Cape Cod Canal opens three weeks before the Panama Canal
The Cape Cod Canal was opened with much fanfare on July 29, 1914, a toll waterway put into operation less than three weeks before the Panama Canal opened. It bore only a slight resemblance to the canal we know today.
This photo depicts the first Bourne Highway Bridge on Dec. 31, 1926. The limitations of its clearance — even with the sides in the upright position — made navigation challenging, and it was the site of frequent ship collisions.
A new bridge allowing safer navigation were completed in 1935.
On this day in 1959, the New York Times reported that the Norwegian freighter Francisville had reached Brooklyn for repairs after its collision with another freighter in Buzzards Bay the day before as described in the story below on left.
The story began;
Saturday Section: BUSINESS FINANCIAL
The crippled Norwegian freighter Francisville arrived here early yesterday morning under tow of two Moran Towing and Transportation Company tugs...
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The US Coast Guard decision on the collision read in part:
In this case, I think that it is a reasonable inference, based on all the surrounding facts and circumstances, to conclude that there was some relationship between the excessive speed and the collision. This casual connection is established predominantly by the facts that the speed of the FRANCISVILLE placed her in the danger zone (beyond one-half the distance of visibility ahead) where the collision occurred and that she had not stopped when the two ships came together.
It is my opinion that the most logical conclusion or inference, based on experience and probabilities, is that the established fact of the immoderate speed of the FRANCISVILLE did, to some extent, contribute to the casualty. As stated in Appeal No. 586, this is not an attempt to forecast the outcome of civil litigation resulting from the collision...
Cape Cod is meant for seagoers first and landlubbers thereafter
(Above: This Friendship Sloop passing through the canal is typical of the sailboats of a century ago. CapeCodToday.com photo.)
In August of 1958, the New York Times was touting a sail through the canal to Provincetown or a cruise along Nantucket Sound to Chatham. The travel yarn began;
Other areas have ambitions for the honor but Cape Cod can prove beyond much doubt it is the pleasure boatman's perfect North Atlantic waterway vacation spot. It would be hard to swing a dock line without hitting one of what must be hundreds, if not thousands, of harbors, anchorages, bights, bays. Cape Cod is meant for seagoers first and landlubbers thereafter...
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