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[p. 67] of those years, the Boston & Maine laid a track from their line into Lowell; and not to be outdone the Boston & Lowell built also a branch from their Wilmington station into the city of Lawrence. These branches though a convenience to the public, detract but little from the direct stream of travel and business along the original lines. I can myself recall seeing the last of the canal boats, earlier than my memory of the railway cars. Even as late as 1879, I can remember seeing the slowly decaying wood work of the Shawsheen and Maple Meadow aqueducts during my rides to and from Lowell.

This paper has been written at the canal's ‘landing number four,’ and during its preparation, cars have thundered by on the high embankment behind my dwelling in a way which that English engineer little dreamed of. In front, where once the canal boats were floated in the aqueduct twenty feet above the river, the largest cars of the Boston Elevated rush along by the electric current, each one carrying as many as a whole train drawn by the Patrick in 1835.

The site of the ‘landing’ is covered thickly with dwellings to the north, while southward is the shining Mystic. But in the march of improvement even the natural features change. Before the snows of another winter shall have covered the brown marshes, the pulsating tides will have overflown them their last, and by another spring time Capt. Sullivan's dream in 1819 of river navigation, after ninety years will have come to pass. Steam you ask? Possibly, but more likely gasoline or electricity. Dr. Darwin wrote of ‘flying chariots in fields of air’ and the artist of 1835 alluded to, had in that picture a balloon. The realization of those I willingly leave to the people of the future. Terra firma is good enough for me. There are possibilities in air-ships and submarine boats, however. Perhaps the Historical Society fifty years (or less) hence may consider them.

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