Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Canterbury Brook

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View Larger Map

In a previous entry, I posted about the Canterbury brook, and discussed searching out the above-ground section of the stream. Since a picture really is worth a thousand words, I figured I should post a nice satellite map to show what I found - and more.
**Note: the satellite pictures are cropped a little on this page. To see the full image as I describe it, please expand it to full size.
In the first image, Canterbury brook - a dark line here - starts on the right side at Morton st just under the route 203 marker and flows left through the old State Hospital property to American Legion Highway, under the road to the St Michael's Cemetery property. Follow the dark line over towards Canterbury st, and then back towards the Legion Highway to what is Walk Hill st. Under the road, it appears again - difficult to see in the picture - and goes underground at the car wash at the very lower left corner of the picture.
The second image continues upstream from the first. The brook goes under Morton st as before, and turns along Morton in the north side of the State Hospital site and seems to run right up to Harvard st opposite Hansborough st. I've yet to drive over and look at that property, but the picture does suggest a question: if the brook comes from Harvard st, where does that water ultimately come from? Is Canterbury brook just the outflow of a Mattapan storm drain? If you saw the stream bed as it flows through the State Hospital property, you'd think it came straight from a factory. Have you ever seen black algae? Yuck.


Anonymous said...

If you were to follow the brook upstream to the west(through the underground conduit) you would be under Quarley Road. I grew up on that small dead end street near the JP line. My elderly neighbor once told me that she would walk over a bridge over Stony Brook at the end of the street on her way to St Andrew Church in the 30s/40s. Several backyards at the end of Quarley Road have manhole covers for the brook from when it was piped and sunk for development.

tombleser said...

I find it strange that in almost 400 years noone seems to have focused much on the regional surface drainage of greater Boston, (which would again be an island if sea level rises much, as some people expect it to), because it looks to me as though the Charles and Neponset Rivers link up a few feet from the Museum of Bad Art in Needham. In the late 1800's somebody thought he'd found the stream one of my ancestors (Dane)supposedly harvested grain near and slaked his thirst in back in the 1630's. According to that writer, it was still flowing through a culvert in Dorchester. They were terrible farmers who had pretty much destroyed this land in less than a century, which is how and why (I suspect) "Muddy River" got its name.