the Middlesex Canal, at 80 feet in length and 10 to 11 feet in width, could hold only one boat or raft at a time. For the tender of Gillis’s Lock a two-story house, known as the Gillis Lock Tender’s House (MHC WMG.209) was built in 1808. The canal company expected the house to also be used as a tavern for travelers along the route. Several bridges crossed the canal before it reached a third and final aqueduct in Wilmington. Bridges # 31 and 32 did not have names, but #33 was known as either Carter’s accommodation bridge or Walker’s Bridge. The third aqueduct spanned what was called Lubber Brook or Sinking Meadow Brook. The aqueduct was called either Sinking Meadow Aqueduct or Walker’s Aqueduct. It was 18 feet long and rebuilt in 1828. The Sinking Meadow (Lubber’s Brook) Aqueduct Abutments (ca. 1802) (WMG-HA-5) are extant (Figure 5-4).

Burnap’s Bridge and Nichol’s Bridge both crossed the canal before it encountered Nichol’s, or Hopkin’s Lock. In the same vicinity was Landing #6 and possibly a tavern maintained by Nichols the lock tender. Owned and operated by the canal company, landings were sites along the canal where goods or passengers could be loaded or unloaded from canal boats and rafts. Usually comprising a wharf and warehouses or other storage sheds, landings were meant to be the only places along the canal’s route where items were to be transferred between land and boats. A company employee tended the landing site. Four years after Nichol’s Lock’s rebuild of 1821, a 100-foot long wharf was built at the foot of the lock. The last canal related feature in Wilmington was a brick half-culvert. Extant archaeological features in Wilmington also include the Towline-Grooved Boulder (ca.1802) (WMG-HA-2), and the Maple Meadow Aqueduct Stone Quarry Area (ca. 1802, 1930s) (WMG-HA-3), both in the Wilmington Town Forest.

Billerica

The town of Billerica was established as the plantation of "Billirikeyca" in 1655 and today sits on complex, rolling terrain along the Concord River. It is a suburban industrial town between Boston and Lowell. During the colonial period Billerica supported an agricultural economy and had local mill sites along tributary streams. By the nineteenth century Billerica sat on the Boston/New Hampshire axis with the primary turnpike running to the Merrimack valley. Some of the stonework at river crossings and portions of the canal bed remain from the historic Middlesex Canal. North Billerica developed a mill village during the mid-nineteenth century with access to both the canal and an early railroad to Boston. The expansion of Lowell and the establishment of local trolley routes and highways in the twentieth century contributed to the suburbanization of Billerica. Recent large scale tract development and commercial incursions have affected the town’s appearance.

Canal Construction and Operation in Billerica

Major canal infrastructure features in Billerica included the Shawsheen River Aqueduct (MHC BIL.909), several significant locks, many sluiceways and culverts, a floating towpath, and a dam. At the town line of Wilmington and Billerica stood the Shawsheen River Aqueduct (ca. 1802) (MHC BIL.909/WMG900, National Civil Engineering Landmark). This structure carried the canal over the Shawsheen River and was arguably the most imposing structure along the canal. First built in 1797 of wood, the aqueduct rose 35 feet above the river and spanned 140 feet between the abutments. When the wooden structure was rebuilt in stone during the summer of 1817 traffic was interrupted for six weeks. Some discrepancy exists regarding the dimensions of the rebuilt aqueduct, but the most generous figures assign the structure a length of 187 feet and a height of 30 feet. A third rebuild was undertaken in 1841-1842 when the structure was shortened to include one pier.

Along the canal, locks were used to raise or lower boats and rafts to various water levels. Upon entering a lock, a boat would be lowered or raised by draining water in to or out of the lock. When equilibrium was reached between the level of water inside the lock and the level of water along the canal route, the boat could continue along its way. Locks along the Middlesex Canal, at 80 feet in length and 10 to 11 feet in width, could hold only one boat or raft at a time. Several locks stand out as more significant than others. Lincoln’s Lock was located just before the canal met the Concord River. The lock was first built in 1809 and rebuilt in 1818. West of the Concord River and beyond the mill pond was another lock of cut stone. Further along the canal was a raft lock and both locks at the Concord River were most likely rebuilt in 1827. Still further down the canal, a short distance beyond the raft lock, a new lock was built in 1837. This lock, often called the Red Lock, was particularly important as it connected the canal with the Concord River so that boats could head directly to Lowell via the river. The Red Lock Basin Retaining Wall/Concord River Channel (ca.1802) (BIL-HA-41) off Lowell Street is an extant feature of the canal (Figure 5-5). The variety of culverts along the Middlesex Canal were made of brick, wood, or stone, and generally date to original construction of the canal. Culvert Ruins at Lowell Street (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-42) survive, as do the possible remains of another culvert in the landfill area between Gray and Pond Streets that are both extant. Also extant are Content Brook Sluiceway (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-37) and the Richardson’s Mill Sluiceway (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-38) near the landfill area (Figure 5-6).

One of the most distinct elements of the canal in Billerica was the floating towpath that crossed the mill pond of the Concord River (Figure 5-7). As not to dam the pond at the site of the towpath, a peninsula was constructed in 1811 partially into the pond and a floating towpath continued the link across the mill pond. At first the floating towpath was not strong enough to support horses, but a later reworking of the towpath made it capable of supporting horse traffic. A notable characteristic of the towpath was that the bridge portion could be drawn up to let debris in the river pass through. An important aspect of the canal’s presence in Billerica was a dam across the Concord River within the Billerica Mills Historic District (BIL.E, O, NR). Construction of the dam was authorized in 1708, many years prior to the planning of the canal, but its waste gates allowed the River to supply water for the canal. The 150 foot long, 8 foot high dam was originally made of wood, but in 1828 a stone dam was built in advance of the deteriorating wooden one. Around the mill pond several features are extant. These include the Floating Towpath Peninsula (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-39), the Floating Towpath Anchor Stone (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-40), and the Lock Chamber (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-9, HAER), which includes intact stone lock chamber walls and gate pivots (see Figures 5-5, and 5-7). Also at the mill pond, but not extant, was a landing area. Owned and operated by the canal company, landings were sites along the canal where goods or passengers could be loaded or unloaded from canal boats and rafts. Usually comprising a wharf and warehouses or other storage sheds, landings were meant to be the only places along the canal’s route where items were to be transferred between land and boats. A company employee tended the landing site.

In several places along its passage through Billerica the canal was spanned by bridges. Past the Shawsheen River Aqueduct, the first bridge across the canal was Kendall’s Bridge followed closely by Manning’s accommodation bridge, also known as Patten’s Bridge. The smaller Brown’s foot bridge, whose abutments are extant (Brown’s Footbridge Abutments (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-36)), spanned the canal before it crossed Shawsheen Street under Allen’s Bridge (Figure 5-8). Richardson’s Bridge, named for the owner of several mills in North Billerica, is the fifth overpass the canal runs beneath in Billerica. Before reaching the mill pond on the Concord River the canal passed under Davis’ Bridge, Tuft’s Bridge, and Roger’s Bridge. Roger’s Bridge collapsed in 1819 and was rebuilt shortly thereafter. Once beyond the mill pond the canal ran beneath three more bridges. Canal Bridge was also called Lund’s Bridge, Farmer’s Bridge was the smallest of the three, and Sprague’s Bridge, or Livingston’s Bridge, was the last bridge in Billerica.

Several buildings are known to have related to canal operation in Billerica. In close proximity to Allen’s Bridge was Allen’s Tavern at 286 Salem Road (ca.1740) (MHC BIL.148) Most taverns related to the canal were owned by the corporation and usually rented to the lock tender. He would derive income off of the boatmen and their horses, who paid for a place to rest, eat, and drink. The bar at taverns were often the center of nighttime activity. The drink of choice at most tavern bars was blackstrap, a mixture of rum and molasses. Facilities for keeping horses were also available at most taverns. The tavern still stands on Andover Street. By 1840 the canal company owned thirteen buildings in North Billerica including several mills, shops, and dwellings. In 1825 a new lock tender’s house was constructed in North Billerica and Nathan Mean probably lived in the house and tended the locks in that year. The Mears Tavern on Elm Street (ca. 1815) (MHC BIL.94) was sold to its proprietor by the canal company around 1815.

Chelmsford

Chelmsford is a suburban industrial town located along the Merrimack River valley, on the axis of Lowell/New Hampshire development. It was established as the Plantation of Chelmsford in 1655. Many tributary streams extended from the Merrimack and contributed to the eighteenth and nineteenth century development of mills including an iron forge and textile mill. Much of the town has been absorbed into Lowell as it underwent expansion. Currently much of the town has undergone intensive suburbanization and continued pressure exists along the main highways to New Hampshire and Boston.

Canal Construction and Operation in Chelmsford

As the political boundaries that defined the town of Chelmsford shifted frequently in the nineteenth century, certain features that were once in Chelmsford are now geographically in Lowell. There are few structures and features that existed within the current boundaries of Chelmsford. Upon entering Chelmsford the canal passed a sluiceway and two culverts, one of brick and one of wood. The first of two bridges in Chelmsford crossed the canal shortly after the second culvert. After passing under Manning’s Bridge the canal was carried over River Meadow Brook, also called Hale’s Brook or Mill Brook. The first aqueduct at the site was built in the late eighteenth century, but was rebuilt in 1808 due to inadequate foundations. The trunk of the aqueduct was wood and ran 40 feet on stone piers. In 1819 repairs were made to the structure and in 1831 the entire aqueduct was rebuilt. (Today the site of the aqueduct is found within Lowell’s political boundaries.) The final feature situated right as the canal brushes the corner of what is currently Lowell, was the Long Causeway, or Long Causey, Bridge. The bridge was originally constructed of wood and was rebuilt in 1825 using stone for the abutments and towpath.

The only building in Chelmsford related to canal activity is an original toll house (MHC CLM.2) for the Middlesex Canal. Originally located at the Merrimack River Locks in Lowell, the house was moved to its current site at Chelmsford Center from its original site at Middlesex Village. A landing was also located in Middlesex Village. Owned and operated by the canal company, landings were sites along the canal where goods or passengers could be loaded or unloaded from canal boats and rafts. Usually comprising a wharf and warehouses or other storage sheds, landings were meant to be the only places along the canal’s route where items were to be transferred between land and boats. A company employee tended the landing site.

