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[50] Merrimac River navigable; from the head of the canal to Concord, N. H., being a series of dams, locks, and short canals to overcome the natural rapids and falls of the river.

The first of these works was a lock and short canal at Wiscassee Falls, three miles above the head of the Middlesex Canal and what is now known as Tyngs Island. No fall is now perceptible at that point, the Lowell dam having flowed it out. The second work, fifteen miles further up, at Cromwell's Falls, consisted of a dam and single lock. Then came dams and single locks at Moor's, Coos', Goff's, Griffin's and Merrill's Falls. About a mile above Merrill's Falls were the lower locks of the Amoskeag, a canal next in importance to the Middlesex Canal. It was only about a mile in length, but surmounted by works of very considerable magnitude, where the great fall of between fifty and sixty feet now furnishes the water power for the mills at Manchester. The contract was first undertaken by Samuel Blodgett in 1794, and not completed until 1807.

Eight miles above Amoskeag the locks and short canal at Hooksett overcame a fall of some seventeen and one-half feet; further up the Bow locks and canal afforded the final lift of twenty-seven feet to the level of the navigable water of the Merrimac at Concord.

Short side canals with locks were subsequently built at the junction of the Nashua and Piscataquog Rivers with the Merrimac, to facilitate the passage of boats from the Merrimac to the storehouse in Nashua and Piscataquog villages. For forty years this line of canals formed the principal channel of heavy transportation between the two capitals, and except that the canals did not effectually compete with the stages for carrying passengers, they held the same position to transportation as is now held by their successor and destroyer—the railroad. During the entire season of open river, from the time that the spring break — up of ice permitted navigation to commence until the frosts of fall again closed it, this eighty-five miles of water was thronged with boats taking the products of the country to a market and the New England metropolis, and returning

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