Talk:Canton Viaduct

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nrhp infobox[edit]

I don't expect that adding a standard NRHP infobox based on the National Register Information System database to the article would help, as there is a big infobox already developed. Here it is, though, in case there is any info from NRIS in it that could be used in the article, perhaps. doncram (talk) 23:54, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Canton Viaduct
Canton Viaduct is located in Massachusetts
Canton Viaduct
LocationNeponset and Walpole Sts., Canton, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°9′28″N 71°9′17″W / 42.15778°N 71.15472°W / 42.15778; -71.15472Coordinates: 42°9′28″N 71°9′17″W / 42.15778°N 71.15472°W / 42.15778; -71.15472
ArchitectMcNeill,William Gibbs; Dodd & Baldwin
NRHP reference #84002870[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 20, 1984
Lots of the existing infobox needs to get merged into the article proper IMO. Infobox is supposed to be quick-summary and key data, not verbose prose with lots of additional detail about each value field. DMacks (talk) 00:36, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
In general I would agree, but i think the big infobox is fine in this article. I think this article is getting excessive scrutiny from other editors, given that it is a new article by a new wikipedia editor, and it is not being nominated for a wikipedia Featured Article! If the new editor would like comments, they can be requested by use of the wp:PR peer review process. The article is already extremely way better than just having an unimproved stub NRHP article, like for most NRHP sites in all of List of RHPs in MA or in the local area to this one. :) doncram (talk) 18:34, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Certainly! This was meant as a "things to work on by somebody sometime to make it even better", not "WE MUST FIX THIS NOW!!!!!". This article fits some of my interests but not my expertise, so I'm glad it's being written and am happy to help clean it up further. DMacks (talk) 18:42, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Hi, this is Ed Costanza, aka Canton Viaduct and webmaster of As you can tell, I am new to Wiki and I am trying to learn as I go so please bear with me. I have been studying this bridge for years and noticed how poorly it was represented here so I decided to improve the existing information. I thank you all for the constructive criticism but please refrain from sarcastic remarks as I have devoted much time to this project and don't pretend to be nearly as well versed on Wiki as you. Thanks, Ed (redacted)
We really do appreciate your contributions and continued work here and this structure is quite interesting! One of the things many of us do is annotate our changes with an Edit summary explaining the reason for a change or the goal of a layout-adjustment and/or giving pointers to the content or style guidelines for articles. Unfortunately, the field has a limited length:( Let us know which acronyms aren't familiar and we can dig up links to the pages explaining them. There are also some predefined notes you may see that are standard flags for "work needed here but I don't have time to deal further with it now". Wikipedia is collaborative and articles take time to develop, so please don't feel that these are criticism of what is done, but rather as ways to improve the further or make it more closely follow existing standards. DMacks (talk) 06:44, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
NRHP infobox embedded KudzuVine (talk) 21:37, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.

Page structure[edit]

This article lacks the benefits of an introductory section as described in WP:Lead. Page structure should generally follow WP:Layout. Hertz1888 (talk) 18:18, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Another fine observation, which would be more relevant if the new editor writing it indicated he/she would like to receive comments. Again, I am not sure why this article is getting so much scrutiny. doncram (talk) 18:37, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Comrade Doncram, kindly assume good faith, or you will make it seem as if no good deed truly does go unpunished. Why discourage collaborative support (some of which you yourself have brought to bear)? Hertz1888 (talk) 02:55, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Well i do assume good faith in your and others' efforts here, but I eventually became uncomfortable about how Canton V. might be perceiving all this, given lack of comment by Canton here on the Talk page. I guess the interactions via successive edits to the article are going okay, though, given no explicit complaints posted publicly here or elsewhere by Canton. doncram (talk) 19:02, 9 March 2009 (UTC)


With all due respect, I believe that six of the eight images currently in the gallery, of arches elsewhere, belong in another article, perhaps on architectural arches, that can be linked to, if not already linked. My opinion on this is not the last word, of course, but the inclusion here can be seen as tangential and distracting for the reader focusing on the Canton Viaduct as such. Hertz1888 (talk) 21:05, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

