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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 7., An eighteenth century enterprise. (search)
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 artificial channel is unknown. Briefly described, the canal was a ditch thirty feet wide and four feet deep below its banks. Sometimes these were below the natural surface of the ground, but in many places, artificial embankments were required to preserve the various levels, of which there were eight. Between these latter, which varied from one to six