James B. Francis was a man whose appreciation for natural beauty was as profound as his engineering prowess. In 1875, when a majestic hackberry tree faced removal, Francis intervened. With his guidance, Locks and Canals employees relocated the tree to its location in the photo. While neither the tree nor Cheever Street survive, the enduring image captured in the photo, attributed to fellow English immigrant Annie Powell, immortalizes this tree.

The hackberry tree may no longer grace the banks of the canal, but the area still retains a natural charm and beauty that James B. Francis would have admired.

The panel on the High Bridge over the Northern Canal.

Image credit: Center for Lowell History

Little Canada, as seen from the High Bridge on Pawtucket Street overlooking the Northern Canal in 1964, the same year the neighborhood was demolished for the city's urban renewal project. This is the photograph in the panel above.