On the topic of galleries and making the article hard to follow, it's easier to read and flows better (in my opinion) if major article content is in the article itself rather that being placed in a narrow caption region. In general, images should support the content, not be the document structure or primary focus. For example, if one wants to read about the construction, one would probably look for a section with a name like "Construction" and there find writing and images about it (is why I moved the image there, and why I have previously noted and worked to reduce the verbage in the infobox). Previously (and now creeping again) there is becoming a catch-all gallery of all sorts of images, and the actual article content becomes an afterthought on them. Based on CV's comments embedded in the page, I think he (she?) is trying to treat this as a firstly as visual publication, a direction with which I disagree. Good to avoid layout messes, but really good to get organized factual content. Fortunately, we have lots of space, and so can organize and write about each topic. We also have lots of other pages on related topics, so if there is a lot to be said about kinds of viaducts and comparing different support systems, well that's not specific to this viaduct, so it could be off-loaded onto the viaduct page. Lots of detail about "not what this page is about" makes it harder for a reader to find that info at all. This is indeed a fairly unique viaduct design, so talking about this design here makes a lot of sense, and I'm glad someone wrote about it! Talking about a different type of design on a different viaduct in a different that just happens to be from the same era that already has a whole page to talk about it? Off-topic. DMacks (talk) 01:23, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Image sources[edit]

Many of the images do not state their source (they state that they are Public Domain, but not specifically where they came from). Please do not ignore or simply remove the the tagging of those articles as needing sources--they really will be deleted if they are marked as needing sources and the actual source isn't provided promptly. For example, rather than just annotating a picture as being a being public-domain work of the United States Federal Government, mention the URL of the web-page from where this actual file was taken, some bibliographic information about a hard-copy that you scanned, or something like that. If an image is from your own personal collection, you are obviously free to release it as Public Domain, but please also annotate the image with an "I took this picture" statement so that others can know that you didn't just "borrow" a file from somewhere and republish it. It's sad-but-true is that some editors will "borrow" non-free material and simply upload it with a "this is free" claim, so we need some traceability to be able to verify those claims. Thanks! DMacks (talk) 07:27, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Seriously. They will be deleted in the next week or so unless you provide this required information: specific source where you got each file one you claim is USGovt or specific biblio for each USGovt hard-copy image you scanned. DMacks (talk) 18:58, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

This photo is from the US Library of Congress's American Memory Collection, HABS/HAER:,076612pu.tif&title=9.%20%20Boston%20%26%20Providence%20Railroad%3a%20Canton%20Viaduct.%20Canton,%20Norfolk%20Co.,%20MA.%20(Not%20on%20NEC).%20(See%20HAER%20No.%20MA-27%20for%20further%20documentation%20on%20this%20site).%20%3cbr%3eHAER%20MASS,13-BOST,83-9&displayProfile=0

This photo is legit so to be more specific Don - Why are you attacking me? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Canton Viaduct (talkcontribs)

Don vs. Dmacks Does Dmacks go by the name Don? I wonder if Doncram, me, is being confused with Dmacks, who is not me. I prefer to be referred to as Doncram, presume that Dmacks prefers Dmacks. doncram (talk) 22:18, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Good point! I've definitely never been known as "Don" around here. DMacks (talk) 04:37, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

My bad Canton Viaduct (talk) 23:14, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

We're not attacking you. I'm trying to draw your attention to a critical part of Wikipedia editorial policy, given that you seemed not to realize the urgency and/or meaning of the bot actions and comments or how to solve the problems they were noting. Here's a first-pass list of files you have uploaded that need PD-USGov source info:
based on eyeballing the of all files you've uploaded. Please let us know the best way to alert you to these urgent and mandatory needs so that they can be handled appropriately in the future. DMacks (talk) 19:32, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see a possible problem-cause here...the file-upload form makes you pick a copyright but not add other details about it, whereas per WP:COPYRIGHT and WP:V policies, merely stating the copyright is necessary but not sufficient in most cases. {{Information}} is a good template to place on each file's page to contain the necessary additional details. DMacks (talk) 20:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Don - If this was such a critical part of Wikipedia's editorial policy then the fields would be required and since they are not it seems less a Wiki policy and more a DMacks policy.