Lowell

Lowell is a major urban industrial center with the Merrimack River being its dominant landscape feature. Originally it was established as Praying Town in 1653 and was established as the Town of Lowell in 1826. A decade later the area was incorporated as City of Lowell. Being at the junction of the Merrimack and Concord Rivers and Pawtucket Falls, Lowell was a center for mill activity beginning in the late eighteenth century. Lowell underwent significant economic development as canal improvements of the Merrimack were made in the early nineteenth century around Pawtucket Falls. There was a major shift of focus with the establishment of cotton manufacturing companies by Boston merchants during the mid-nineteenth century, and the creation of planned mill yards and related housing around the canal district. These mill companies helped create an urban fabric consisting of brick streetscapes of factories and housing in Federal/Greek Revival style. Continued growth of Lowell created distinctive land use areas within the city. Social neighborhoods and fringe industrial districts were linked by street railroads and bounded by rivers and canals along natural topography. The late nineteenth century saw the arrival of many immigrant laborers to Lowell. By the early twentieth century the economic decline of cotton manufacturing restricted development of the urban area. In the 1980s restoration of the downtown area around the National Historic Park preserved surviving portions of mill yards and their related housing. Continued expansion of suburban development from New Hampshire and Boston threaten remaining open space as revitalization of central area preserves early industrial districts.

Canal Construction and Operation in Lowell

As one of the termini of the Middlesex Canal, Lowell was the site of several features and structures crucial to the canal’s operation. Before reaching a cluster of important administrative and operations buildings, the canal encountered culverts, an aqueduct, and some bridges. Near the canal’s entrance into Middlesex Village it encountered a sluiceway and a wooden culvert before it passed beneath the Glass House Bridge. After passing another culvert, the canal was carried over Black Brook by way of an aqueduct which first dates to 1817. At that time it had two stone abutments with 110 feet and ten wooden piers separating the abutment and supporting the aqueduct sixteen feet above the brook. A 1818 or 1819 rebuild extended the length of the aqueduct to 120 feet. The final rebuild occurred in 1846 and resulted in a 75 foot long aqueduct with two stone abutments and four stone piers. Slightly south of the aqueduct was a basin where a dry dock was located; north of the aqueduct was the final bridge over the canal. Assigned the number 48, it was 21 feet, 6 inches in length and 25 feet, 10 inches wide. To the east of the dry dock, at 139-141 Baldwin Street, was the Glassworker’s Long Block (MHC LOW.3), tenement housing for workers at the glassworks. The canal company leased the basement of the building to store canal boats during the winter.

As the canal came to its northern terminus in Lowell, it passed by and between several important buildings. Once under Bridge #48 the canal passed within 25 feet of the Baldwin house, built by Cyrus Baldwin in 1800. Currently the house sits on a plot of land on Middlesex Street, east of where it was originally built. Beyond the Baldwin house was Landing #8. Owned and operated by the canal company, landings were sites along the canal where goods or passengers could be loaded or unloaded from canal boats and rafts. Usually comprising a wharf and warehouses or other storage sheds, landings were meant to be the only places along the canal’s route where items were to be transferred between land and boats. A company employee tended the landing site. At Landing #8 the canal passed between two wooden wharves. The canal storehouse was on the western wharf. The building, two storys high, 60 feet long, and 40 feet wide, served several functions. It was used as a boardinghouse, as a bar, and for storage. Before 1832 a room in the finished part of the building was the canal office. Beyond the storehouse, opposite a circular basin used for turning the boats, was a stable that held horses that pulled boats along the canal. In 1832 a building was erected beyond the stable to house the canal and collector’s offices. The clapboard building was 15 feet wide, and 12 feet long. One of the two rooms was the office and the smaller one was for boatmen and the public to conduct business with the office. Near these official canal company buildings was the Middlesex Tavern. Sometimes called Clark’s Tavern, the structure was built in the early eighteenth century and stood on the north side of Middlesex Street, east of the canal. Most taverns related to the canal were owned by the corporation and usually rented to the lock tender. He would derive income off of the boatmen and their horses, who paid for a place to rest, eat, and drink. The bar at taverns were often the center of nighttime activity. The drink of choice at most tavern bars was blackstrap, a mixture of rum and molasses. Facilities for keeping horses were also available at most taverns. Boatmen used the Middlesex Tavern mostly during the summer and otherwise it had transient guests. The building was taken down in 1929. Along the canal, locks were used to raise or lower boats and rafts to various water levels. Upon entering a lock, a boat would be lowered or raised by draining water in to or out of the lock. When equilibrium was reached between the level of water inside the lock and the level of water along the canal route, the boat could continue along its way. Locks along the Middlesex Canal, at 80 feet in length and 10 to 11 feet in width, could hold only one boat or raft at a time. Just as the canal reached the Merrimack River it encountered three locks. Their construction dates from 1797 and was of stone masonry. Due to their durable construction, the locks never required rebuilding. Each was 80 feet long and their total lift was nearly 25 feet. The locks terminated in a nearly semicircular basin on the river.

 

CHAPTER SIX
RESULTS

Results of the Walkover

Charlestown

The Middlesex Canal area in Charlestown is an approximately 4.5 acre, .6 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal in the Rutherford Avenue/Essex Street vicinity to the Somerville city line. All aboveground traces of the canal in Charlestown have been obscured by various types of development. Consequently, PAL did not observe or record any potentially significant archaeological resources in this section of the project area. However, further research is needed to determine the exact location of the canal route and associated features (see Appendix A).

PAL project personnel did complete a walkover of the canal route through Charlestown. The canal route began in the vicinity of the intersection of Rutherford Avenue and Essex Street. This is the site of the Mill Pond Company Complex, which included a mill pond, dam, mills, locks, and a canal-associated office, wharf and storage complex. During the nineteenth century this area was filled for railroad yards, but it is now occupied by Bunker Hill Community College, the former Hood and Rose dairy manufacturing complexes west of Rutherford Avenue, and by residential development to the east. The canal route proceeded northwest under Rutherford Avenue to the Route 93-Sullivan Square rotary/underpass area and continued through a mixed residential/light industrial district, crossing into Somerville in the vicinity of the Boston & Maine Railroad tracks east of Mystic Avenue.

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Charlestown is difficult to determine. Landing No. 1, located at the southern terminus of the canal, was undoubtedly the site of heavy canal trade and goods transfer. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, the other locks, and associated basins and taverns, may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. After 1835 the Boston & Lowell Railroad took traffic away from the canal, and moved the axis of commercial development away from the canal corridor. As mentioned, all visible, aboveground traces of the Middlesex Canal in Charlestown have been obscured. The Mill Pond, and the Landing No. 1 area have been obscured by filling for railroad yards, industries, and construction of Rutherford Avenue. The canal route has been obscured by construction of the Rutherford Avenue/Route 93 infrastructure at Sullivan Square, and by residential, industrial, and railroad construction in the area from Sullivan Square to the Somerville line.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The entire Charlestown section of the Middlesex Canal corridor is classified as not visible (see Appendix C).

Somerville

The Middlesex Canal area in Somerville is an approximately 16.3-acre, 1.8-mile-long, 75-ft-wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Charlestown and Medford town lines. All aboveground traces of the canal in Somerville have been obscured by various types of development. PAL did not observe or record any potentially significant archaeological resources in this section of the project area. However, as in Charlestown, further research is needed to determine the exact location of the canal route and associated features (see Appendix A).

PAL followed the canal route through Somerville. The canal route crossed from Charlestown into Somerville in the vicinity of the Boston & Maine Railroad tracks east of Mystic Avenue, proceeded northwest under Route 93, through a mixed residential and light industrial area north of Broadway, and across Foss Park, where it curved north through the residential Winter Hill neighborhood. The canal route then followed Mystic Avenue, where it crossed into Medford in the vicinity of the Route 93-Mystic Avenue interchange. The canal route crossed into Medford for approximately two miles and reentered Somerville in a residential and light industrial area in the vicinity of the Boston & Maine Railroad tracks northeast of Boston Avenue. The canal route then followed Boston Avenue, crossed the Mystic Valley Parkway, and crossed back into Medford again at the site of the Mystic River Aqueduct at the Mystic River.

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Somerville is difficult to determine. There was no official Middlesex Canal Company canal boat landing site in the town. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, some locations along the canal may have been the scenes of limited commerce and trade. One likely commodity was agricultural goods from nearby farms. After 1835 the Boston & Lowell Railroad took traffic away from the canal, and moved the axis of commercial development away from the canal corridor. As mentioned, all visible, aboveground traces of the Middlesex Canal in Somerville have been obscured by construction of Route 93, Foss Park, public and private residential areas, the Boston & Maine Railroad, and Boston and Mystic avenues.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The entire Middlesex Canal corridor through Somerville is classified as not visible (see Appendix C).

Medford

The Middlesex Canal area in Medford is an approximately 32.7 acre, 3.6 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Somerville and Winchester town lines. With the exception of one building, all aboveground traces of the canal in Medford have been obscured by various types of development (see Appendix A). PAL did not observe or record potentially significant archaeological resources in this section of the canal corridor.

Fortunately, thorough parcel-level deed and map research has been done for the canal route in Medford (Corbett n.d.). This research accurately locates the route of the canal and the majority of its historic features in Medford. PAL was able to follow the canal route through town. The canal crossed from Somerville into Medford in the vicinity of the Route 93-Mystic Avenue interchange. The canal route then passed through residential neighborhoods in Medford for approximately two miles and reentered Somerville in the vicinity of the Boston & Maine Railroad tracks northeast of Boston Avenue. The canal crossed back into Medford at the site of the Mystic River Aqueduct at the Mystic River. The canal route then followed residential Boston and Sagamore avenues to the Mystic Valley Parkway. From that point to the Winchester town line, the canal route was located in a wooded strip east of the Parkway, and was occupied in places by the Mystic Valley Sewer embankment.

One extant canal-associated building, the Canal House at 76 Canal Street (ca. 1803) (MDF.397), is located on Canal Street northeast of the Boston Avenue bridge over the Mystic River. This resource is discussed in the MHC Area Form for Medford, submitted as a product of the Middlesex Canal Comprehensive Survey project.

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Medford is difficult to determine. Landing No. 3 at the Medford Branch Canal was undoubtedly the site of trade and goods transfer, as was Landing No. 4 at Gilson’s Lock. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, some locations along the canal, including basins, may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. One likely commodity was agricultural goods from nearby farms. After 1835 the Boston & Lowell Railroad took traffic away from the canal, and moved the axis of commercial development away from the canal corridor. All visible, aboveground traces of the Middlesex Canal in Somerville have been obscured with the exception of the Canal House at 76 Canal Street (ca. 1803) (MDF.397). Construction of schools, residential areas, Mystic and Boston avenues, and the Boston & Maine Railroad have all obscured the canal. Features within the Mystic Valley Parkway right-of-way including elevated lake bed terraces and the Mystic Valley Sewer embankment should not be confused with canal remains. The Mystic Valley Sewer is said to be laid in the canal bed, but the extent of this alleged construction is unknown.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The Medford section of the Middlesex Canal corridor was ranked as not visible for much of its length. The area along the Mystic Valley Parkway was ranked unknown because there is a question as to whether the contour along the shoulder of the parkway represents an intact canal feature or a substantial sewer easement (see Appendix C).

Winchester

The Middlesex Canal area in Winchester is a 2.2 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Medford and Woburn town lines. With one exception, most traces of the canal in Winchester have been obscured or altered by extensive residential, railroad, highway, and sewer construction. Further research is needed to determine the exact location of the canal route and associated features (see Appendix A).

