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[9] 1836 the agent recommended improvements. The amount of tonnage continued to increase, and the very ties used in the construction of the railroad were boated, it is said, to points most convenient for the workmen.

The disastrous competition of the road was beginning to be felt. The board of directors waged a plucky warfare with the railroad, reducing tariff on all articles, and almost abolishing it on some, till the expenditures of the canal outran its income; but steam came out triumphant. Even sanguine Caleb Eddy became satisfied that larger competition was vain, and set himself to the difficult task of saving fragments of the inevitable wreck. Business grew rapidly less with the canal after the Nashua & Lowell railroad opened. The country merchants fully appreciated the speed and certainty of the railroad, in spite of the somewhat higher freight rates. Caleb Eddy proposed to abandon the canal for transportation and convert it into a canal for supplying Boston with water. Boston had a population at this time (1843) of about 100,000, and was still dependent on wells for its water supply. Most of the wells were badly contaminated, some being little short of open sewers. Mr. Eddy's plan consisted in abolishing the levels betwen Billerica and Middlesex Village and Woburn and Charlestown, conducting the water of the canal from Woburn by thirty-inch iron pipes to a reservoir on Mount Benedict in Somerville, thence to be distributed over Boston, and possibly Charlestown and Cambridge. The water from the Concord river was analyzed by Dr. Charles T. Jackson, Professor John W. Webster, of Harvard University, S. L. Dana, of Lowell, and A. A. Hayes, of Roxbury, and by all declared to be pure, soft, and eminently suitable for the purpose. The scheme was, however, not successful, and in 1845 Caleb Eddy resigned his position. Stock fell to $150, and in 1846 the canal was abandoned and the property was sold for $130,000, and the amount divided among the stockholders. On April 4, 1852, the last canal-boat was run on the canal by Joel Dix, of Billerica.

By conveyances made in 1832, the company reserved the right to use the land for canaling purposes; perhaps they

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