Tyngsborough Time Travel
It's around this time of year that I dig out my copy of Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and see where my river routes and those of the Thoreau brothers may have intersected. On Monday morning September 2, 1839 they were pushing off from their 2nd night's campsite on the Merrimack's east shore and approaching the spot pictured in my opening photo. The First Parish Meetinghouse would have been standing as it had been rebuilt only 2 years before in 1836. However, there was no bridge spanning the river at that time. In its place was a ferry employing a cross-river cable. Thoreau made no mention of the Meeting House but did describe the bustling activity he witnessed at the ferry landing..."This ferry was as busy as a beaver dam, and all the world seemed anxious to get across the Merrimack River at this particular point, waiting to get set over, -children with their two cents done up in paper, jailbirds broke loose and constable with warrant, travelers from distant lands to distant lands, men and women to whom the Merrimack River was a bar."
I went as far as Limit Brook (which is close to the New Hampshire border) before turning about and heading back. An eagle patrolled the skies there...
After returning to Southwell Field and upon leaving, I caught this glimpse of what I believe is the Nashua switcher returning north with about 20 freight cars Nashua bound...
The railroad to Nashua was only just being built back in 1839 and Thoreau mentioned having been "kept awake by the boisterous sport of some Irish laborers on the railroad, wafted to us over the water, still unwearied and unresting on this seventh day, who would not have done with whirling up and down the track with ever increasing velocity and still reviving shouts, till late in the night."
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