America's Historic Towns and Oldest Places
Bellows Falls Canal (est. 1802) is a canal constructed to allow boat traffic to bypass Great Falls on the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls, Vermont. It was constructed by the Bellows Falls Canal Company. The village of Bellows Falls grew on the Connecticut River as businesses used water power from the falls. In 1791, investors started building a canal around the falls to improve transportation along the river. Eventually the early canal was abandoned as train travel became more popular. The falls now generate hydroelectric power. The canal was constructed to allow boat traffic to bypass Great Falls on the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls, Vermont. The Bellows Falls Downtown Historic District includes the canal. The Library of Congress has a dry plate negative of the canal from 1907. A historical marker on Bridge Street in Bellows Falls, Vermont commemorates the canal's history. The lower end of the canal with the locks, south of Bridge Street along what is now Mill Street, is where many of the mills were built to use its power. The 1886 lithograph by Burleigh in the sidebar shows some of those mills. The official address is the Town of Rockingham, VT 05101Bellows Falls, Vermont.