note a marked contrast could they see the first steam train which rolled into the little station on Lowell street on June 24, 1835.
During the June session of 1827 (for the Legislature then met semi-annually) Gov. Levi Lincoln
in his message urged that special attention be given to the subject of railroads.
This resulted in an appropriation of $250 for the survey of a route from Boston
, which latter town had then a population of 6,000.
There were then but 44 miles of completed railroad in the entire country, but 442 miles were in process of building, while 697 more were projected.
Truly the fever was spreading.
The public facility for passenger transportation between Boston
in 1829 was a stage coach, going one day and returning the next.
It was a three hours ride and required an outlay of one dollar and twenty-five cents, but in the winter the charge was one dollar a passage.
The packet boats, Genl Washington
and Gov. Sullivan
, upon the Middlesex Canal
for about eight months in the year carried passengers for seventy-five cents, but besides this there was a stage fare of twelve and one-half cents for less than a mile from the terminus in Charlestown
and across the bridge to Boston
, while at the northern end ‘a fourpence ha'penny’ was charged for two miles when the fare was not ‘thrown in.’
The canal's northern end was in Chelmsford
, now known as Middlesex Village and part of the city of Lowell
The canal's first cost was a half-million, and this had been supplemented by continual heavy expense for repairs, but dividends were being paid.
The Middlesex Canal
had been in operation for thirty years when the railroad was chartered.
The canal connected the tidewaters of Boston Harbor
with the slow moving current of Concord river