PAL was able to trace the route of the canal through Winchester. From the Winchester/Medford town line, the canal was located on the east side of Mystic Lake on land owned by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC). Here the canal route is also apparently occupied by the Mystic Valley Sewer, which was laid in the bed of the canal. The sewer embankment consists of a single, north-south-running, snaking, linear mound approximately ten feet high, that follows the topography in a narrow, wooded strip of land between the Mystic Valley Parkway, a late-nineteenth-century scenic roadway, and the Boston & Maine Railroad line. Approximately 300 ft north of the town line, opposite the first Winchester parking pull-off on the Mystic Valley Parkway, the sewer embankment appears to merge with the parkway where a manhole cover is located in the embankment. From this point the Mystic Valley Parkway appears to occupy the canal route for approximately 100 ft, at which point it veers northwest away from the parkway to the MDC Sandy Beach access road gates. Located within this previous stretch was the probable location of the Medford Pond brick culvert site, which was likely located in the vicinity of the present culvert and drainage basin for the Boston & Maine Railroad, located east of the parkway approximately 500 ft southeast of the Sandy Beach gates.

North of the Sandy Beach gates, the canal prism is visible, and continues north through wooded parkland for 1300 feet at which point it meets Mystic Lake, where MDC property ends. A paved path occupies the former canal bed, with clearly visible, continuous berm and towpath earthworks immediately to the left and right, respectively. Approximately 200 ft from the lake, a clearly visible semicircular basin extends into the bank on the west side of the canal. Approximately 200 ft north the canal meets Mystic Lake at the Symmes (Aberjona) River Aqueduct site. On the south shore this site is covered by a large, modern, smooth-faced granite park overlook structure. The only remains of the original stone aqueduct structure are numerous quarried granite stones used as revetment on the south bank, and several loose stones at the waterline on the north bank. From the north shore at the aqueduct site the canal extends north to the south end of Edgewater Place in a residential area. This stretch consists of a visible, cleared embankment that appeared to be altered canal earthworks.

The canal route then proceeded approximately 1 mile north from the south end of the Edgewater Place cul-de-sac to the vicinity of 55 Sylvester Avenue. With the exception of one standing house, there are no undisturbed canal remains in this stretch of the canal. In the vicinity of the south end of Edgewater Place was an accommodation bridge site (see Appendix A). Immediately north stands #1 Edgewater Place, a split-level house located roughly in the center of the Gardner’s Lock complex site. It is unclear exactly where the lock was located or where it crossed Everett Avenue. The Gardner’s Lock complex included lower and upper basins, lower and upper lock chambers, and a lock tender’s building, none of the sites of which are visible. The canal route then proceeded north across Everett Avenue in the vicinity of Edgewater Place, and turned northeast, running approximately 1100 ft through back yards of houses on Sheffield West and Sheffield Road to Church Street. A continuous, 150 ft long, shallow terrace located in the rear of several house lots at the north end of Sheffield Road may be disturbed canal earthworks.

The Huffmeister’s Bridge site was located where Sheffield Road intersects Church Street. North of Church Street, the canal route ran through the rear of house lots on Fletcher Street. In several of these lots an approximately 150-ft long, continuous shallow terrace appears that may be disturbed canal earthworks. The canal route continued approximately 300 ft northeast across Wildwood Street, then ran east of Willow Street to the intersection of Willow and Palmer streets, where a culvert site was supposed to be located (see Appendix A). The canal route then ran approximately 500 ft along Palmer Street, and crossed over into the Wildwood Cemetery, a late-nineteenth-century landscaped cemetery in the vicinity of the Palmer Street gate. Just inside the gate, immediately north of the driveway, there was a silt-filled depression that may be disturbed canal earthworks. The canal route then turned back to the northwest, around the east edge of the cemetery opposite Fairfield Place to the site of a basin associated with the Hollis (Stone) Lock complex to the north. Approximately 150 ft to the east, across a small public park stands the extant Canal Toll House at 3 Middlesex Street (ca. 1796) (MHC WNT.538), a two-story, 4x1-bay, vinyl-sided house on a brick foundation with a side-gabled, asphalt-shingle roof. The house has a two-story, gable-roofed addition to the rear (northeast), a brick chimney at the intersection of the roof gables, a replacement door at the northwest end of the street elevation, replacement 2/2 sash windows, and a shed-roofed porch to the southeast.

North of the Canal Toll House the route of the canal roughly followed residential Middlesex Street north approximately 1000 feet to Canal Street, although the exact route was unclear, and there is some question as to where the canal route crossed Middlesex Street, and where it intersects Canal Street. The residential neighborhood in the Canal Street/Horn Pond Brook vicinity was the location of the Hollis (Stone) Lock Complex site. This complex included lower and upper basins, a sluiceway, a lock chamber, a culvert, and a carpenter’s shop. Horn Pond Brook fed the canal at this point, and an intake and wasteway were associated with this site. Horn Pond Brook enters this area following Horn Pond Brook Road in a southwesterly direction, turns east and crosses under Sylvester Avenue, and then turns south again and crosses under Canal Street. The route of the canal appeared to cross Canal Street between Middlesex Street and Horn Pond Brook. A stretch of visible canal earthworks appears north of 93 Canal Street and continues for approximately 200 ft north behind several houses east of Sylvester Avenue. A horse changing station site, possibly marked by a cut stone, was located east of this stretch of visible canal earthworks behind 81 Canal Street.

The route of the canal then proceeded 400 ft north in the Sylvester Avenue right-of-way to a cul-de-sac. North of this point, the embankment of the abandoned Boston & Maine Railroad "Ice House Spur" occupied the canal route approximately 200 ft north to the Woburn town line. This stretch of the canal route is bordered by a sand pit to the east and a marshy area to the west, and is now a public footpath.

Application of Resources Recording Selection Criteria

PAL chose not to record extant Middlesex Canal archaeological resources in the town of Winchester because of landowner/resource accessibility issues, and for the reason that the extant archaeological resources in this section of the project area fail to meet the selection criteria minimum standard for physical integrity. Despite accessibility to resources, PAL ranked the entire length of the route through Winchester. Though most of the corridor was not visible, the parts of the canal that were visible are identified (see Appendix C).

Interpretation

The economic impact of the canal on Winchester is difficult to determine. At first Winchester’s only major commodity was agricultural goods from a limited number of farms. There was no official Middlesex Canal Company canal boat landing site in the town. The basins and taverns at Gardner’s Lock and the Hollis (Stone) Lock may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. After 1835, the Boston & Lowell Railroad took traffic away from the canal, and moved the axis of community development to a course east of the canal corridor. A town center grew at the Aberjona mill village, now Winchester Center and early residential subdivision of land began along Church Street by 1850, shortly before the canal ceased operation. In 1852 Wildwood Cemetery was laid out immediately west of the canal. Leather, woodworking, and associated tanning and machine shops grew in number (MHC 1981:6). Shoe production in small shops moved to Woburn and Stoneham and was replaced with large-scale leather production, with four tanneries in operation by 1855, and five manufacturers of piano cases. Thirty-eight farms were listed in 1865, producing mainly apples, vegetables, and beef (MHC 1981:7).

During the Late Industrial (1870–1915) and Early Modern (1915–1940) periods, Winchester experienced substantial growth in population and attendant residential development. Population reached 10,005 by 1915, and 15,081 by 1940. The areas around the Mystic Lakes, and Church, Everett, Fletcher, Palmer, Sheffield and other streets along the canal route were subdivided for neighborhoods of Revival style houses (MHC 1981:8–11). This development has almost totally obscured the canal in these areas; however, possible disturbed canal earthworks in the form of short, discontinuous terraces are located in back yards in these areas. In July 1893 the canal in the vicinity of the Mystic Valley Parkway was taken for construction of the Mystic Valley Sewer. Features within the Mystic Valley Parkway right-of-way including elevated lake bed terraces and the Mystic Valley Sewer embankment should not be confused with canal remains. The Mystic Valley Sewer is said to be laid in the canal bed, but the extent of this alleged construction is unknown. Construction of the Mystic Valley Parkway itself obscured a stretch of the canal south of Sandy Beach. A sewer construction project impacted the canal on Middlesex Street and Sylvester Avenue (VerPlanck 1996:4-2). The canal was also impacted by the construction of the Boston & Maine Railroad "Ice House Spur" track between the north end of Sylvester Avenue and the Woburn town line. The north end of the otherwise intact stretch of canal at Sandy Beach, where the Symmes River Aqueduct was located, is now covered by a later park overlook structure.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The survey ranked the Mystic Valley Parkway area of Winchester as unknown for reasons explained above. The Sandy Beach area was ranked as visible. The remainder of the canal route through Winchester is not visible (see Appendix C).

Woburn

The Middlesex Canal Area in Woburn is an approximately 36.3 acre, 4 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Winchester and Wilmington town lines. The condition and integrity of the canal route varies considerably. In places the canal route is clearly visible, and in others it has been obscured or altered by various types of development. Further research is needed to determine the exact location of some segments of the canal and associated features. The canal route can be divided into several major segments based on its overall condition, integrity, and visibility. The following description of the segments proceeds from south to north, beginning at the Winchester-Woburn town line and ending at the Woburn-Wilmington town line.

The first segment of the canal route in Woburn begins at the Winchester line, where the canal crosses from Winchester into Woburn at Lake Terrace. The canal is not visible in this segment, which extends to the intersection of Winn and Middlesex streets north of Woburn center. This segment follows residential Arlington Road, on the west shore of Horn Pond. This was the location of the Horn Pond Locks, a series of three double-chamber locks, one of the largest engineering features on the Middlesex Canal. East of the canal route in this vicinity is the Horn Pond House at 7 Lakeview Terrace (ca. 1840) (WOB.21). It is a large, 3-story, clapboard-sided house on a brick foundation, with a flared, Dutch Colonial side-gabled, asphalt shingle roof. It includes a mix of original and later double-hung wood window sash, and a combination of Greek Revival and Italianate details including prominent gable and return moldings, arched and hooded windows, and brackets with pendilles. Several one-story flat and shed-roofed additions are located on the north, east, and south elevations. This segment of the canal route continues north, crosses residential Pleasant Street just west of Woburn center and passes behind the Woburn Public Library, through a parking lot, a light industrial area, and meets Winn Street at Middlesex Street.

From Middlesex Street to the west end of Chestnut Street the next segment of the canal route is obscured by the embankment of the abandoned Boston & Maine Railroad "Woburn Loop." East of this segment of the canal is the Toll Keeper’s House at 5 Middlesex Street (ca. 1803) (WOB.22). It is a 5x1-bay, 1-story house with a brick foundation, vinyl siding, and a side-gable, asphalt-shingled roof. It has a center entrance with sidelights, six-over-six, double-hung sash windows, three large dormers on the street elevation, and a one-story ell to the rear.

