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[p. 18] the ‘Devil's Den.’ Just off the boulevard, near the guardhouse, extending to the former site of the stone aqueduct, the old waterway is in excellent preservation. Though invaded for dwelling purposes for some years, the residents and their houses have gone, and nature has dealt kindly, as the tall trees witness.

Through Wilmington and Billerica the same kindly hand has covered its banks with verdure and its stones with moss, while in many places a forest has arisen where once the laden boats glided along, and the horses and oxen patiently plodded.

The dressed stone of the six locks at Woburn may be found in various house foundations by the observant seeker, while the abutments of the several aqueducts remain in place grim and dark, silent witnesses to the patient labor it took to build them a century ago. For a half-mile in Wilmington the trolley car rolls along on the tow path, under the trees that have grown, and the pier and abutments at the Shawsheen are well worth a journey to see. Though the wooden trough of the aqueduct has long since succumbed to the forces of nature, the same silent forces have invested the granite walls (innocent of mortar in their building), with a dignity that impresses the beholder. At North Billerica one guard lock remains with its gates, and conveys the water to the wheel-pits of the Talbot mills, while a little below is the ruin of the lock into the lower river, with a fragment of the gate still in the water. At Middlesex village, where the entrance was had into the Merrimack, is the ‘Hadley Pasture,’ once the scene of activity, as the boats went up and down the three steps of the fine stone locks. All these are gone, but the little office of the collector still remains on the hill beside the vanished lock site, while the cows graze quietly under the big trees that have grown in the excavation.

Compared with the enterprises that are designed and completed at the present day, the Middlesex Canal seems small and insignificant. But viewed in the true light of

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North Billerica (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Middlesex Village (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Billerica (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
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