Big Gears On the Old Canal

It’s been a while since we visited the canal. Last night we realized that summer was running out on us and if we wanted to get some pictures, we needed to go out and shoot.

Gears for the locks. Weeds are beginning to grow there now. Until recently, they were maintained, but times are hard and money is tight.

Until recently, these mechanisms were maintained and cared for, but now, weeds are growing and leaves are gathering. The economy affects things at many levels. Maintaining historical places is not a high priority when resources are scarce. Historical sites are particularly vulnerable to losing funding when the economy is weak.

Another view of the big gears. This is the biggest of the many locks on the river.

I wanted to take a wide view of these gears, but there is no place to stand without being in danger of falling into the canal. The water is too polluted for me to risk that, though the water is probably quite pleasantly warm this time of year.

Big gear for the big canal locks.

Categories: History, Nature, Photography

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Ah, canals. Several years ago my HB and I rented a houseboat and did Ontario’s Redux (sp?) Canal. Though we should probably have been arrested for reckless endangerment, we were able to complete the week-long quest without incident. I solved the problem of docking solo without smashing into pristine, million-dollar craft — all vintage teak and brass gleaming — by shouting, “Say there! I’ve never done this before! Would you lend us a hand here, please?” Owners were always happy to help. Delighted, in fact.

    Canals are wonders. They deserve to live and be enjoyed.


    • The Blackstone Canal didn’t last long. Financial and right-of-way issues, plus the 46 mile descent of the river from Worcester to Providence made it at it’s peak an improvement over moving good by horse and wagon, but not much better. It was like the pony express … short-lived. As soon as rail offered an alternative, the canal was abandoned. It never had a chance to become rooted in culture. There are still some beautiful stretches … this is one, but in many places, that canal has been obliterated, literally built over. Uxbridge has the largest still functional piece of it. It was doing okay until recently when all funds for its maintenance were tossed away. Few people even know it exists, though it may be a mere few hundred feet away from their front door. If …very big IF … the economy revives, the canal may survive too. Otherwise, it will gradually fill with crud, be overgrown, and disappear.


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