The next segment of canal is obscured, and extends east through a wooded area formerly used as a small town dump, across Kilby Street, to a point at the north end of the Kilby Manor apartment complex parking lot, east of Hart Street. North of Kilby Street, the entire route of the Middlesex Canal to the Merrimack River in Lowell is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. North of the Kilby Manor parking lot, the next segment of the canal consists of a visible trench that is watered year-round, and ends at Lowell Street. This segment parallels the Boston & Maine Railroad "Woburn Loop" embankment. The next segment extends to Middlesex Canal Park Road, and consists of a visible trench that is only seasonally watered. The next segment of the canal extends from Middlesex Canal Park Road to the Route 38–95 (128) interchange, and is watered year-round. The next segment lies within the highway interchange, where it is buried or channeled in a stone-lined culvert.

The next section of the canal begins at Alfred Street and extends to School Street. This section parallels the Boston & Maine Railroad Woburn Loop embankment, and was restored for horse-drawn canal boat rides in the late 1960s and is still watered year-round. This segment of the canal includes two standing buildings, located on opposite sides of the canal at Alfred Street, both of which have been moved several hundred feet from their original locations. The Loammi Baldwin Mansion at 2 Alfred Street (core ca. 1661, enlarged ca. 1802) (MHC WOB.1, NR) is the most impressive and elaborate extant building associated with the Middlesex Canal and included in this survey. It is a 5x3-bay, three-story, high style Federal house with clear Adamesque influence. It has a shallow, hipped roof with a perimeter balustrade and two brick chimneys. The wood siding is rusticated to resemble smoothly-dressed stone blocks. The west entrance includes a pediment and fan, and side lights with elaborate tracery panes. A second-story Palladian window is located above this entrance. Trim includes Doric corner pilasters, and prominent dentil moldings in the soffits. A two-story, 2x2-bay, hipped-roof wing with an entrance portico is located to the rear (east) and is attached by a two-story hyphen. The building was moved approximately 100 yards east from its original location and has a concrete foundation. The former house site may include archaeological evidence of the Baldwin Mansion, although it has been commercially developed as a liquor store and parking lot. Considering the size and design of the ca.1802 structure, it is unlikely that the 1661 core actually survives within the later house.

The1790 House at 831 Main Street (ca. 1790) (MHC WOB.12, NR) is also an impressive and elaborate high-style Federal house with clear Adamesque influence. It is a 7x4-bay, two-story, building with an asphalt-shingled, ridge-hip roof with two parged brick chimneys. It has a projecting two-story portico with Doric columns, a fanlight in the pediment, and ornate railings on the front (south) elevation. The south elevation is sheathed in wood siding that is rusticated to resemble smoothly-dressed stone blocks, and the other elevations are sheathed in clapboard. The building is heavily detailed with dentils, prominent fascia and soffits with dentil molding, quoins, and plank panels between the first and second story windows. Entrances on the east and west are embellished with pediments, quoins, and Doric pilasters. The building was moved from its original location nearby and has a concrete foundation.

This segment of the canal also includes a significant historic archaeological site, the Baldwin/Carter Farm Bridge Abutments (ca. 1803) (WOB-HA-1). Located several hundred feet north of the Loammi Baldwin Mansion, this resource consists of partially-collapsed fieldstone abutments flanking the canal trench. Some stones show drill marks from blasting.

West of and discontiguous to this segment of the canal is the Samuel Thompson House at 31 Elm Street (ca. 1730) (WOB.23). It is a 5x2-bay, 2-story, center-entrance, asbestos-shingle-sided house with a fieldstone foundation and an asphalt-shingle, side-gable roof. It has a wide, central brick chimney; two-over-two, double-hung sash windows, Greek Revival trim; a bracketed, Italianate entrance awning; and ells to the rear and south side.

North of School Street, the next segment of the canal is obscured by the Boston & Maine Railroad "Woburn Loop" embankment. The embankment swings away from the canal route behind 9 Dexter Avenue, where the next segment of canal is visible as a stretch of intact towpath berm. The next segment of canal, from Dexter Street to the Woburn-Wilmington town line, is obscured by residential and light industrial development.

Recorded Archaeological sites

Baldwin/Carter Farm Bridge Abutments Site (WOB-HA-1)

The survey recorded the Baldwin/Carter Farm Bridge Abutments site (WOB-HA-1). The site is located on Woburn Map 18, Parcel 15, between Alfred and School Streets, 242 m north of Baldwin House at 2 Alfred Street (Figure 6-1). The Baldwin/Carter Farm Bridge Abutments are constructed of dry laid fieldstone. Located on opposite sides of the canal, the abutments measure about 42 ft in length. The canal itself narrows from 30 ft to 13 ft as it passes through the abutment (Figure 6-2). Ground surface around the abutments appears to have been impacted by a partial historical reconstruction of the canal prism. The significance of the courtesy bridge, or farm bridge, locations along the Middlesex Canal corridor, in addition to the architectural information they contain, are important on several levels. In terms of the cultural landscape, they show evidence of accommodation by larger commercial interests toward the traditional rights of farmers whose fields the canal transected. Bridges, like the Baldwin/Carter Farm Bridge, also pinpoint the locations of important Federal Period farm roads, cart paths, and rights-of-way. The site possesses fair physical integrity due to moderate canal bank erosion. Reconstruction activity associated with this section does not appear to have affected integrity (see Appendix B).

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Woburn is difficult to determine. Landing No. 5 at the Horn Pond Locks was undoubtedly the site of trade and goods transfer, as was Baldwin’s Landing north of the Baldwin Mansion. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, some locations along the canal, including basins, may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. One likely commodity was agricultural goods from nearby farms, as well as materials associated with Woburn’s considerable leather and associated cottage shoe industry. After 1835, the Boston & Lowell Railroad took traffic away from the canal, and moved the axis of commercial development away from the canal corridor. Woburn is the first canal community north of Boston with considerable intact canal remains. In 1972 the canal between Kilby Street and its northern terminus in Lowell was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. From the Winchester line north to Kilby Street all visible, aboveground traces of the canal have been obscured by residential, roadway, and railroad construction. The construction of Route 95 (128) also severed an intact, watered section of the canal. The segment between Alfred and School streets was reconstructed in the late 1960s for horse-drawn canal boat rides. North of School Street, the Boston & Maine Railroad and residential/light industrial development have obscured the canal to the Wilmington line, with the exception of a notable short stretch of intact towpath south of Dexter Avenue.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The Middlesex Canal is visible from about Kilby Street to Lowell Street, from Lowell Street to the Route 128 corridor, from Alfred Street to School Street, and in the vicinity of Dexter Street. The remainder of the Woburn section is ranked not visible (see Appendix C).

Wilmington

The Middlesex Canal area in Wilmington is an approximately 34.5 acre, 3.8 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Woburn and Billerica town lines. The condition and integrity of the canal route varies considerably. In places the canal route is clearly visible, and in others it has been obscured or altered by various types of development. Further research is needed to determine the exact location of some segments of the canal and associated features (see Appendix A). The canal corridor as indicated, follows the route of the canal as best as can be determined from historical and modern cartographic, field, and written information (see Appendix C). The canal route can be divided into several major segments based on its overall condition, integrity, and visibility. The following description of the segments proceed from south to north, beginning at the Woburn-Wilmington town line and ending at the Wilmington-Billerica town line.

The first segment of the canal route begins where the canal route crosses into Wilmington from Woburn. The canal is not visible in this wooded and light industrial area as it crosses Route 38. A short stretch of visible disturbed canal earthworks is located along the east edge of the Wilmington recycling facility. The canal disappears north of the facility gate and reappears south of 887 Main Street, where the towpath is clearly visible. North of 887 Main Street the canal prism is intact behind several house lots west of Main Street. It is then obscured until it reaches the south edge of the Wilmington Town Forest. The canal prism is essentially intact all the way from this point to the north end of Patches Pond. Within this segment lies the "Ox Bow," where the canal bends sharply around a marshy area known as Maple Meadow. Immediately east of the canal is the Towline-Grooved Boulder (ca.1802) (WMG-HA-2). A similar boulder was recently removed by the Town of Wilmington and has not yet been located. From this point to just south of the Maple Meadow Aqueduct (ca. 1802, 1930s) (WMG.902) the Maple Meadow Aqueduct Stone Quarry Area (ca. 1802, 1930s) (WMG-HA-3) lies east of the canal, and consists of a semicircular excavation in a hillside, numerous split boulders with drill marks, and piles of stone trimming waste. The Maple Meadow Aqueduct shows signs of original early 1800s quarry marks, and was partially reconstructed by the WPA/CCC in the 1930s. North of Butter’s Row, the canal runs through a residential neighborhood to the north end of Patches Pond, where the Boulder with iron mooring rod lies, said to be a canal boat mooring site.

North of this location the canal is obscured by residential construction and the Sweetheart Plastics factory until it reaches the Ipswich River (Settle Meadow Brook) Aqueduct Abutments (ca.1802) (WMG-HA-4), where a short segment of canal extends to the north. North of this the canal is not visible until it reaches Bridge Street. Within this segment is the only extant canal-associated building in Wilmington, the Gillis Lock Tenders House at 10 Shawsheen Avenue (ca. 1802) (MHC WMG.209). It is a two-story, 8x1-bay, wood shingle-sided dwelling with a granite block and brick foundation, a central brick chimney, a side-gable, asphalt-shingled roof, and six-over-nine, double-hung, wood-sash windows. The main entrance has a later shed-roof porch with a pediment, posts and railings. An ell extends to the rear (east) elevation.

North of residential Bridge Street the canal is intact and watered for a short way until it reaches Route 129. From Route 129 to the Sinking Meadow (Lubber’s Brook) Aqueduct Abutments (ca. 1802) (WMG-HA-5) the canal was reconstructed and is watered in a stone-lined channel that parallels the Boston & Maine Railroad line to Lowell. North of Lubber’s Brook the canal is visible and watered, starting with a large basin, and extends to Nichols Street. From this point to just south of the Shawsheen River the canal is obscured by residential and highway construction, and includes the Landing No. 6 site north of Nichols Street. A short, intact, dry segment of canal trench is located immediately south of the piers and abutments of the Shawsheen River Aqueduct (ca. 1802) (MHC WMG.900/BIL.909, National Civil Engineering Landmark).

Recorded Archaeological Sites

The survey recorded the Maple Meadow Aqueduct Stone Quarry (WMG-HA-2) and the Tow Line Grooved Boulder site (WMG-HA-3) together, the Ipswich River Aqueduct Abutments site (WMG-HA-4), and the Sinking Meadow (Lubber’s Brook) Aqueduct Abutments site (WMG-HA-5).

