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Cape Cod The Cape Cod Canal

There had to be a Cape Cod Canal. The long projecting arm of the Cape adds miles to coastwise traffic, 70 miles from Boston to New York, not to speak of the peril from violent storms that rage around it and the roaring breakers of its many shoals, like those that turned the Pilgrims back at Pollock Rip.

The first white men to settle here were the first to plan for a canal. The Pilgrims, trading fur for food and other necessities with the Dutch in New York, built their first trading post in 1627 where the Manomet and Scusset rivers almost met, forming a natural canal. As early as 1624, practical Myles Standish was busy with a plan for completing the waterway. When at last the Canal was opened to traffic on July 29, 1914, a throng of cheering ghosts must have lined the banks, for it is safe to say that there had been no intervening years when someone wasn’t planning the Canal.

The Canal was operated as a toll waterway at first, the high charges discouraging its full use, but it passed into Federal ownership in 1926 and the tolls were abolished the following year. The Canal was lengthened, widened, deepened and had its face lifted by the Government shortly before World War II. The Cape Cod Canal is the world’s widest sea level canal at 480 feet wide and has authorized depth of 32 feet at mean low water.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/20/06
Categories: History
Keywords: cape cod canal, history, maritime


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