Middlesex Canal Association        P.O. Box 333        Billerica, Massachusetts 01821

Volume 44  No. 1

October 2005

44th Annual Old Middlesex Canal Fall Walk

Date: Sunday, October 16, 2005
Time: 1:30pm (Middlesex Canal Museum/Visitor Ctr. open 12 noon)
Place: North Billerica and Chelmsford

The walk, 3 or 4 miles round-trip, covers the remains of the old Middlesex Canal from North Billerica through Chelmsford on its way to Lowell. Sites will include: the large stone with iron rings that anchored the west end of the floating towpath (which once enabled barges and packet boats to cross the Concord river Millpond); a guard lock now in the Talbot Millyard (which controlled the level of water in the canal where it met the river); and the Red Lock channel and basin, with its stone retaining wall (which once permitting boats to enter and leave the Concord River below the dam).

The walk will follow the partially watered canal into Chelmsford passing the ruins of a small culvert through which a brook still passes. Much of this remote area is a natural habitat for wildlife. If access permits we will proceed to Riverneck Road, beyond which the canal has been obliterated by the highway construction. Given time and interest, we may drive to the site of the locks at the terminus of the canal at the Merrimac River in Lowell.

Directions: From Route 3, exit 28, Treble Cove Rd. follow the brown signs left towards N. Billerica (and left at the fork). After 1 mile cross straight through traffic lights across Route 3A. Follow winding road, then keep St. Andrew’s Church on your left. Take next right onto Old Elm St. which becomes Faulkner St. at the river. Cross the Concord River at the dam. Take immediate right into parking lot across from museum, located in the Faulkner Mill.

For information on the walk, check our web site: middlesexcanal.org or call Bill Gerber (978-251-4971) or Roger Hagopian (781-861-7868).

President’s Message

This copy of Towpath Topics is coming to you shortly after you have received your reminder for annual dues. We hope that you will be renewing soon. Our membership roster is small and we would really like to expand our membership. Please bring your friends along to an outing or a meeting and encourage them to join the Association.

We lost one of our Board members this year – Bettina Harrison from Winchester. She was a very distinguished Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. She served on our Board for several years and was Vice President for a few years.

Our museum in North Billerica has been popular and we have been barely able to supply docents for Saturday and Sunday afternoon openings from April through September. We have had good success introducing the canal to elementary school students.

The calendar of events compiled by Bill Gerber lists a number of events by other canal associations. If you have questions about any of those events please telephone me and I will attempt to answer those questions. You might note that the 2006 World Canals Conference will be in Pennsylvania in September.

We are nearing the end of our long and tedious task of expanding the Middlesex Canal in the National Registry of Historic Places. The near-final copy of the application is being sent to the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) as I write this. Part of this task has been the compilation of all the present 1500+ owners and abutters of the Canal. The MHC will hold a hearing on the application probably sometime in the winter. I expect that our members will be invited to that hearing in addition to the owners and abutters.

October 5, 2005

Nolan T. Jones, President
(603) 672-7051

Middlesex Canal
Amending the National Register of Historic Sites

by Thomas Raphael

An amendment to the National Register of Historic Sites for the Middlesex Canal has been prepared and is now going through the approval process at the Massachusetts Historical Commission prior to submission to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. The original registration in 1972 was focused on approximately 10.6 miles of existing visible canal segments and 29 specific structures, sites, buildings and objects.

These sites were mostly in Chelmsford, Billerica, Wilmington and Woburn.

The amendment now includes the complete route of the canal from the triple flight of locks in Lowell to the Middlesex Canal Company’s Mill Pond complex of buildings, warehouses, landings and locks in Charlestown. The object is to record accurately where the canal would have been located today in those areas of Lowell, Woburn, Winchester, Medford, Somerville and Charlestown, which were filled in and built over when the canal was abandoned in 1859.

The process started in 1999 as what appeared to be a straightforward and simple process. It has turned out to be a major project at considerable effort and cost. The reason is that prior to 1851, when the last toll was collected on the canal, there was no standard of weights and measures in the United States. It was not until 1875 that the Congress passed the Customary System of Weights and Measures establishing a brass one pound (The Star Pound) and the 36 inch yard, and sent a standard of each to each State. One pound of water became the unit of volume for a pint.

