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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 7., An eighteenth century enterprise. (search)
ved (at Billerica) the first turf, when the work of excavation actually commenced nearly sixteen months after the granting of the charter, the intervening time having been occupied in acquiring title to the land and surveying in the route. Samuel Thompson of Woburn made the preliminary survey, and the work was under the charge of Col. Baldwin, whose interest the enterprise only ceased with his life in 1808. During work in Wilmington, was discovered the tree from which the famous Baldwin apple originated. Mr. Thompson, who was a soldier of the French War, and whose diary is replete with interest, seems to have labored under a disadvantage, but his work led up to a complete survey by an expert survey, Samuel Weston. He found that the Merrimack River at Chelmsford was lower than the highest point the canal would traverse, instead of higher, as was at first supposed; so that other water than that of the Merrimack must fill the canal in its course through the Middlesex towns to the Ch