March 25, 1639: “America’s first canal to provide industrial water power began (dug by colonists in Dedham, MA); ran from Charles River to Neponset River at Mill Creek.”
Wikipedia article. “Mother Brook is the modern name for a stream that flows from the Charles River in Dedham, Massachusetts, to the Neponset River in the Hyde Park section of Boston, Massachusetts. Mother Brook was also known variously as East Brook and Mill Brook in earlier times. The man-made portion of Mother Brook is considered to have been the first canal in America dug by English settlers. Mother Brook was important to Dedham as its only source of water power for mills, from 1639 into the early 20th century.
Reference: “Business History.” Website http://www.businesshistory.com/index.php, Accessed November 14, 2012.