Historical Sites: The Great Wall of Canton

Posted on: Friday, May 4, 2012 - 3:31pm

Historical Sites: The Great Wall of CantonCanton, MA, home to CHR's Waterfall Hills Apartments,  is rich with history. Birthplace of Paul Revere's Copper Rolling Mill and headquarters to some contemporary commerce giants such as Dunkin Donuts and Reebok, Canton has its reasons to have town pride.  However,  the most noticeable piece of history Canton has to offer is the Canton Viaduct.


The viaduct (nicknamed: The Great Wall of Canton) was created in 1835 to provide rail service between Boston, MA and Providence, RI and was the final link to be built between the 41 mile track. The bridge is .3 miles long with 25% of that over the water of the Canton River. The wing walls were built by Massachusetts native William Otis using his invention the steam shovel. His invention would later become a key element in the construction of railroads and the Panama Canal. At the time of completion the cost was $93,000 and was the longest and tallest railroad bridge ever built.  Today it is considered to be the oldest blind arcade cavity wall bridge in the world and is the last surviving bridge of its kind. It's been in continuous service for 176 years and now carries high-speed passenger and freight trains. 


Next time you drive into Canton through Neponset Street take a moment as you pass under The Great Wall to ponder this 176 year old modern marvel.