Old Middlesex Canal
Horn Pond Locks
Along what is now Arlington Road were formerly located three sets of
double locks on the Old Middlesex Canal.
These sets of 80 foot by 11 foot chambers effected a rise of fifty feet for
the canal boats and rafts from Boston on their way northward to Lowell.
The middle set of locks, located near this marker, was separated from each of the other two sets by wide basins used to refill the locks after "locking through" took place.
As passage through the series of locks was time consuming, an eager clientele of boatman and passengers frequented the four canal taverns, the bowling alleys and
dance pavilion located here. It was one of the earliest resort areas in the country.
1793 - 1853
At this location canal boats pulled by horses carried freight and passengers between
Boston and the Merrimack River at Lowell before the days of railroads.
The canal ran from Charlestown through what is now Somerville, Medford, Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington, Billerica, and Chelmsford to Lowell.
The canal was just over 27 miles long. It was 20 ft. wide at the bottom, 30 1/2 ft. wide
at the surface, and 3 1/2 deep. There were 20 locks, 8 aqueducts, and 50 bridges.