Up to that time, and well prior to the digging of the canal in 1794, all land was measured in rods of 16½ feet, by the Gunter’s Chain, a series of iron links of 4 rods or 66 feet in length. The plots were not drawn to scale but were mostly hand-drawn sketches with the lengths marked on the loosely defined borders. Deeds did not always have a sketch and often used trees, boulders, streams and roads as boundary markers. The building of the canal itself was one of the first uses of a reasonably accurate surveying instrument and method of measurement and recording. There were also many old maps and previous studies located and used.

An accurate translation of the canal route from these documents to current Assessor’s Plates became an arduous task. Even the Assessor lot identifications were not uniform or the same scale for each of the nine communities. These lots would not transpose onto a USGS map or a Massachusetts Highway Map. It became necessary to convert all Assessor Plates to one scale and then piece them together to form a continuous strip of 34 pages, by computer. Approximately 1600 individual properties were plotted and the current owners identified. The final locations are considered to be exact or within +/- one half the width of the canal.

The narrative history and the significance of the canal, the proprietors, the private funding, buildings, structures, sites and objects had been previously recorded. We have located and added every one of the locks, aqueducts, bridges, and landings. Many contributing and noncontributing nearby historically recorded buildings, structures and sites have also been recorded. All sources are recorded and a complete bibliography is included.

We feel this will make a definitive record of the route of the Middlesex Canal. All of the original handwritten records of the Middlesex Canal Company exist and represent a trove of social and economic history. They offer the opportunity to research the information and to extract and compile it into readable stories.

MCA-AMC Spring Walk along the Middlesex Canal, Wilmington Section
by Betty Bigwood & Bill Gerber

This year’s Spring Walk was held on April 16, 2005 in Wilmington in conjunction with the town’s 275th Anniversary Celebration. The event was posted on the Middlesex Canal Association’s web page, advertised in Towpath Topics and the AMC Bulletin, and in newspapers serving the several communities along the route of the old canal. In Wilmington, the Town Crier (the local newspaper) not only published the usual announcement but placed it on the front page together with an excellent article written by Larz Neilson (now living in Maine but following in his publisher-father’s foot steps).

Inside the newspaper were three large pictures of the Maple Meadow Brook Aqueduct, the granite marker at Butters Row, and Tom Dahill’s new painting of a canal boat landing (an official public cargo exchange point, representative of the eight that once existed along the length of the canal) now at the canal museum in the Faulkner Mill in North Billerica.

The morning promised a superb day for a walk. But earlier in the week it had rained heavily and thus the level of the water flowing between the abutments of the old Maple Meadow Brook aqueduct was still high. And so, first, we had to build a bridge!

It wasn’t a fancy bridge, but it was quite serviceable. Wilmington Police Chief Spencer arranged for officers to open the gate at the Town Park so that the construction crew could bring bridging materials close to the site. The basic structure was a 36’ extension ladder, unextended. This was placed across the stream and stabilized at either end. The walking surface consisted of several 1/4” plywood panels lashed to the ladder. And the handrail was a length of Dacron halyard stretched tightly between two stout trees. It was simple, but more than adequate for the 100 or so crossings that would be made; no one would get so much as the soles of their shoes wet that afternoon.

By “show time”, the parking lot was filled and overflow cars parked across the street. Some 46 walkers appeared in the early afternoon of this bright, sunny, but moderately cool spring day. Before plunging into the woods, to the still extant channel of “the old ditch”, walk leaders presented a brief history of the old canal. Then it was onward – through the “Ox-bow”, where the canal took a sharp turn around an “impenetrable” section of ledge, and where 50 years of gritty towlines had worn deep grooves in face of the rock. Next came the restored abutments and central support pier of the Maple Meadow Brook Aqueduct, which we crossed on our “shiny new bridge”.

At this point we departed the Wilmington Town Park and continued on a tract belonging to the Middlesex Canal Association. In his book “Middlesex Canal Guide and Maps”, Bert VerPlanck noted “Between Maple Meadow Brook Aqueduct and Patch’s Pond to the north lies a beautiful stretch of canal embankments. This priceless remnant, 0.8 mile long [some 14.3 acres] was given [to the MCA] in 1983 by the late [former Wilmington Selectman] Stanley Webber and his daughter Julia Fielding.”

Eventually we came to where Butter’s Row crossed the old canal. (Recall the words of that old canal ditty: “Oh, the Middlesex was rising, and the gin was getting low, and I scarcely think I’ll get a drink ‘til we get to Butter’s Row.” Of course, when the Erie Canal people got through with it, it was the E-ri-e that rose and they slacked their thirst in Buffalo!)

