A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers By Henry David Thoreau


According to the record of an old inhabitant of Tyngsborough, now
dead, whose farm we were now gliding past, one - Page 380
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According To The Record Of An Old Inhabitant Of Tyngsborough, Now Dead, Whose Farm We Were Now Gliding Past, One Of The Greatest Freshets On This River Took Place In October, 1785, And Its Height Was Marked By A Nail Driven Into An Apple-Tree Behind His House.

One of his descendants has shown this to me, and I judged it to be at least seventeen or eighteen feet above the level of the river at the time.

According to Barber, the river rose twenty-one feet above the common high-water mark, at Bradford in the year 1818. Before the Lowell and Nashua railroad was built, the engineer made inquiries of the inhabitants along the banks as to how high they had known the river to rise. When he came to this house he was conducted to the apple-tree, and as the nail was not then visible, the lady of the house placed her hand on the trunk where she said that she remembered the nail to have been from her childhood. In the mean while the old man put his arm inside the tree, which was hollow, and felt the point of the nail sticking through, and it was exactly opposite to her hand. The spot is now plainly marked by a notch in the bark. But as no one else remembered the river to have risen so high as this, the engineer disregarded this statement, and I learn that there has since been a freshet which rose within nine inches of the rails at Biscuit Brook, and such a freshet as that of 1785 would have covered the railroad two feet deep.

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