A historic canal that provided valuable water for Harwich's dominating cranberry industry frames the latest parcel of land donated to the Harwich Conservation Trust.
Land owner Don Bates of Harwich is donating the parcel. He says the land adjoining the Cahoon Canal, highlighted above in yellow, which links Hinkleys Pond with Seymour Pond is assessed at $1,800, however its value to the environment is worth far more than that. "It's saving habitat and protecting water quality" Bates told the Cape Cod Times.
Cahoon Canal was dug by a few men with shovels, strong backs and Yankee determination in 1852. At the time Capt. Alvin Cahoon sought to increase the water supply near Seymour pond for cranberries, however he needed supplemental water from Hinkleys pond as well. The resulting canal is 200 yards long by approximately five feet wide and it has effectively held water for 161 years.
Don Bates's gift of 1 1/2 acres of land adjoining the canal includes some waterfront on Seymour Pond. Along with the Cape's ubiquitous windmills, add Cahoon's Canal as a symbol of early Cape Cod engineering feats.
Enjoy the video, above, of the hidden Cahoon Canal courtesy of the Cape Cod Times online.