In the quaint language of Caleb Eddy
, ‘he thought it was better to be a rogue in Canada
than an honest man in his own country,’ and also that ‘in his hasty flight he left behind some property, such as canal boats and a dwelling house.’
While Mr. Eddy
took prompt action to secure something from these, it is doubtful if canal boats were then
‘gilt-edged’ security on which to realize a large per cent.
of the loss sustained.
The railroad, the ‘infant’ referred to by Mr. Eddy
in 1827, though now ('41) but six years old, and weak in its facilities compared with the present, was a lusty, growing youngster, and if not swallowing the canal itself, was swallowing its income and prospects by the rapidity of its own transit and continuous service.
A few years of plucky but profitless competition, and the regular operation of the canal was discontinued by vote of its directors.
The last boat passed through the lock at Billerica
in 1852, and the waters of the Concord
flowed on toward the Merrimack
as of old; while that in the various levels found its way out, saving here and there a portion into which the surrounding territory drained.
The land it occupied, sold at auction or otherwise, soon underwent a radical change in some sections, by the leveling of the embankments, filling of the watercourses, and the removal of bridges and locks.
, Summer (first called Middlesex street), and Boston avenue mark its course, while in Woburn
fine residences on Arlington road (once Canal street) occupy the site of the ‘old canal.’
The beautiful Woburn Library overlooks its channel; while the railroad, after climbing the eighty feet rise from the Aberjona
, and pausing forty years (presumably for breath), now continues northward by the same route the canal took at the opening of the century.
The construction of the Mystic Valley
Parkway has obliterated some interesting features, known to the youngsters of these later years as ‘Tramps' Hollow’ and