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[p. 30] Novel it certainly was, for in 1818 steamboat service had not obtained permanency in Boston harbor, though the next year a native of Medford (Rev. Charles Brooks) was instrumental in securing such service between Boston and Hingham. But certain it is, that this and other parts of Medford were the scene of the earliest steamboat days.1

Captain Sullivan was nearly a century ahead of the times, for it is only within a few years that, even with the resources of the great state of New York, steam has been successfully used on its barge canals.

Steam was destined to win on land, and some of the land is in this corner of Medford. One day, two horses slowly towed a canal boat up through Medford to the new town of Lowell which had arisen at the Pawtucket Falls of the Merrimack. That boat bore a new kind of freight, the various parts of the locomotive engine which the genius of Governor Sullivan and of the Medford capitalists had not foreseen. A lot of Walnut-tree hill, and rocks from Winter Hill had been carted onto the end of the bordering marsh making an embankment twenty feet high across it, and bridges built over the canal and river.

The canal boats had been bringing granite blocks down from Chelmsford, and

The strange spectacle was thus presented, perhaps for the first time, of a corporation assisting in the preparation for its own obsequies. (Quoted from Lorin L. Dame.)

One day (June 24, 1835) a curious array of uncouth vehicles came trundling on the iron rails laid on those granite blocks all the way from Lowell to Boston. With much exercise of patience, men unused to such work had assembled at Lowell the various parts of that nondescript freight, and a new era of transit and mode of travel was inaugurated. We use these words in order advisedly, as it is recorded that on the previous day, the mail was carried in this new way. Well, Uncle Sam's mail is supposed to have the right of way still. Whether called so then or

1 See Register, Vol. XVII, p. 92.

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