Monday, April 2, 2012

Charlestown clay

I found out in the museum that Charlestown for centuries shipped clay for use in china and in the manufacture of paper. The clay was mined locally. A system of tunnels and rail cars conveyed it to the harbor. (I think some tunnels were for mining, some for conveying by rail.)

Sluice gates controlled the flow of water from lakes that were miles away, at a higher elevation. The water was mixed with the clay, the clay was raked and dried, and then it was sent on by rail and loaded through a chute into ships.

Below, just under the red building, the last tunnel opens onto the harbor.

Following the now-absent rail tracks rightward, the chute for loading boats is under the second yellow house.

Here's the chute from right in front of that house:

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