Its waters drove our first Industrial Revolution—and were poisoned by it. Thoreau believed the Merrimack might not run pure again for thousands of years, but today it is a welcoming pathway through a hundred-mile-long red-brick museum of America’s rise to power.
They border each other, they look alike, and most outsiders have a hard time separating the two. Yet residents know the differences are enormous.
He had all the right qualities. Only the time was wrong.
The life and death of the world’s largest textile mill, in the words of the men and women who worked there