Maple Meadow Aqueduct Stone Quarry and Tow Line Grooved Boulder Sites (WMG-HA-2,3)

Both sites are located on Wilmington Assessor’s Map 26, Parcel 9, in the Wilmington Town Forest, west of Main Street, east of Sinking Meadow Brook (see Figure 6-1). The main locus of past quarrying activity is an excavated pit that measures approximately 142 ft across, and 30-35 ft deep (Figure 6-3). Quarried boulders and glacial erratics occur in a wide radius around the quarry pit, some as far as 700 ft away. This large "quarry field" abuts the Middlesex Canal to the east/northeast. The Tow Line Grooved Boulder site lies on the edge of the boulder field and the tow path about 626 ft south of the quarry pit. The boulder, located strategically at a bend in the canal, exhibits grooved lines where the tow line passed over it. The survey considers the Tow Line Grooved Boulder Site to be a point of interest within the larger quarry area. The quarry site is important because it contributes to an understanding of early nineteenth century quarrying practices, and of the canal’s initial construction. Later construction and reconstruction of canal features by Caleb Eddy from 1825-1845 used granite primarily quarried from the Tyngsboro and Chelmsford areas. Both sites possess good physical integrity; only minor erosion has affected the quarry pit area (see Appendix B).

Ipswich River (Settle Meadow) Aqueduct Abutments Site (WMG-HA-4)

The site is located on Town of Wilmington Assessors Map 31, Parcel 1, north of old Sweetheart Plastics plant, west of Boston & Maine Railroad line (see Figure 6-1). The aqueduct contains the remains of three abutments, the northeast, northwest and southwest abutments, that rise about 2.1 ft from the bed of the Ipswich River. The remains constitute approximately 65 ft. of intact masonry (Figure 6-4). The abutments are dry laid quarried granite. The Middlesex Canal bed is visible north of the aqueduct remains. The southern portion of the aqueduct and the canal south of the site have been obscured by modern commercial construction that included the rerouting of the Ipswich River (see Figure 6-4). Despite impacts from neighboring construction, the site contains useful information about early nineteenth century canal and aqueduct construction. For instance, all of the remaining abutments walls contain original 1802 masonry, dry laid fieldstone and rough-dressed granite overlain by quarried granite from the 1826 reconstruction. The remaining abutments are in an excellent state of preservation, oriented at perfect right angles to the canal bed. This degree of preservation suggests that the site may yield engineering data not available at aqueduct sites where orientation and integrity have been compromised by remodeling, reuse, modern construction and erosion (see Appendix B).

Sinking Meadow (Lubber’s Brook) Aqueduct Abutments Site (WMG-HA-5)

Site is located on Town of Wilmington Assessor’s Map 32, Parcel 130, north of Route 129, west of Boston & Maine Railroad line (see Figure 6-1). The site contains the dry laid cut granite remains of four aqueduct abutments, remnant and reconstructed portions of the Middlesex Canal bed, and an associated basin remnant. The site is approximately 125 ft east/west by approximately 120 ft north/south. Intact abutment sections rise 4.85 ft above the bottom of the Lubber’s Brook channel (Figure 6-5). Marks on the granite suggest that some of the 1802 construction remains intact at the lower courses. Both the brook and the canal were dammed at some point, evidenced by concrete flash board slot at the west end of the aqueduct, and a breach earth fast dam across the canal bed. Despite impacts, the site contains useful information on early nineteenth century canal and aqueduct construction.

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Wilmington is difficult to determine. Landing No. 6 at Nichols Lock was undoubtedly the site of trade and goods transfer. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, some locations along the canal, including the Gillis Lock, may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. One likely commodity was agricultural goods from nearby farms. After 1835 the parallel Boston & Lowell Railroad began to take traffic away from the canal. Despite mid- to late twentieth-century residential and light industrial development, Wilmington contains extensive intact canal remains. Segments of the canal are protected from encroachment. The segment including the "Oxbow" bend, Maple Meadow Aqueduct Quarry and the Maple Meadow Aqueduct is part of the Wilmington Town Forest, and the immediately adjacent segment stretching north to Butter’s Row is owned by the Middlesex Canal Association. The Maple Meadow Aqueduct was reconstructed by the WPA/CCC in the 1930s, and the CCC may have used the quarry at that time. A companion stone to the Towline Grooved Boulder originally located in the Town Forest was moved to an unknown location by the Town of Wilmington. The entire Wilmington segment of the canal is included in the 1972 Middlesex Canal National Register nomination. Notable gaps and intrusions include the Sweetheart Plastics factory area and the segment from the Nichols Lock site to just south of the Shawsheen River Aqueduct. A segment of the canal from Route 129 north to the Lubber’s Brook Aqueduct Abutments was reconstructed at a reduced scale and lined with stone rip-rap in an effort to interpret the canal to the public.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The Middlesex Canal is visible sporadically on the west side of Main Street until it reaches the town park, where it is in remarkably good preservation. It remains visible from the park to about Patch’s Pond Lane, where it is obscured to Bridge Lane. It is again visible north of Bridge Lane on the west side of the Boston & Maine Railroad easement north to Nichols Street. It is not visible from Nichols Street to the Billerica Line (see Appendix C).

Billerica

The Middlesex Canal area in Billerica is an approximately 56.3 acre, 6.2 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Wilmington and Chelmsford town lines. The condition and integrity of the canal route varies considerably. In places the canal route is clearly visible, and in others it has been obscured or altered by various types of development. Further research is needed to determine the exact location of some segments of the canal and associated features (see Appendix A). The canal route can be divided into several major segments based on its overall condition, integrity, and visibility. The following description of the segments proceeds from south to north, beginning at the Wilmington-Billerica town line and ending at the Billerica-Chelmsford town line.

The first segment of the canal route begins where the canal crosses into Billerica from Wilmington at the Shawsheen River Aqueduct (ca. 1802) (MHC BIL.909/WMG900, National Civil Engineering Landmark). The trimmed granite abutments and central pier from the ca. 1841 rebuild of this structure are the most impressive aqueduct remains in the length of the Middlesex Canal. Immediately north is a short segment of intact, dry canal trench. From this point to George Brown Street, the canal is in a residential area and is obscured. From this point to about 200 feet north of Dignon Road, the canal is visible and watered. From this point to 100 feet south of Gookin Avenue, the canal trench is visible without banks. From this point to Kitchen Avenue, the canal prism is intact and dry. From this point to a point approximately 300 feet north, immediately east of the Route 129 Plaza, the canal has been newly obscured by house lot excavation. North of this segment to Staples Street the prism is dry and visible, and contains the collapsed double culvert site and Brown’s Footbridge Abutments (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-36). From Staples Street to the Little Content Brook Culvert site, the canal is obscured. This segment of the canal includes Allen’s Tavern at 286 Salem Road (ca.1740) (MHC BIL.148), a 2 -story, 8x1-bay, dwelling with a fieldstone foundation and a side-gable, asphalt-shingle roof with three dormers on the street elevation. The house has two brick chimneys and a mix of six-over-six, double-hung wood sash windows and replacement units. It has an elaborate entrance with Doric pilasters, sidelights, and simple entablature. A one-story shed-roof ell is located at the southeast corner and a later, full-height gable-roof addition extends from the rear of the house.

From the Little Content Brook Culvert site to the north side of the power line north of Gray Street the canal bed is dry and varies in condition. From the north edge of the power line to the south edge of the Boston & Maine Railroad Billerica Shop complex, the canal is visible, watered, and near the power line, runs in a deep cut with sandy, wooded banks. Opposite the landfill, east of the canal, lay the intact stone Content Brook Sluiceway (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-37) with flash board grooves and extant submerged wood timbers and planks. Also in this location is the Richardson’s Mill Sluiceway (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-38) and a culvert, both intact stone structures. From the north side of the Boston & Maine Railroad shops to Rogers Street the canal is intact and watered, and passes through the "deep cut", where the canal narrows through rock that had to be blasted for the route.

At Rogers Street the canal enters the Billerica Mills Historic District (BIL E, O, NR), where it crosses the Billerica Mill Pond. On the south edge of the pond the Floating Towpath Peninsula (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-39) juts out into the water and was the mooring point for the south end of a floating towpath across the pond. Intact features on the north side of the pond include the Floating Towpath Anchor Stone (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-40), and the south half of an intact Lock Chamber (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-9, HAER). The Mears Tavern on Elm Street (ca. 1815) (MHC BIL.94) is located west of the canal route and the Talbot Mills complex. It is a 2-story, 5x3-bay dwelling with a center entrance, fieldstone foundation and an asphalt-shingled, side-gable roof. It has been extensively modified and is boarded up.

North of the north edge of the Mill Pond the canal is obscured by a parking lot until reaching the Red Lock Basin Retaining Wall/Concord River Channel (ca.1802) (BIL-HA-41). This feature consists of a fieldstone retaining wall on the east side of the canal and an eroded channel leading to the Concord River. North of this location the canal is watered and intact on the east side of Lowell Street, and includes the collapsed Culvert Ruins (ca. 1802) (BIL-HA-42). North of Boston Street the intact segment of the canal continues until evidence of the canal disappears just short of the Chelmsford line.

Recorded Archaeological Sites

The survey recorded a total of nine archaeological sites in Billerica.

Brown’s Footbridge Abutments Site (BIL-HA-36)

The site is located on the Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 35, Parcel 36-3, behind (northeast of) 234 Salem Road, northwest of Kitchen Street and the Route 129 Plaza (see Figure 6-1). The Brown’s Bridge Abutments are constructed of dry laid fieldstone. Located on opposite sides of the canal, the abutments measure about 20 ft in length each. The canal is 36 ft wide between the abutments (Figure 6-6). Some of the stones show drill marks from blasting. The courtesy bridge, or farm bridge locations along the Middlesex Canal corridor, in addition to the architectural information they contain, are important on several levels. In terms of the cultural landscape, they show evidence of accommodation by larger commercial interests toward the traditional rights of farmers whose fields the canal transected. Bridges, like the Brown Bridge, also pinpoint the locations of important Federal Period farm roads, cart paths, and rights-of-way.

Content Brook Sluiceway (BIL-HA-37)

The site is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 26, Parcel 170, between Pond and Gray Streets, south of the landfill area, along Content Brook (see Figure 6-1). The sluiceway is constructed of dry laid quarried granite. The site also includes the remains of a timber and plank structure apart from the granite work. Combined, these elements are approximately 36 ft long and 14 ft wide. The tops of the walls are about three ft above the granite slab floor of the sluiceway (Figure 6-7). The walls are notched to accept a wooden gate or flash boards. Silt and water have combined to preserve wooden structures at the site including the bottom portion of the sluiceway gate. The remains of the second timber and plank structure are located 16 ft south. The function of the second structure is unclear (see Figure 6-7). Because preservation is excellent, the site affords a rare opportunity to study turn of the nineteenth century sluiceway construction and engineering. The site has, however, been affected by some bank erosion and recent vandalism, particularly, stones have been moved out of place with a makeshift winch.

