Portland Street Canal Bridge, 1890s
This photo will convey some idea of the labor involved in blasting out the artificial river-bed to straighten the Canal stream. The natural course of the water, which was a few rods to the left, must often have flooded the flats thereabouts, especially in spring freshets. The wooden bridge was therefore a great boon to rural travelers, and provided a safe route to the main ferry. Date of this bridge is in the late 1820’s. About that time, the Old Ferry ceased running.
Fishermen in dories are obtaining water in spring, already mentioned.. The two stone-piles on the left bank, mark the outlets of the tunnel. Building on Portland Street is Settle’s blacksmith shop. Photo was taken by Thomas G. Stevens about 1890.
This stream was a dividing line between the original town plot, and its later extensions. On the downtown side of the river, there are no large estates comparable to those north and east.
The bridge was a dividing line in another manner for the youthful gangs of the last century. Here the “up-alongs” encountered the “down-alongs.” Woe unto a straggler from either side, if he were caught unaccompanied at night in the territory of the enemy.