We could have, but we didn’t, walk west along Butter’s Row and turn left onto Chestnut Street. If we had done so, we would soon have seen a small granite shaft topped by a granite apple. This marks the site of the tree that gave New England the Baldwin apple; named for Loammi Baldwin, the chief engineer for the Middlesex Canal.

Continuing on, in a while longer we came to the east side of Patches Pond. VerPlanck also notes that “Patch’s Pond and the northern end of the [MCA] property can be reached by a short path on a public right of way from Towpath Drive”. Of concern, it was at this location that a significant number of survey markers were observed. We later learned that the land had recently been contested between the former owner and the Town of Wilmington. The owner wanted to build on a tract that would have required a long driveway from Towpath Drive, immediately to the west, over the easement cited by VerPlanck. The driveway would have crossed the outlet stream, which runs into the canal, and would have contained some of the towpath. However, the property now belongs to the town, which took it for failure to pay taxes. From this point we retraced our steps back to the point from which we departed. Round trip, the distance walked was between 2 and 3 miles, over largely level terrain.

When the last car had cleared the parking area it was time to dismantle the bridge. Deconstruction took much less time than construction had, and the components were soon on their way back to their owners. Some of our number even cleaned the parking area of winter debris. It was a good day, the appearance of the park was vastly improved, and we left nothing but the echo of our footsteps.

Parade in Chelmsford
by Shayne Reardon

When was the last time a packet boat traveled pass the tollhouse in Chelmsford? That would be July 2, 2005 when the Middlesex Canal Museum participated in the 350th anniversary parade in Chelmsford this summer, but did not stop to pay a fee! The Museum exhibit packet boat was secured to a float built by Middlesex Canal Commission, Billerica Section members Bill Bulens, Chuck Anderson, John Reardon, Amanda Reardon, Karen Carpenito and Carole O’Riorden. On the day of the parade, dressed in period costumes were Bob Morse (MCC Chelmsford Section) and Shayne Reardon as well as Chuck Anderson (Billerica Section) walking the 2.1 miles of the route from Drum Hill to Chelmsford Center while Bill Bulens pulled the float on his SUV. The float was later embellished for two other parades – September 17th celebrating Billerica’s 350th anniversary and September 18th celebrating Wilmington’s 275th anniversary.

The Middlesex Canal Museum did its part to commemorate the year-long 350th Anniversary of the Town of Billerica with five additional exhibits for 2005:

Letter to the Editor
Fred Lawson

RE: April 2005 Towpath Topics

I loved Howard Winkler’s article on the General Sullivan (Howard B. Winkler, April 2005, The General Sullivan, Towpath Topics, Vol. 43 No. 2, page 2). It’s a wonderful ‘what if,’ but my research points to a different story.

During my early research in the 1960s, I was directed to Louis Linscott by the Woburn librarians. He was a delight to know and he introduced me to his daughter Virginia and her husband Cecil Porter. (Both Virginia and Cecil Porter served on the Middlesex Canal Association Board of Directors and various committees over the years.) I asked Louis Linscott why the packet boat was named General Sullivan and his answer was that he worked only from the ‘History of Woburn’ for his annual picture for McCarthy’s Insurance (Woburn) Calendar, where the drawing first appeared. The History of Woburn is the only place, to my knowledge, that the second packet boat was called the General Sullivan. The first packet boat was the George Washington; the second was named Governor Sullivan for the founder of the Middlesex Canal Corporation, according to company records.

All other references I have found are to the Governor Sullivan as well. If you look at Louis Linscott’s other pictures, you can see how over the years his work became more technical as he learned more of the canal workings and constructions.

Knowing Louis, Virginia, and Cecil Porter was a treat. All my research led me to meet and know some delightful and knowledgeable folk. In the future, feel free to call on me about some of the earlier Canal Association lore.

Fred Lawson, Billerica
Honorary Director of the Middlesex Canal Association;
Former Historian & Lecturer

Editor’s Note: We’ll soon take up Fred’s offer to expound on the early lore of the Middlesex Canal Association in the 1960s. Fred previously served as the official Historian of the Middlesex Canal Association.

Charles Dickens Account of His Trip on the Pennsylvania Canal
contributed by Howard B. Winkler

In 1842, Charles Dickens and his wife toured the East Coast, and went as far south as Fredericksburg, as north as Quebec, and as west as St. Louis, see www.people.virginia.edu/~jlg4p/dickens/mainpg.html for a map of his itinerary. The result of Dickens’ travels was American Notes. Included in his travels was a trip on the Pennsylvania Canal from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. The complete account is in Chapters 9 and 10, and can be read on our website at www.middlesexcanal.org. The complete text of American Notes is to be found at www.online-literature.com/dickens/americannotes.

