Boston.com has a feature today on the top-ten man-made wonders in New England including: America’s Stonehenge – known as the “Mystery Hill Caves” years ago – located in Salem, New Hampshire; the Round Stone Barn in the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; the Mount Washington Cog Railway in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; and of local interest – the Canals of Lowell Massachusetts.
Photo by Jim Higgins for the Lowell National Historical Park
At the peak of Lowell’s textile operations just before the Civil War, the 5.6-mile canal network powered nearly 10,000 looms in 40 mills and was as popular with visiting European tourists as Niagara Falls. Most mill towns long ago filled in their canals, but Lowell’s remain, and National Park Service interpretation highlights their role as the dynamo of the first Industrial Revolution. They’re still making power — enough electricity to light 10,000 homes. In March, the Park Service completed installation of 45 informational plaques along the canals, each telling another aspect of city history. Canal boat tours of varying lengths begin Memorial Day weekend. Lowell National Historical Park Visitors Center, 246 Market St., 978-970-5000. Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Northern Canal Walkway entrance at 175 Aiken St. or Mammoth Road/School Street Bridge, open when river conditions permit May 15-Oct. 15. Canal boat tours adults $8, students and seniors $7, ages 6-16 $6.