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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 7., An eighteenth century enterprise. (search)
ards of one hundred feet in width to a depth of ten feet to form the canal bed before the embankments were made. This difficulty overcome and Maple Meadow Brook (the source of Ipswich River) crossed, a loop, called the Ox-bow, had to be made around a hill. Much of the work was through a sandy soil, but in various places its course could not avoid ledges of solid rock. These taxed the effort and patience of the laborers, who were mostly native born, as emigration from Ireland, Italy and Hungary was then but slight. The shore of Medford Pond, or, as it is now termed, Mystic Lake, was originally intended for the southern terminus, but the canal was built six miles further, and ended at the Charlestown mill-pond, special legislation authorizing the extension. But for this, the remaining distance would have been covered by the pond and Mystic, or, as then called, Medford River. Whether the shallowness of the upper river, or its serpentine course caused the continuation of the artif