Richardson’s Mill Sluiceway Site (BIL-HA-38)

The site is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 26, Parcel 170, between Pond and Gray Streets, south of the landfill area, along Content Brook near BIL-HA-37 (see Figure 6-1). The sluiceway is constructed of dry laid quarried granite and is approximately 18 ft long and 10 ft wide. The tops of the walls are approximately 3.25 ft above the floor of the sluiceway. The site may also be associated with a culvert located about 150 ft northwest. The culvert allowed Content Brook to enter the canal (Figure 6-8). Here, the walls are also notched to accept a wooden gate or flash boards. The site affords an opportunity to study turn of the nineteenth century sluiceway construction and engineering. The site, combined with the remains of the culvert (Figure 6-8a), also has the potential to enhance understanding of how the Richardson Mill was powered after the Middlesex Canal was constructed. The site has been affected by some bank erosion, and has been encroached on by the landfill; currently the remains are covered in rust-colored leachate.

Floating Tow Path Peninsula Site (BIL-HA-39)

The site is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 10, Parcel 234, east side of the mill pond, west of Rogers Street (see Figure 6-1). The site is a constructed peninsula about 2,000 ft long from which a floating tow path was moored. There are no other visible structural elements on the peninsula. The floating tow path is a unique engineering feature associated with the Middlesex Canal. The site has been affected by an undetermined amount of erosion and probably ice scour, but remains a very visible remnant of the canal.

Floating Tow Path Anchor Stone Site (BIL-HA-40)

The site is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 10, Parcel 231, west side of the mill pond, east of Faulkner Street (see Figure 6-1). The anchor stone is a rough cut granite slab 8.3 ft long, 3.5 ft wide, and contains two iron rings. It appears to be in situ (Figure 6-9). The anchor stone is an element of the Middlesex Canal’s floating tow path, and hence is part of a unique engineering feature. It appears to be in excellent condition.

Red Lock Basin Retaining Wall Site (BIL-HA-41)

The site is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 9, Parcel 94, east of the North Billerica Fire Station, north of Colson Street (see Figure 6-1). The site is represented by a single dry laid quarried granite wall measuring 74 ft in length. The wall is approximately four ft high and 2.5 ft thick (Figure 6-10). Other elements of the Red Lock Basin appear to have been destroyed. The site, despite integrity issues, may be significant because of its association with the Middlesex Canal.

Lock Chamber Site (BIL-HA-9)

The site is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 9, Parcel 94, west of Faulkner Street in the Talbot Mill yard (see Figure 6-1). The lock chamber is located beneath a parking deck at Talbot Mill. Approximately 12 ft of it remains intact. The chamber is 11 ft wide (Figure 6-11). The lock chamber itself is constructed of cut dressed granite and contains two granite lock gate pivot posts. The site, which is in remarkable preservation, affords an opportunity to study the construction and engineering of an original lock from the Middlesex Canal.

Culvert Ruins Site (BIL-HA-42)

The site is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 9, Parcel 211, within a town drainage easement on the north side of Lowell Street opposite Franklin Street (see Figure 6-1). The site contains the remains of two dry laid fieldstone culvert walls cutting through the tow path of the Middlesex Canal (Figure 6-12). The culvert itself measures about 7 ft wide. Although the culvert is collapsed and erosion has carried some of the stonework into the drainage channel, the site may be significant because of its association with the Middlesex Canal.

Content Brook 1 Find Spot (Native American)

The find spot is located on Town of Billerica Assessor’s Map 26, Parcel 170, between Pond and Gray Streets, south of the landfill area, along Content Brook (see Figure 6-1). The survey recovered one piece of Lynn Volcanic chipping debris during the walkover survey of the Content Brook Sluiceway site (BIL-HA-37), eroding from the Middlesex Canal berm. In this area, surficial geology suggests that constructors of the canal berm may have incorporated an existing esker into the canal prism. This may have important implication for prehistoric archaeological sensitivity along similar sections of the canal. Horizontal and vertical boundaries, integrity, and complexity of the find spot are unknown. Further testing is needed to determine the archaeological significance, if any, of the Content Brook 1 site.

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Billerica is difficult to determine. Landing No. 7 at Billerica Mills was undoubtedly the site of trade and goods transfer, as well as Canal Company-associated manufacturing. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, some locations along the canal, including the Roger’s Lock, may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. One likely commodity was agricultural goods from nearby farms. After 1835 the parallel Boston & Lowell Railroad began to take traffic away from the canal. Despite mid- to late twentieth-century residential and light industrial development, Billerica contains extensive intact canal remains. The entire Billerica segment of the canal is included in the 1972 Middlesex Canal National Register nomination. Rerouting of Content Brook in the vicinity of the landfill, between Gray and Pond streets, has resulted in preservation of the canal in a deep, watered, sandy cut that includes the Content Brook Sluiceway with its intact submerged wood features. The configuration of the Talbot Mills parking lot has resulted in the remarkable preservation of the south half of a Lock Chamber. The most notable intrusion in the canal route is the extensive Boston & Maine Railroad shops complex at Iron Horse Park. Excavation for a new housing tract recently destroyed a short segment of the canal north of Kitchen Street behind the Route 129 Plaza.

Archaeological Sensitivity

From the Wilmington line, the Middlesex Canal is not visible north to George Brown Street. After George Brown Street the canal is visible north to about Andover Road. From Andover Road to King Avenue it is not visible. The canal resumes its visibility north of King Avenue. For the rest of the Billerica section, it remains visible to the Chelmsford line with few exceptions: it disappears briefly at the MBTA property, through most of the Talbot Mill complex, and along a short section of McLennan Avenue just before the Chelmsford line (see Appendix C).

Chelmsford

The Middlesex Canal area in Chelmsford is an approximately 21.8 acre, 2.4 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Billerica and Lowell town lines. The condition and integrity of the canal route varies considerably. In places the canal route is clearly visible, and in others it has been obscured or altered by various types of development. Further research is needed to determine the exact location of some segments of the canal and associated features (see Appendix A). The canal route can be divided into several major segments based on its overall condition, integrity, and visibility. The following description of the segments proceeds from south to north, beginning at the Billerica-Chelmsford town line, skipping a short section where the canal route briefly enters Lowell, starting again in Chelmsford, and ending at the Chelmsford-Lowell town line.

The first segment of the canal route in Chelmsford begins at the Billerica line, crosses Brick Kiln Road, and curves northeast behind the Harbor Controls office building. The canal is not visible in this segment. After Harbor Controls the canal is bordered by wetlands to the west and is intact and watered for several hundred yards. The canal is not visible in the next segment which passes through the property at 50 Canal Road Extension. North of this location the canal trench is visible watered again to a point north of Riverneck Road, where the canal ends at the relocated River Meadow Brook at the routes 3–495 interchange. The canal passes briefly into Lowell and reenters Chelmsford again near the electrical substation in the former Wang towers parking lot. The final Chelmsford segment of the canal is obscured and located within the routes 3–10 interchange.

One extant canal-associated building is located in Chelmsford, and is discontiguous to the canal route. The Merrimack River Locks Toll House (ca. 1832) (MHC CLM.2) was moved from Lowell and is now located on the Chelmsford town common. It is a 2x1-bay, one-story, timber-framed building with a wood-shingle-sheathed, side-gable roof. The entrance is a paneled wood door on the east elevation, and the building has six-over-six, double-hung, wood sash windows and simple wood trim.

The survey did not record any archaeological sites in the Chelmsford section of the Middlesex Canal.

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Chelmsford is difficult to determine. There was no official Middlesex Canal Company canal boat landing site in the town. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, some locations along the canal may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. One likely commodity was agricultural goods from nearby farms. After 1835 the Boston & Lowell Railroad took traffic away from the canal, and moved the axis of commercial development away from the canal corridor. Despite mid- to late twentieth-century residential and light industrial development, the canal is intact for the majority of its length in Chelmsford. The entire Chelmsford segment of the canal is included in the 1972 Middlesex Canal National Register nomination. Preservation of the canal between Brick Kiln Road and the 50 Canal Road vicinity, where it is intact and watered, is largely due to its proximity to wetlands and town water supply lands. The only major intrusion is the Harbor Controls property on Brick Kiln Road. The canal is entirely obscured in the Route 3/495 interchange at the Lowell line.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The canal is not visible from the Billerica line to Hales Brook Swamp. From the swamp, the canal is visible north to about the Chelmsford Water District Canal Street pump station. From this point, the canal is not visible to about St. Joseph’s Cemetery off Canal Street. The canal is again visible as it passes through a swamp past the cemetery north to River Meadow Brook. North of the brook, the canal is not visible to the Lowell town line (see Appendix C).

Lowell

The Middlesex Canal area in Lowell is an approximately 21.8 acre, 2.4 mile long, 75 ft wide corridor following the roughly south-north route of the Middlesex Canal between the Chelmsford town line and the Merrimack River. The condition and integrity of the canal route varies considerably. In places the canal route is clearly visible, and in others it has been obscured or altered by various types of development. Further research is needed to determine the exact location of some segments of the canal and associated features (see Appendix A). The canal route can be divided into several major segments based on its overall condition, integrity, and visibility. The following description of the segments proceeds from south to north, beginning at the Chelmsford-Lowell town line, skipping a short section where the canal route briefly enters Chelmsford, starting again in Lowell, and ending at the Merrimack River.

The first canal segment stretches from the Chelmsford-Lowell line in the routes 3–495 interchange to the Lowell-Chelmsford Line near the electrical substation in the former Wang towers parking lot, and is obscured by highway construction. The canal route briefly enters Chelmsford and reenters Lowell in the routes 3–10 interchange. The next segment of the canal is located in a marshy area, consists of a watered trench, and ends at the south edge of Route 3. The next canal segment lies under Route 3 and is obscured. North of Route 3, the next segment of the canal lies in a wooded area consisting of a watered trench with banks. The segment ends at the south edge of the Mount Pleasant golf course. From this point to the north edge of the golf course the next canal segment is watered, but altered to form a gently winding brook. From the north edge of the golf course to the Merrimack River, the next canal segment is obscured by residential, recreational, and commercial development.

One extant canal-associated building, the Long Block Glass Workers’ Tenement House at 139–143 Baldwin Street (ca. 1802 ) (MHC LOW.3) is located in Lowell. It is a long, narrow, 15x2-bay, one and one-half-story building with an asphalt-shingled, side-gable roof, with a fieldstone foundation. It is divided into three units, with three corbeled brick chimneys and three entrances with replacement doors and original granite steps on the south elevation. Windows are a mix of two-over-two and six-over-six, double-hung wood sash units. A small shed-roofed entrance is located on the west elevation, and a shed-roofed shed is located on the east elevation. The Long Block Glass Worker’s Tenement House is included in the Middlesex Village Area (MHC LOW. F) and is a contributing element in the Middlesex Village National Register District.

The survey did not record any archaeological features in the Lowell section of the Middlesex Canal.

