August 6 - 1912: 150 international delegates to a navigation convention tour Cape Cod Canal

1915: Cape Cod's bayberry candle industry touted
The original "jackknife bridge" on the canal.

1912: Canal builder takes foreign delegates on a tour of his $12 million dollar canal

They were shown the $300,000 "jackknife bridge" at Buzzards Bay

On this day in 1912, August Belmont hosted 150 international delegates to a navigation convention on a tour of the Cape Cod Canal which was still under construction and due to open in two more years. 

The Navigation delegates who got a tour of the canal were attending a Philadelphia convention and were taken by train from New York to Fall River where they got on a special train and brought to Buzzards Bay. On arrival the canal builder, August Belmont, showed them the recently completed, $300,000 "jackknife bridge" so called because it opened like a pocket knife. (See the photo on left.)

The rest of the account in the newspaper that day began:

Navigation Congress Delegates Taken
on Inspection Tour by Belmont.

BOSTON, Mass., June 6. -- August Belmont entertained to-day 150 of the foreign delegates to last week's Twelfth International Navigation Congress at Philadelphia, on an inspection tour of the $12,000,000 ship canal which Mr. Belmont's Cape Cod Construction Company is building from Buzzard's Bay to Barnstable Bay across Cape Cod...

Read the rest of the story below...

1915: A Truro man noticed the waxy fruit on Bayberry bushes, started a new industry

"A Bayberry Candle brings luck to the house and gold to the pocket"

On this day in 1915 the New York Times told the world about a new industry on Cape Cod - Bayberry Candles. 

The story began:


Among the picturesque sand dunes of Cape Cod grow hundreds of patches of small bushes, known as bayberry bushes. Each shrub, which is a variety of the wax myrtle, is loaded with clusters of tiny berries, as small as shot, which cleave in bunches to the joints of the branches. These berries are gathered by women and children, who sell them for 2 cents a pound...

Read the rest of the story below...

8-02-08-bayberry-candles_616 welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on