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The War Song of the Engineer

By Deane S. Thomas

Our gleaming girders overcast
The foaming flood from strand to strand,
We chain the deadly desert fast
And bind it with an iron band.

We rob of earth her priceless hoard
We rend her bosom with our drills;
And lo! Our eyes look ever toward
The virgin wonders of the hills.

Down there, beneath the tropic stars,
Thoughtful of nations yet to be,
We rend away the land that bars
The mighty commerce of the sea.
Lo! - In the city's throbbing heart,
Or in the country's quiet lanes,
We fashion with our magic art
The steel-shod pathway of the trains.

We chain the demon of the storm,
We speak across the boundless air:
Our Gog and Magog take the form
Of endless motion everywhere.
The life is lost on every side,
We fear not death, nor any fear;
But shout across the chasms wide
The war-song of the Engineer.


islana rivers aer; taking across Capcances

Ship Canal Across Cape Cod

By Livingston Wright APE COD is to be cast builders are not of Hibernian ancesadrift. The great boot of try—will not be dug across Cape Cod sand is to be cut off from at all. Rather, taking advantage of certhe mainland of Massa- tain rivers and bays, it will make an chusetts by a ship canal, island of all the State lying east of Bos

which will reduce the ton, commencing at Fall River on the coast-wise distance from New York to south and running up to connect with Boston by more than 200 miles. It will a stream running south from Quincy on also make it unnecessary for Yankee the north. mariners longer to dare the grisly perils In previous years—and in previous of Great Hound, Stone Horse and the centuries, for that matter-canals have other wicked reefs and shoals which, in been planned to cut across the Cape at stormy weather, make the passage round various points. The favorite plan has Cape Cod a fearsome business, even for been to dig the ditch from Sandwich, the most hardy.

lying on the ankle of the boot at the With characteristic New England pru- north, to Buzzard's Bay, on the south, a dence and forethought, the matter of dig- distance of only nine miles. But that ging a canal across Cape Cod was hotly route, in the minds of present day capidebated for a trifle over two hundred talists, offers no such advantages as those years before, in November last, a respon- presented by the much longer course now sible and financially strong company was decided on. formed to do the work. On December 1, It was not long ago that there gaththe charter authorizing the digging of ered at Brockton, the little shoe city, sixthe canal was signed by Gov. Curtis teen miles south of Boston, some sevenGuild, and the actual work of digging the ty-two business men of Weymouth, Holbig ditch will begin in the early spring. brook, Brockton, West Bridgewater, Fall It furnishes one more proof of the fact River and Taunton, and organized, with a that the country is entering a new era of $15,000,000 capitalization, the New York, canal-building and water-transportation. Brockton and Boston Canal and Trans

The Cape Cod canal—though its portation Company. Prominent among the organizers are William L. Douglas, tion to the up-building of New England former governor of Massachusetts, Col. shipping can hardly be over-estimated. John J. Whipple, Hon. Robert T. Davis Through the Fore River plant, New of Fall River, and Hon. Portus B. Han- England is hoping eventually to win cock. The plan for a canal which these back some of the prestige of generations men have outlined is regarded as the agone, when Boston was the first shipmost feasible of any Cape Cod Canal ping port of the United States. The plan that has yet been evolved and it will have financial support that will carry the venture through. At Weymouth, near Quincy, about twelve miles south of Boston, are located the big shipvards of the Fore River Engine Company, a concern of which Massachusetts is justly and exceedingly proud, for it has already built several of the star cruisers of Uncle Sam's Navy,and is working day and night to build more. The importance of this newly-started institu


A Cape Cod Village.

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"Brockton crowd,” as they are con- ton. With the deepening of the river and veniently termed in Bay State financial the construction of the proposed Brockcircles, propose to dig a canal from near ton canal, a splendid waterway for the the Fore River works, following down largest ships from New York to Boston Smelt brook, going through Brockton would be opened-an engineering triand Bridgewater to Taunton, a dis- umph truly national in its importance. tance of thirty-one miles. It is As has been said, the present New York, estimated that the canal can be built Brockton and Boston Canal plan is genfor $1,000,000 per mile. With this canal erally regarded by Bay State people as in operation, a vessel instead of making the wisest and most practicable Cape Cod the trip around the toe and heel of waterway solution of all the years. Cape Cod, would simply drop down to As early as 1736, the Cape Cod IsthQuincy and take the canal down to Taun- mus was spoken of as "the place through ton, thence the Taunton river to Fall which there has been a canal talked of for River, into Narragansett Bay and down the last forty years." Long Island Sound to New York. The The next application for a Canal was use of such a waterway would, in a single made to the General Court in 1776, and year, save millions of dollars in time and a resolution was adopted authorizing two freedom from danger. In fact, its bles- officials “to view the premises and report sings would be almost incalculable. Big upon the practicability of a channel." coal barges and fair-sized vessels can al- The committee's report was referred to ready travel from Fall River up to Taun- the Continental Congress, so important

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was thought this enter-
prise of trying to avoid
the rocks of the course
around the Cape. But
owing to the financial
stringency of the times,
the subject lapsed un-.
til 1791 when it was
again before the Massa-
chusetts Legislature,
and again did a com-
mittee report that the
canal project was feas-
ible and the benefits to
be attained commen-
surate with its cost.

It is the most surveyed and argued and delayed project on record, this Cape Cod

DREDGE AT WORK IN ABANDONED Ditch. channel. Commencing with the Plymouth colonists, surveys have petition was before the General Court, been made by citizens, by the State, by and in 1803 another committee was inan officer of engineers under General vestigating the subject. In 1818, Laommi Washington, by the Board of Internal Baldwin was appointed to survey the Sea Improvements under Congress and route. In 1828, Congress caused a suragain by the United States Commission- vey to be made of the best route between ers of Boston Harbor. In 1798, another Barnstable Bay and Buzzard's Bay. In

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