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[p. 16] abutments of boulders and floors of wood, and the latter were known as ‘accommodation bridges.’ A notable exception to the general construction was and is the one near High street at West Medford.

This was built at Mr. Peter C. Brooks' expense, at about 1820. The engineer who designed it was George Rumford Baldwin (son of Col. B.), and it is a fitting monument to his skill, as well as ‘a gravestone to mark where the highway of the waters is buried.’ The towpath in summer became a favorite walk out from Boston and from the several villages, a veritable ‘Lovers' Lane,’ and some of the taverns were noted as the resort of pleasure parties, notably the one at Horn Pond in Woburn. In the winter the pleasure seekers forsook the path, for with the closing of the season by the frost king, began the sport of skating. Without exception, every man with whom the writer has conversed as to his recollections of the old waterway, refers with pleasure to the long skating trips he enjoyed. These sometimes became strenuous, as when the boys of Charlestown and Medford met near the old toll-house to the slogan of

Charlestown figs put on your wigs
And up to Medford run,


Medford maggits put on your jackets
And drive them back like fun

was the reply.

With the exception of thin ice under the bridges, into which some unfortunates plunged in an involuntary bath, the canal was an ideal place for winter pastime.

Allusion has been made to the opening of the railroad along the course of the canal. Though a public benefit, it was the canal's misfortune, and it is said that misfortune comes not singly. In '41, one of its trusted employees (nameless here) disappeared with $10,000 of the funds of the canal and of the associated Boating Co., of which $3,757.97 belonged to the Middlesex Canal.

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