If this were the year 1828 you could climb aboard the barge Lady Carrington and travel by water all the way to Worcester.It was October 8, 1828 and the Blackstone Canal had opened for passenger and cargo service between Providence and Worcester. One hundred yards south of this spot, musicians greeted passengers who were boarding th 65 foot flagship Lady Carrington for its maiden voyage. It was the first commercial shipping in the Great Salt Cove since the Great Gale of 1815 destroyed the lift bridge at Weybosset Street, which previously allowed ocean-going sailing vessels to dock at the foot of Bowen Street.It had taken over 1,000 workers five years to construct the 45 mile long canal and its 48 granite locks required to navigate the 438 foot difference in elevation between Worcester and sea level at Providence.The prospect of the canal was a boom for economic development of the Blackstone Valley. Mill villages such as Millbury, Albion, and Manville sprang up along the canal. Summer droughts and winter ice threatened the viability of the canal; but it was rail service, established in 1846 by the Providence & Worcester Railroad, that capped the demise of the canal. The last canal toll was collected on November 9, 1848.Today all that remains of the Blackstone Canal in Providence can be seen just up stream from here to the north and south of Smith Street where the Moshassuck River flows between granite stone walls.