It still continued to rain heavily, and when we went down to the Canal Boat (for that was the mode of conveyance by which we were to proceed) after dinner, the weather was as unpromising and obstinately wet as one would desire to see. Nor was the sight of this canal boat, in which we were to spend three or four days, by any means a cheerful one; as it involved some uneasy speculations concerning the disposal of the passengers at night, and opened a wide field of inquiry touching the other domestic arrangements of the establishment, which was sufficiently disconcerting.

However, there it was - a barge with a little house in it, viewed from the outside; and a caravan at a fair, viewed from within: the gentlemen being accommodated, as the spectators usually are, in one of those locomotive museums of penny wonders; and the ladies being partitioned off by a red curtain, after the manner of the dwarfs and giants in the same establishments, whose private lives are passed in rather close exclusiveness.

We sat here, looking silently at the row of little tables, which extended down both sides of the cabin, and listening to the rain as it dripped and pattered on the boat, and plashed with a dismal merriment in the water, until the arrival of the railway train, for whose final contribution to our stock of passengers, our departure was alone deferred. It brought a great many boxes, which were bumped and tossed upon the roof, almost as painfully as if they had been deposited on one’s own head, without the intervention of a porter’s knot; and several damp gentlemen, whose clothes, on their drawing round the stove, began to steam again. No doubt it would have been a thought more comfortable if the driving rain, which now poured down more soakingly than ever, had admitted of a window being opened, or if our number had been something less than thirty; but there was scarcely time to think as much, when a train of three horses was attached to the tow-rope, the boy upon the leader smacked his whip, the rudder creaked and groaned complainingly, and we had begun our journey.

As it continued to rain most perseveringly, we all remained below: the damp gentlemen round the stove, gradually becoming mildewed by the action of the fire; and the dry gentlemen lying at full length upon the seats, or slumbering uneasily with their faces on the tables, or walking up and down the cabin, which it was barely possible for a man of the middle height to do, without making bald places on his head by scraping it against the roof. At about six o’clock, all the small tables were put together to form one long table, and everybody sat down to tea, coffee, bread, butter, salmon, shad, liver, steaks, potatoes, pickles, ham, chops, black-puddings, and sausages.

‘Will you try,’ said my opposite neighbour, handing me a dish of potatoes, broken up in milk and butter, ‘will you try some of these fixings?’

There are few words which perform such various duties as this word ‘fix.’ It is the Caleb Quotem of the American vocabulary. You call upon a gentleman in a country town, and his help informs you that he is ‘fixing himself’ just now, but will be down directly: by which you are to understand that he is dressing. You inquire, on board a steamboat, of a fellow-passenger, whether breakfast will be ready soon, and he tells you he should think so, for when he was last below, they were ‘fixing the tables:’ in other words, laying the cloth. You beg a porter to collect your luggage, and he entreats you not to be uneasy, for he’ll ‘fix it presently:’ and if you complain of indisposition, you are advised to have recourse to Doctor So-and-so, who will ‘fix you’ in no time.

One night, I ordered a bottle of mulled wine at an hotel where I was staying, and waited a long time for it; at length it was put upon the table with an apology from the landlord that he feared it wasn’t ‘fixed properly.’ And I recollect once, at a stage-coach dinner, overhearing a very stern gentleman demand of a waiter who presented him with a plate of underdone roast-beef, ‘whether he called that, fixing God A’mighty’s vittles?’

There is no doubt that the meal, at which the invitation was tendered to me which has occasioned this digression, was disposed of somewhat ravenously; and that the gentlemen thrust the broad-bladed knives and the two-pronged forks further down their throats than I ever saw the same weapons go before, except in the hands of a skilful juggler: but no man sat down until the ladies were seated; or omitted any little act of politeness which could contribute to their comfort. Nor did I ever once, on any occasion, anywhere, during my rambles in America, see a woman exposed to the slightest act of rudeness, incivility, or even inattention.

Complete text at at www.online-literature.com/dickens/americannotes

Bettina Hall Harrison
July 16, 1918 - August 23, 2005

Dr. Bettina Hall Harrison, long-time Winchester resident and a Board member of the Middlesex Canal Association until recently, died in Worcester on August 23, 2005, after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late John William Harrison.

