From 1803-1851 the Middlesex Canal went through Winchester, connecting Boston to the mills in Lowell. It was one of America's early engineering marvels and served as a training ground for the engineers who later built the Erie Canal across New York State.
The Middlesex Canal Commission was established by the Massachusetts legislature to promote the restoration and public use of the Middlesex Canal. The Commission has representatives from each of the towns that the Canal traversed. Over 150 years after the canal closed several remnants are still visible in Winchester.