Interpretations

The economic impact of the canal on Lowell is difficult to determine. Landing No. 8, located at the industrial community of Middlesex Village, and the Merrimack River basin, were undoubtedly the site of heavy canal trade and goods transfer. It is unknown what the impact of the growth of the Lowell textile mills was on the canal. Although prohibited by the Middlesex Canal Company, some locations along the canal may have been the scene of limited commerce and trade. One likely commodity was agricultural goods from nearby farms. After 1835 the Boston & Lowell Railroad took traffic away from the canal, and moved the axis of commercial development away from the canal corridor. The canal route in Lowell has been impacted by major highway construction. The canal is obscured where it crosses the Routes 3/495 and 3/10 interchanges, and also where it crosses Route 3. The canal has been rerouted through the Mount Pleasant golf course. North of the golf course to the Merrimack River it has been almost entirely obscured by residential and commercial construction.

Archaeological Sensitivity

The Middlesex Canal is not visible from the Chelmsford line north until it begins to parallel Route 3. Here the canal is confined within its own plat and lot. It is visible within this lot "corridor" north to the end of the lot just south of Westmoreland Street, except where it passes under Route 3. It is then not visible for the remainder of its length to the Merrimack River (see Appendix C).

 

CHAPTER SEVEN
RECOMMENDATIONS

The primary goal of this project was to locate and document known and potential archaeological resources along the Middlesex Canal corridor using MHC survey methodologies. In this regard, the project was successful and the survey recorded a total of 12 historical archaeological sites associated with the canal.

Of the total number of recorded sites, the survey documented seven sites ancillary to the function of the canal. Included were two canal courtesy bridge abutment sites. These included the Baldwin/Carter Farm Bridge Abutments site (WOB-HA-1) in Woburn, and the Brown’s Footbridge Abutments site (BIL-HA-36) in Billerica. Both of these sites were found to be in satisfactory condition on well-preserved portions of the canal. The survey recorded two aqueduct abutment sites, the Ipswich River (Settle Meadow) Aqueduct Abutments site (WMG-HA-4), and the Sinking Meadow (Lubber’s Brook) Aqueduct Abutments site (WMG-HA-5), both located in Wilmington. Unfortunately, the aqueduct remains have been affected, to varying degrees, by impacts related to post-abandonment development; however, each retains enough integrity to be potentially useful to students of the canal. Recorded ancillary sites also included two sluiceways, the Content Brook Sluiceway site (BIL-HA-37), and the Richardson’s Mill Sluiceway site (BIL-HA-38), both in Billerica. These sites are also located in well-preserved sections of the canal, and possess good physical integrity. In addition to the above, the survey recorded two culvert sites, one associated with the Richardson’s Mill Sluiceway site, and the other (BIL-HA-42) located on Lowell Street in Billerica. Though each of the sites possesses only fair integrity, survival of culvert sites along the canal is apparently rare, making them important elements in the archaeological interpretation of the canal.

The survey identified and recorded one site associated with the construction of the canal. Located in the Wilmington Town Forest alongside the Middlesex Canal, the Maple Meadow Aqueduct Stone Quarry site (WMG-HA-2) includes a quarry pit and quarried boulder field. Within the quarry boundaries, the survey also recorded the location of the Tow Line Grooved Boulder site (WMG-HA-3), perhaps a singular surviving example of its kind. Both sites, especially the quarry, retain good integrity. These sites were recorded together.

The survey recorded four sites, all in the town of Billerica, that directly related to the operation of the canal. The Floating Towpath Peninsula site (BIL-HA-39), and the Floating Towpath Anchor Stone site (BIL-HA-40) were part of an ingenious system of bringing the canal through a mill pond on the Concord River. Both elements of the Floating Towpath survive with good integrity. A short distance away, the survey recorded a surviving lock chamber (BIL-HA-9) under a parking deck in the Talbot Mill yard. The chamber, complete with carved granite pivot posts, is in remarkable condition. Finally, the survey recorded the Red Lock Basin Retaining Wall site (BIL-HA-41). Unfortunately, like most lock basins along the canal corridor, this site has been affected by post-abandonment development.

The Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey demonstrated the historic archaeological potential of the Middlesex Canal corridor, and identified potential avenues for further research. The canal corridor includes a wide range of resource types, including the operational infrastructure of the canal itself, and sites associated with the people who tended and supported it. Canal infrastructure sites recommended for further study include the prism itself, as well as the sites of locks, bridges, stop gates, culverts, towpath bridges and crossovers, and quarry sites. Canal-related engineering and construction technologies are potential research areas, and could include comparison of designed versus as-built specifications, qualifications and selection of contractors, variation of prism and other components, procurement of construction materials, and adaptive re-use of canal components after its transportation function ended. The areas around standing canal-associated buildings and the sites of former associated structures including houses, taverns, lock keeper’s and toll collector’s houses, and farms have the potential to contain privies, wells, trash pits, outbuildings, and other features that have the potential to reveal information about the lifeways of Middlesex Canal employees, builders, travelers, and suppliers.

A major task that would need to be performed if the Middlesex Canal National Register Nomination is to be extended from Woburn through Winchester, Medford, Somerville, and Charlestown, and if the boundaries of the currently-listed section are to be defined, is the confirmation of the exact location of the canal and its major infrastructural features. This survey determined that the exact location of the canal and some of its features are not known in places, particularly within the segment outside the current National Register boundaries south of Kilby Street in Woburn. Through careful parcel-level deed research, a Middlesex Canal historian was able to trace the exact route of the Canal in Medford (Corbett n.d.). This level of research is recommended for each canal community to determine the exact path of the Middlesex canal. The exact location of features such as locks, bridges, and other structures can be determined through a combination of documentary research and limited subsurface archaeological testing, as demonstrated by recent investigations associated with the Cummingsville Branch Replacement Sewer Project in Winchester (Strauss and Cook 1998).

 

Middlesex Canal Bibliography

Adams, George R.
1977 Lowell Locks and Canals Historic District National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. On file at the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.

Amaro
1998 Commission Seeking Support for Restoring Part of Middlesex Canal. The Sun 5 February.

Anonymous
1807 Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, on the subject of Public Roads and Canals: Made in Pursuance of a Resolution of Senate of March 2, 1807.
1920 Medford Branch Canal. The Medford Historical Register 23(2):24-31.
1983 Walk the Historic Middlesex Canal. 19 October.

Baldwin, Loammi, et al.
1793 Press Report of a Preliminary Route Survey of the Middlesex Canal. On file at the Mogan Cultural Center, Lowell, MA.

Baldwin, George
1829 Plans of the Middlesex Canal. Located at the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Baldwin, George
1830 Profile of the Middlesex Canal.

Baldwin
1795, 1829 Field Survey Books. Collection of the Baker Business Library Archives, Boston, MA.

Barber, Russell, J.
1983 Research Design: Archaeological Data Recovery at Four Sites on Annasnappet Pond, Proposed Route 44 Location, Carver, Massachusetts. Institute for Conservation Archaeology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Bernabo, Christopher J.
1978 Sensing Climatically and Culturally Induced Environmental Changes Using Palynological Data. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI.

Bickford, Walter E., and Ute Janik Dymon, editors
1990 An Atlas of Massachusetts River Systems, Environmental Designs for the Future. Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA.

Blancke, Shirley
1978 Analysis of Variation in Point Morphology as a Strategy in the Reconstruction of the Culture History of an Archaeologically Disturbed Area. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University, Boston, MA.
1982 A Survey of Pre-Contact Sites and Collections in Concord. Ms. on file, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, MA.

Boston Globe
1900 Charming Boulevard in the Valley of the Mystic. Boston Globe 17 March.

Boston Sunday Herald
1897 The Old Middlesex Canal. Boston Sunday Herald 26 September.
1967 The Middlesex Canal. Boston Sunday Herald 8 January.

Boston Traveler
1941 The Middlesex Canal. Boston Traveler 11 November.

Britton, Sharon
1995 Middlesex Canal’s History Still Runs Deep in Woburn. The Boston Globe 23 April.

Carlson, R.W.
1964 The Washankumpaug Site (B-MAS). Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society 25:29-35.

Christian Science Monitor
1962 New Englanders Aim to Restore Part of the Old Middlesex Canal. Christian Science Monitor 27 November.

Chute, Newtown
1966 Geology of the Norwood Quadrangle, Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. Geological Survey Bulletin 1163-B. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

Clarke, Mary Stetson
1971 Guide to the Middlesex Canal, 1793-1853. The Middlesex Canal Association.

1974 The Old Middlesex Canal. Center for Canal History and Technology, Easton, PA.

Condon, Henry
1980 The Middlesex Canal. Medford Mercury 3 September.

1985 The Former Middlesex Canal and the Medford Branch Canal in Medford, Middlesex County, MA 1793-1853. Unpublished manuscript on file at the Middlesex Canal Commission, Winchester, MA.

Coolidge, John
n.d. Mill and Mansion: Architecture and Society in Lowell, Massachusetts 1820-1865. The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA.

Dame, Lorin L.
1884 The Middlesex Canal. The Bay State Monthly. November, Vol. II, No. II.
1962 [2–part article on Middlesex Canal]. Royall House Reporter. April and July.
1998 [article on Middlesex Canal]. Medford Historical Register. April.

Deevey, E.S.
1939 Studies on Connecticut Lake Sediments. American Journal of Science 237: 691-724.

Dincauze, Dena F.
1968 Cremation Cemeteries in Eastern Massachusetts. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology 59(1). Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
1974 An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Greater Boston Area. Archaeology of Eastern North America 2(1):39-67.
1976 The Neville Site: 8,000 Years at Amoskeag, Manchester, New Hampshire. Peabody Museum Monographs 4. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Dincauze, Dena F., and Mitchell Mulholland
1977 Early and Middle Archaic Site Distributions and Habitats in Southern New England. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 288:439-456.

Doyle, Laura
1995 Chelmsford Toll House Gets New Life. The Sun 3 July.

Eddy, Caleb
1843 Historical Sketch of the Middlesex Canal with Remarks for the Consideration of the Proprietors. Samuel N. Dickinson, Boston, MA.

Edes, Henry Herbert
1905 An Excursion on the Middlesex Canal in 1817. The Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Vol. VII.

Elia, Ricardo J. and Nancy S. Seasholes
1990 Phase II Archaeological Investigation of a Section of the Middlesex Canal in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Office of the Public Archaeology, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Eno, Arthur L., Jr., ed.
1976 Cotton Was King: A History of Lowell, Massachusetts. New Hampshire Publishing Company in collaboration with the Lowell Historical Society.

Fitch, Virginia A., Mary E. Myer, and Dr. Charles E. Stearns
1983 Billerica Mills Historic District National Register of Historic Places Nomination. On file at the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.

Fitzsimmons, Neal
1966 The Old Middlesex Canal: Civil Engineering Landmark. Kensington, MD.

Fowler, William S.
1950 The Heard Pond Site. Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society 12.

Franceschi, Michael
1971 Middlesex Canal – Shawsheen Aqueduct National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. On file at the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.