Born in Foxborough on July 16, 1918, she graduated from Foxborough High School in 1935, and held degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1939), Harvard University (1940) and Boston University (1968). She taught at Lasell College in Newton early in her career and later taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston for more than thirty years. She was one of the founding professors of the Cell Biology Program.

Dr. Harrison was one of the first recipients of the Counselors Distinguished Teaching Award. She enjoyed teaching and teachers so much that she established the Bettina Hall Harrison Award at the university for undergraduate and graduate students who have the most potential to become excellent teachers. Dr. Harrison also conducted research at Tuft’s University New England Medical Center under a program with the Children’s Leukemia Research Association, Inc.

She was also the first female corporator of the Museum of Science in Boston; there she developed the original education program for school children on human reproduction, which was the basis for the program they use today. She further contributed the electron microscopy images for the museum’s original Cells exhibit.

She is survived by a son, John W. Harrison of New Hartford, CT; and two daughters, Debra H. Knowlton of Star Ridge and Christine H. Spaulding of Kingston; four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Family members ask that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Winchester Unitarian Society or the Bettina Harrison Biology Prize, c/o Office of Institutional Advancement, University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston MA, 02125, or the Museum of Science, Boston MA.

– from the Winchester Star, Sept 1, 2005

Canal Restoration and Tourism

A recent article from the Associated Press (August 21, 2005) told the tale of how the restoration of long-abandoned canals around the United States is drawing tourists seeking hiking, biking and boat rides. The article had the title “Instead of cargo, restored canals draw tourists”. Here are some excerpts from the article:

“Communities report an increasing number of visitors to the restored portions of the country’s 4,000 miles of canals, which were built largely in the 1800s to move coal, lumber, stone and produce around the country. A 60-mile stretch of the Delaware Canal in southeastern Pennsylvania attracts 1 million visitors a year.”

“About 15,000 people visited the Miami and Erie Canal in Piqua [Ohio] last year, up from about 12,000 five years ago. On one section of the canal, where the water is about 4 feet deep, visitors can ride in a boat pulled by mules, the way cargo boats made their way through the country’s canal systems in the past. Wooden docks and footbridges span a two-mile section of the Miami and Erie system that the city restored in 2002 as part of a $400,000 project.”

“Railroads began putting canals out of business in the second half of the 1800s, and by the mid-1900s many canals had dried up, become overgrown with vegetation, or been filled in or paved over. In recent years, communities have begun to see the canals as an asset.”

“People started to realize there was a whole new use for the canals, which was recreation,” said David Barber, president of the American Canal Society. ‘It’s a matter of imagination. There is a lot of potential.’ For people interested in the canals’ history, locks that lowered or raised water levels for boats have been returned to working order, including the ones along the Pennsylvania canal.”

“In LaSalle, Ill., a restoration of the Illinois and Michigan canal will include a 100-passenger replica of a canal boat, which will pass silhouettes of people who were connected to canal history along its two-mile tour route.”

“Trails are being added along a 110-mile stretch of the [Ohio and Erie] canal that runs south from Cleveland. Last year, an estimated 2.5 million people hiked, biked or rode horses on the 70 miles of trails, about 500,000 more than used them three years ago.”

Note from Bill Gerber on this topic:

Dave Barber and I attended the annual meeting of the ACS this past weekend. It was held in conjunction with the fall tour of the Canal Society of Ohio.

A portion of the Ohio and Erie canal, immediately south of the Licking Summit level (now Buckeye Lake, south of Newark, OH) is still watered and used by many boaters. Dave and I had lunch at “The Old Canal Restaurant” about a mile south of Buckeye Lake, east of Columbus; it was readily accessible by boat and, while we were there, at least three groups came by boat for lunch, including one family who brought an elderly aunt out for a Sunday cruise.

It is pretty clear that, with the restoration of the locks of the North Canal at Lawrence and the Swamp Locks at Lowell, about 50 miles of the Merrimack could be restored for navigation. (Just imagine, one could go by boat all the way from Newburyport to Budweiser’s plant in Merrimack; for a plant tour, of course!)

The Middlesex Canal Association has several books which make excellent holiday presents.
See our web site – www.middlesexcanal.org – for ordering directions.

