Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Charles River is a Massachusetts river that separates Boston from Cambridge and Charlestown. It flows snakelike for 80 miles, starting at Echo Lake in Hopkinton, through 58 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts, before emptying into Boston Harbor. Although it is 80 miles long, its source is only 26 miles from its mouth.
Harvard University, Boston University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are all located along the Charles River; at Boston proper it opens out into a broad basin and is lined by parks such as the Charles River Esplanade (in which stands the Hatch Shell where concerts are given in summer evenings).
While now leisurely, in the 19th Century, the Charles River was one of the most industrialized areas in the United States. Waltham was the site of the first factory in America, built by Francis Cabot Lowell in 1814. The hydropower soon fueled many mills and factories.
The Charles in popular culture
- Down by the River...
- Down by the banks of the River Charles
- (Oh, that's what's happenin' baby)
- That's where you'll find me
- Along with lovers, muggers, and thieves.
- (Ahh, but they're cool people)
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