Middlesex Canal Association    P.O. Box 333    Billerica, Massachusetts 01821
Volume 13, No. 2    April, 1975


Notice is hereby given that the annual meeting of the Middlesex Canal Association will take place on Saturday, April 26, 1975 at 5:00 P.M. at the Winning Farm on Lexington Road in Woburn. (See map on back cover).

The election of officers and directors will take place at this time. The nominating committee would be happy to receive suggestions for candidates. The members are: A. L. Eno, Jr., 875 West St., Carlisle, Mass.; Leonard H. Harmon, 11 Lowell St., Woburn, Mass.; and Joseph V. Kopycinski, 116 Main St., North Chelmsford, Mass. Any suggestions should reach one of the members of the committee no later than ten days before the meeting.

A full day of activities has been planned around the annual meeting. Details are on page 2.


On Friday, April 18, at 4:00 P.M., the Woburn Historical Commission will hold dedication exercises for the new Bicentennial Park on the banks of the Middlesex Canal, at the junction of Routes 38 and 128. There will be unveiled an original monument with a plaque honoring both the men from Woburn in the Revolutionary War, and also the Middlesex Canal.

On the same day, the Middlesex Canal Historical Preservation Society of Woburn, Inc. will issue their Bicentennial coin (in Pewter) depicting on one side, the Middlesex Canal. The public is invited!


The Woburn commemorative pewter medals containing a Middlesex Canal scene on one side will be available for sale at the annual meeting of the Middlesex Canal Association. The cost of the plain pewter coin is $2.95; and it will also be available as a necklace with chain for $3.95.


In addition to the annual meeting, an interesting list of activities has been planned for the day. They will begin at 2:00 P.M., at the Woburn Boys' Club, on Boys' Club Lane, off Main Street, (Route 38), Woburn. Coming from Route 128, go south on Route 38, past the first set of lights. The first right after the fire station is Boys' Club Lane. (See map).

Through the courtesy of the Boys' Club, we are being allowed to use their parking lot for the afternoon.

At 2:00 P.M., we will start a walk along the Canal, going North for about two miles. We will see the newly dedicated Bicentennial marker commemorating the Canal and situated in a new park being developed on the banks of the Canal. We will also pass the Baldwin Mansion, in the process of being restored by the Woburn Historical Commission. The walk will terminate in North Woburn, where the Count Rumford House will be open for inspection. Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford was a Woburn neighbor of Loammi Baldwin who picked the wrong side during the American Revolution. Except for this unfortunate decision, he might have replaced Benjamin Franklin as America's leading scientist. Models of some of Rumford's inventions are on display in the house.

Bus transportation will be available from the Rumford House back to the Boys' Club parking lot, and, for those who need it, to the Winning Farm meeting site. For those who are driving their own cars, leave the parking lot and continue south on Route 38 to Woburn Center. At the common, continue straight on Pleasant Street; continue beyond Four Corners (at Route 3A) to Lexington Road. 1.3 miles from this intersection is the Winning Farm on the left, marked by a sign. (See map).

After the meeting, there will be a "Social half-hour", during which cocktails will be available. At 6:00 P.M., there will be served a 'hot and cold buffet". Following the dinner, we will be privileged to hear a talk by the leading authority on Count Rumford, Professor Sanborn C. Brown of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who edited the complete works of Count Rumford. And the Woburn Historical Commission will make a slide presentation on the restoration of the Baldwin Mansion.

Members and guests are cordially invited to participate in the days' activities. Reservations for dinner only at $5.00 each must be received no later than April 20. Checks should be payable to the Middlesex Canal Association and sent to P. O. Box 333, Billerica, Mass. 01821. Because of the necessity of guaranteeing a minimum number to the caterer, reservations and checks must be received by April 20.


The Massachusetts Bicentennial Commission has recently announced that it has awarded the Woburn Historical Commission a grant to construct a Canal boat.


The main speaker at our annual meeting is Professor Sanborn C. Brown, who is a graduate of Dartmouth College and received his PhD from M.I.T., where he has been a Teaching Fellow, Professor and Associate Dean of the Graduate School. He has served his home town of Lexington as member and chairman of the school committee and as selectman. He has represented the United States in several inter-national conferences. Among other honors, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Besides editing the complete Works of Count Rumford, he is the author of Count Rumford, Physicist Extraordinary (1962) and Benjamin Thompson - Count Rumford (On the Nature of Heat) (1967).


Chelmsford is reviewing an important regional resource: the Middlesex Canal. The Conservation Commission in cooperation with the Historical Commission, has applied for funds for the town to purchase a section of the historic canal. Those funds, amounting to $8300, are sought from the Massachusetts Historical Commission under the National Park Service Historic Preservations Grants Program. Matching funds will be requested from the community at the annual town meeting although the Commissions will seek some financial assistance through the "Self-help" program of the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources. This section of the canal, al-though already listed on the National Register, is currently zoned for light industry. The purchase will protect the quality of nearby well fields from the hazards of industrial development, as well as provide unusual recreational opportunities. Northern Middlesex Area Commission's Open Space and Recreation Plan, referenced in the grant application, recognizes the Middlesex Canal as a major component in the regional recreation network and open space system and Chelmsford is helping make that plan a reality.


FROM KNOW-HOW TO NOWHERE: The Development of American Technology by Elting E. Morison. 199 pages. Basic Books. $10.

The book reviewer of the New York Times describes the book as asking "how we developed from a society that in 1800 lacked the technical wherewithal to build even a 26-mile canal between the Charles and Merrimack rivers, to one that less than two centuries later could put men on the moon without a hitch".

Elsewhere he mentioned how the author (who is Professor of History at M.I.T.) "appears preoccupied by relatively tiny questions: How an industrious but bumbling group of New Englanders finally figured out how to build the Middlesex Canal".

Perhaps the reviewer should read Clarke or Roberts on the Middlesex Canal!