Gallagher, Joan, Duncan Ritchie, and Ann K. Davin
1985 An Intensive Archaeological Survey of the Sudbury Training Annex, Sudbury, Massachusetts. The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. Report No. 58-1. Submitted to the National Park Service, Mid-Atlantic Region, Boston, MA and the Department of the Army, Headquarters FORSCOM, Fort Devens, MA.

Gallatin, Albert
1817 Treatise on Internal Navigation: The Report of Albert Gallatin on Roads and Canals. U. F. Doubleday.

Gaudreau, Denise C., and Thomas Webb
1985 Late-Quarternary Pollen Stratigraphy and Isocrone Maps for the Northeastern United States.. In Pollen Records of the Late Quaternary North American Sediments. Edited by V. Bryant, Jr. and R.G. Holloway.

Goodby, Robert G.
1988 The Seabrook Phase and Post-Hopewellian Interaction in the Northeast. Unpublished Master's thesis, Department of Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, RI.

Hagopian, Roger
1996 Middlesex Canal Access Charts. The Middlesex Canal Association.

Hale, Richard W.
1972 National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form for the Middlesex Canal. Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.

Hoffman, Curtiss
1985 Lithic Materials at Cedar Swamp-3. Archaeological Quarterly of the W. Elmer Ekblaw Chapter of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society 7(1):1-5.
1986 Archaeological Intensive Survey, Hopkington-Westborough Interceptor, Westborough, MA. Report on file, Massachusetts Historical Commision, Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, MA.

Holmes, Cary W.
1975 The Middlesex Canal and the Coming of the Railroad 1792-1853. Towpaths to Oblivion. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston, MA.

Hopkins, Arthur T.
1898 The Old Middlesex Canal. The New England Magazine. January, Vol. XVII, No. 5.

Hudson, Alfred
1889 History of the Town of Sudbury. Town of Sudbury, MA.

Huntington, Frederick W.
1982 Prehistory Report on the Excavation of Flagg Swamp Rockshelter. Institute for Conservation Archaeology Report, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. On file, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, MA.

Hyde, Fred G.

1934 Old Middlesex Canal Was Empire’s Dream. Lowell Sunday 30 March.

Ingraham, Alec
1995 Shawsheen Aqueduct: A Local Landmark. Billerica Minuteman 13 July: 5.

Industrial Archaeology Associates
1980 Middlesex Canal Survey. Report on file at the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.

Johnson, Eric, and Thomas Mahlstedt
1982 The Ben Smith Archaeological Collection: A Preliminary Report and Assessment. Massachusetts Historical Commission, Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, MA.

Joy, Thomas and Gretchen Sanders Joy
1991 Early Canal Transportation: The Boats of the Middlesex Canal. Exhibit at the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center, University of Lowell, Center for Lowell History, Lowell, MA.

Kenyon, Victoria
1983 Prehistoric Archaeology in the Merrimack River Valley. Man in the Northeast 25:1-5.

Laidler, John
1997 Dream of Canal Restoration Nears Reality. The Boston Globe 17 August.
1998 New Grant Boosts Canal Project. The Boston Sunday Globe 25 January.

Largy, Tonya
1983 Controlled Surface Collection: An Example from the Watertown Dairy Site. Man in the Northeast 25:95-107.

Lawrence, Lewis M.
1942 The Middlesex Canal. Boston, MA.

Lawrence III, William A.
n.d. The Middlesex Canal: A Technological Triumph, a Business Enterprise, and a Financial Fiasco.

Luedtke, Barbara E.
1985 The Camp at the Bend in the River. Massachusetts Historical Commission, Occasional Publications in Archaeology and History, Boston, MA.
1987 The Pennsylvania Connection: Jasper in Massachusetts Archaeological Sites. Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society 48(1).

Mahlstedt, Thomas F.
1985 Prehistoric Archaeological Collection Analysis in Southeastern Massachusetts: Report on the Raymond Seamans Jr. Collection. Ms. on file, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, MA.

Mahoney, Joan
1972 The Incredible Ditch. The Boston Sunday Globe 23 April:10-16.

Massachusetts, Commonwealth of
1965 Report of the Water Resources Commission Relative to the Public Water Supply Resources of the Ipswich River. Wright & Potter Printing Co., Boston, MA.

Massachusetts Historical Commission
1980 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Billerica. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1980 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Charlestown. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1980 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Chelmsford. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1980 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Medford. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1980 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Somerville. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1981 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Wilmington. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1981 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Winchester. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1980 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report, Town of Woburn. Boston, MA. Original report on file at Massachusetts Historical Commission, Boston, MA.
1985 Public Planning and Environmental Review: Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Massachusetts Historical Commission, Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, MA.
1992 Historic Properties Survey Manual: Guidelines for the Identification of Historic and Archaeological Resources in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Historical Commission, Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, MA.

McCormick, Patrick A.
n.d. The Rise and Decline of the Middlesex Canal. North Billerica, MA.

Medford Daily Mercury
1933 Granite Arch Destroyed. Medford Daily Mercury 1 May.
1955 Mementos of Famed Middlesex Canal Are Still Visible. Medford Daily Mercury 14 June:8.
1980 Henry Condon is a Professional "Canal Sleuth." Medford Daily Mercury 3 September.
1988 Plaque Notes Path of Middlesex Canal. Medford Daily Mercury 1 February.

Metropolitan Area Planning Council
1979 Renewal Plans Inject Life Into Century-Old Canal. Metropolitan Area Planning Commission Regional Report. February, p.1.
1980 Middlesex Canal Heritage Park Feasibility Study. Prepared for the Middlesex Canal Commission.

Middlesex Canal Association
Towpath Topics. Published by the Middlesex Canal Association, Billerica, MA, various dates.

Middlesex Canal Corporation
1830 "Regulations Relative to the Navigation of the Middlesex Canal," Mechanicks Magazine, Boston, Massachusetts.

Molloy, Peter M.
1976 Middlesex Canal Dam and Locks HAER Inventory Card.

Mowchan, Denise, Faline Schneiderman, and Duncan Ritchie
1987 Reconnaissance and Intensive Archaeological Survey of the Lincoln Meadows/Lincoln North Project Area, Lincoln, Massachusetts. The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. Report No. 151. Submitted to Lincoln House Associates, Jamaica Plain, MA.

Naylor, Richard S., and Suzanne Sayer
1976 The Blue Hills Igneous Complex, Boston Area, Massachusetts. In Geology of Southeastern New England, edited by Barry Cameron, pp. 135-146. Science Press, Princeton, NJ.

Pearsall, Paul P.
1982 Middlesex Village Grand Reunion, a Historic Report on Middlesex Village. Lowell, MA, September 12.

Peters, Wayne R.
1984 This Enchanted Land: Middlesex Village. Martin Publishing Co., Lowell, MA.

Proctor, Thomas C.
1984 The Middlesex Canal: Prototype for American Canal Building. Canal History and Technology Proceedings 7:125-174.

Rawson, Michael J.
n.d. Imprints of the Past: The Brooks Estate in Medford, Massachusetts.

Ristino, Kristen
1995 The Canal That Once Was King. Lowell Sunday 2 November.

Ritchie, Duncan
1979 Middle Archaic Lithic Technology from Eastern and Southeastern Massachusetts. Paper presented at the Conference for Northeast Archaeology, Amherst, MA.
1983 A Review of Past and Current Research in the Sudbury and Assabet Drainages. Man in the Northeast 25:83-93.

Ritchie, Duncan, and Alan Leveillee
1982 Multiple Strategies for the Functional Analysis of Lithic Artifacts. In Methodological and Analytical Studies on the Prehistoric Sites in the I-495 Project. Final Report of the Interstate 495 Archaeological Data Recovery Program, Vol. III, edited by Peter F. Thorbahn. Department of Anthropology, Brown University Report. Submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, Boston, MA.

Roberts, Christopher
1938 The Middlesex Canal, 1793–1860. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Seaburg, Carl and Alan, and Thomas Dahill
1997 The Incredible Ditch; A Bicentennial History of the Middlesex Canal. The Anne Miniver Press for the Medford Historical Society, Medford, MA.

Secor, J.
1817 Treatise on Internal Navigation/Report of Albert Gallatin on Roads and Canals. U.F. Doubleday, Ballston Spa, New York.

Smith, Tom
1984 Baldwin Mansion History. The Middlesex Canal Association.

Snow, Dean
1980 The Archaeology of New England. Academic Press, New York, NY.

Starbuck, David R.
1985 The Garvins Falls Site (NH37-1): The 1982 Excavations. The New Hampshire Archeologist 26(1):19-42.

Sullivan, John L.
1821 Public Documents Relating to New York Canal. Part of Report Regarding New York Canal Commission by John L. Sullivan, 1917.

Suter, Suzanne
1985 Late Glacial and Holocene Vegetation History in Southeastern Massachusetts: A 14,000 Year Pollen Record. Ms. on file, Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI.

Temple, J.H.
1887 History of Framingham, Massachusetts, 1640-1880. Town of Framingham, MA.

United States Department of Argriculture
1986 Interim Soil Survey of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Soil Conservation Service. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

VerPlanck, Burt
1996 Middlesex Canal Guide and Maps. Middlesex Canal Association, Inc., Billerica, MA.

Vertical files and manuscripts relating to the Middlesex Canal. On file at Harvard University, Baker Business Library Historical Collections, Cambridge, MA.

Wayland Archaeology Group
1981 The Wayland Prehistoric Site Survey. Submitted to the Wayland Historical Commission and the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Weible, Robert and Betsy Bahr
n.d. Lowell National Historical Park Historic Resource Study. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, MA.

Zen, E., Richard Goldsmith, Nicholas Ratcliffe, Peter Robinson, Rolfe Stanley, Norman Hatch, Andrew Shride, Elaine Weed, and David Wones
1983 A Bedrock Geologic Map of Massachusetts. U.S. Geological Survey, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Public Works, Boston, MA.

Maps and Atlases

American Society of Civil Engineers
1967 Middlesex Canal, 1793-1853. Middlesex Canal Association.

Anonymous
1868 City of Charlestown. Published by Sampson, Davenport & Co.

Anonymous
1898 Middlesex Canal within the Limits of Medford. From the original plan of Geo. R. Baldwin.

Baldwin, George
1829 Plans of the Middlesex Canal. Located at the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Baldwin, George
1830 Profile of the Middlesex Canal.

Condon, Henry S.
1980 Map of Medford Massachusetts Showing the Former Middlesex Canal 1793-1853. Published in Medford Daily Mercury 3 September.

Eddy, R.H.
1844 Plan of Horn Pound Estate, Woburn, October 15.

Hadley, Judge
1911 Map of Middlesex Village. Copied by Leon Cutler, 1931.

Middlesex Canal Association
Middlesex Canal Maps. Various dates.

Middlesex Registry of Deeds
1840 Plan of Canal from Middlesex Registry of Deeds (Cambridge), Plan Book 20, Plan 2.

Works Progress Administration
1934 Tracing of the Middlesex Canal Route. Located at the Massachusetts Historical Commission.