Middlesex Canal Association Land

Howard Winkler, Treasurer of the Middlesex Canal Association, provided the following list of land owned by the Association:

Town Location Map ID Area (acres)     Assessed Value*
Wilmington 50 Butters Row 27/11/D 8.40 $164,300
Wilmington 51 Butters Row 28/4 5.80 $ 54,800
Wilmington     Wedgewood Ave.     21/9 0.47 $ 6,800
Billerica Dignon Rd. 35/263 0.30 $ 22,200
Billerica Dignon Rd. 35/264/2     2.00 $ 42,700
Billerica 182 Salem Rd. 25/57/3 9.10 $ 40,900
Billerica 256 Lowell St. 9/256 1.38 $ 36,000
total 27.45 $367,700
*as of January 2005

The Association also has the following easements:

Billerica Towpath Lane     granted by Catherine Costello along Tow Path Drive, May 2003
Chelmsford     Canal St. granted by Town of Chelmsford along Canal St., March 1988
Chelmsford Canal St. granted by Mascester Co., Inc. along Canal St., May 2000

Calendar of Upcoming Events: 2005-2006

MCA Events (consult www.middlesexcanal.org for updates):

Fall walk: Sun, Oct 16 (details below)

Fall meeting: Sun, Nov 13 at 2:00pm (details below, see website)

Winter meeting: Sun, Jan 23 or 30, 2006 (not Superbowl weekend!)

Spring walk: Sun, Apr 23 or 30, 2006

Annual meeting: Sun, May 7, 2006

MCA and Other Canal Events

Oct 16 – Middlesex Canal Association, Fall Walk - North Branch, from the Concord River toward the Merrimack River. Info: Bill Gerber (978-251-4971) or Roger Hagopian, (617-861-7868).

Oct 16 – Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust - The Concord River in Lowell; LNHP Visitors Center Auditorium; 2 - 4pm; RSVP 978-934-0030 or www.lowelllandtrust.org

Oct 20 – National Canal Museum - Slide Lecture & Book Signing, by Michelle McFee, author The Long Haul: A History of the New York State Barge Canal and Limestone, Locks and Overgrowth: A History of New York’s Chenango Canal. Tel: 610-559-6613

Oct 21 – Middlesex Canal Museum, Volunteer Appreciation Dinner; 7pm at the Museum. RSVP: Karen, 978-262-9814 by Oct 14

Oct 21 to 23 – Pennsylvania Canal Society Fall Field Trip - The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canals. Info: Dr. Larry Wolle, Tel: 410-885-5824 (e-mail removed).

Oct 30 – Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust - A Fish Party, Spaulding House, 2 - 4pm; RSVP 978-934-0030 or www.lowelllandtrust.org

Nov 13 – Middlesex Canal Association, Fall Meeting - Canals of the Merrimack, update & Mr. Sullivan’s Steam Tow Boats! Museum @ 2pm. Info: http://www.middlesexcanal.org

Nov 17 – National Canal Museum - Slide Lecture & Book Signing, by Dr. Kenneth Wolensky, author Knox Mine Disaster. Tel: 610-559-6613

Nov 18 – Canal Society of New Jersey, Monthly Meeting - Canaling in Wales: The Society’s Recent Trip to the UK

Dec 6 – Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust - Relics and Rivers: Dismantling Dams in New England, Pollard Library, 7:30 PM; RSVP 978-934-0030 or www.lowelllandtrust.org

Jan 23 or 30, 2006 (not the Superbowl weekend) – Middlesex Canal Association Winter Meeting

Apr 23 or 30, 2006 – Middlesex Canal Association Spring Walk

May 4 to 6, 2006 - Canal Society of Indiana - Tour of the (Miami) Wabash and Erie Canal, Toledo to Grand Rapids, OH; POC-TBD

May 5 to 9, 2006 - Canal Society of New Jersey, Tour of the Canals (6) of New York State. Info: Jacob Franke, Tel: 201-768-3612

May 7, 2006 – Middlesex Canal Association Annual Meeting

Sept 11, 2006 – American Canal Society Annual Meeting (w/WWC in PA). Info: Dave Barber, 508-478-4918 (e-mal removed) or Mike Morthorst (e-mail removed).

Sept 12 to 14, 2006 – World Canals Conference, Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Info: Deleware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Tel: 610-923-3548, web site: www.delawareandlehigh.org

Found in the Woburn Daily Times, May 7, 1904

The granite curbing for the old fence in front of the Stone estate, on Washington Street, Winchester Highlands, was originally a part of the lock of the old Middlesex Canal at North Woburn. Years ago, when the canal had been abandoned, Mr. Stone bought this granite curbing and had it set up where it is today, including the granite posts. Part of the granite was also used for a foundation for his large barn.
 – Winchester Star

Wilmington 4th graders at the new mural at the Museum