BROCKTON – Starting in 1909, the CapeCod Canal was carved through seventeen miles of earth in Sandwich and Bourne, shaving some hundred kilometers off the boat journey north to Boston and always modifying the geography of Massachusetts.
In the landlocked City of Brockton forty miles away, business executives likely experienced a pang of missed opportunity.
A ten years earlier, the state legislature had considered dredging a canal from the Narragansett Bay to Boston Harbor, developing a direct path between New England’s biggest shipping ports having a stop in Brockton. Starting at the Taunton Rivers and stretching out north to the Weymouth River, technical engineers estimated a 130 foot wide canal would cost nearly fifty eight dolars million to establish, factoring in the demand for fourteen locks and twenty drawbridges crossing the canal.
At thirty five miles in length, the undertaking would’ve been substantial, without a lot smaller compared to the 50 mile Panama Canal of global repute.
The Taunton-to-Weymouth proposition was later on abandoned, along with a private businessman broke ground on the much smaller alternative through Sandwich and Bourne seven years after the legislature bought the survey on the path through Brockton. Even this not so costly project eventually bankrupted its financier. The Cape Cod Canal did not expand to its modern day ratios until World War II, after the U.S. Army Corps of control was assumed by engineers as well as significantly widened the passageway.
Bradford Kingman, a historian of Brockton who had written at the conclusion of the nineteenth century, experienced a deep feeling of remorse remembering the city’s preceding miss with a canal bypassing Cape Cod in 1832.
Other long canals from the era of Brockton’s near miss with a waterfront are hardly noticeable after centuries of redevelopment. Longer stretches of the Middlesex Canal, that previously provided a 27 mile aquatic freeway between the Mystic River in Medford and also the Merrimack River in Lowell, have dried out up or perhaps been filled in
In Bourne, Selectman Jim Potter stated the CapeCod Canal is an economic and recreational asset. The heavy traffic it takes to the little town could be a nuisance, but it is also attracted businesses along with a new hotel to an once struggling downtown, Potter believed.
The suggested canal through Brockton, much more costly to grow and maintain, may never ever have made it