[p. 55] From the hill slopes of forty-five square miles the rains and melting snows reach our river and swell its current above the ancient ford. The ever-recurring tides ebbed and flowed therein until, in 1908, in the interest of public welfare, engineering skill erected a barrier which says, ‘Thus far but no farther.’ Cradock bridge, its extension, the lock with its electrically operated gates, the dam with its automatic tidal valves, and the four hundred feet of over-fall, is in marked contrast with the earliest structure, the bone of contention of those early days. Without these the beautiful parkway would have been impossible. Along the river's banks have been scenes of activity in days now long gone, for
Here rested the noble ships,and of the final fate of five hundred and sixty-seven of them little is known. Up stream
Keel, frame and towering spar,
And where the horizon dips,
They sailed and vanished afar.
The rent wharf wasted awayuntil the steam dredge removed islands, deepened the channel, eliminated some of the serpentine courses and bordered the stream with the valley parkway. Beneath the river cross water-mains and sewers, while on its surface numerous pleasure craft make their way or find moorings. We have heard of no Mystic submarines in the waters, but winged ships of the air have flown up its course and over its tributary, Menotomy. After the Civil War the project was broached of dredging and widening our river and making a storage basin of the lower lake for the monitors of the navy. But a few years before there had been built the dam at the ‘Partings,’ and the upper lake had become the Charlestown water supply. Seven additional drawbridges would have added nothing to the beauty of the scene, and as the monitors soon became obsolete, it was well the project