WP:COPYRIGHT is policy, and it points to Wikipedia:Image copyright tags that tells you to include the source. The upload form clearly tells you to include the info, even if it doesn't reject the upload outright if you don't. WP can't force you to follow every rule every time you do everything...that's why we have lots of editors and bots who can fix things and/or tell you what needs to be fixed and why. Yes, it takes time to learn how things work and discover policies and guidelines you didn't even know existed, and to find missing info once you know what's missing. That's why the bots give a week grace period before any deletion would happen--so you can have a chance to resolve the problem. We really are trying to help here, experienced editors and bots alike telling you what's wrong, how to fix it, and where to learn more about the situation. DMacks (talk) 21:02, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Canton, it's most definitely not a "DMacks policy". I'm glad that the form allows you to go back and fix stuff later. If you couldn't make a WP edit that wasn't perfectly compliant with all policies, no edits would ever get made. The software does not, and should not, enforce policy. It's the editors' job to be familiar with it, and to point it out to new people when they miss details. I've been editing WP for 5 years, and I still miss stuff.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 21:24, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

List in infobox[edit]

Yup, looks like a bug that one can't have just a bulleted list in an infobox field because the first item's asterisk is treated as a real asterisk character instead of as a bullet. So for now we're stuck with <br>, which gives unusual whitespace if there's no other leading text. Affects many infobox types. Will see if infobox experts have a general solution. DMacks (talk) 19:18, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Formatting help needed[edit]

Could someone please center the text in the cornerstone captions. Also, if I could put these images in a table (not a Gallery) I wouldn't need to use all the <br>'s. I use them so the the succeeding sections don't get merged with the text associated with the picture (not the caption but the text next to it) THANKS!! Canton Viaduct (talk) 23:09, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

To do section in article[edit]

This was in comment tags in the article, have moved it here Wongm (talk) 12:01, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


Highway barriers, bridge guards -


The U.S. Census Bureau map conspicuously lacks two of the most essential items, namely the Viaduct and the railroad. Perhaps someone with the proper graphics skills and software will modify this map to show them. Hertz1888 (talk) 14:51, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm working on a new map that will show the railroad and Viaduct, should be posted by Thursday 7/16. Sswonk (talk) 20:32, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

 Done The Commons servers are still running slow, but thumbnail is fine. Sswonk (talk) 15:47, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Surpassingly elegant! Thank you. Hertz1888 (talk) 17:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Shouldn't the river, in the confines of this map, be labeled "Canton River"? Its confluence with the Neponset is about a mile away, well off the left-hand edge. Hertz1888 (talk) 17:00, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes. That is listed as a "variant name" by the USGS [1]. It's name on USGS maps is "East Branch Neponset River", which is what I was looking at when making the map. But, the article says Canton River throughout, so I will change it with (East Branch Neponset River) in small type beneath the name. I left off East Branch to save space, really shouldn't have done that but now that I see the way the article is written, look for an updated map file in a few minutes. Sswonk (talk) 18:09, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
 Done New file uploaded. Sswonk (talk) 18:19, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Nice! Thanks again. Hertz1888 (talk) 23:38, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Years of service[edit]

Regarding the text in the lead section, "The bridge has been in continuous service for 174 years (as of 2009) and now carries high-speed passenger and freight rail service." I am wondering if using the {{age}} template here may make things easier and read better, i.e. {{age|1834|07|28}} yields "The bridge has been in continuous service for 184 years and now carries high-speed passenger and freight rail service.", updated automatically every July 28. I assumed the date from the infobox is what would be used to calculate age. Sswonk (talk) 19:14, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

 Done Good idea! DMacks (talk) 20:13, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Geometry section[edit]

I corrected the lead paragraph and removed the explanatory image from the Geometry section. The error was that the circumference and diameter of a circle created by an extended Canton Viaduct was based on 1 degree = 615 feet. The measure used in surveying is 1 degree = 100 feet and thus the diameter stated (13.3 miles) was 6.15 times larger than actual (2.17 miles). I cited a railroad surveying guide for reference. Sswonk (talk) 19:45, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't know anything about the correctness of the information, but I do (did) think the article dwelt too much on this small point. Fact is, it's not very curved and the curve is not important in any aspect other than how it happened to be built (I assume out of architectural and terrain convenience). The large amount text and image gave me a feeling of writing from a perspective of astonishment (essentially "Can you believe it? Would be a circle some huuuuge diameter!") rather than simple factual tone. DMacks (talk) 20:10, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
The information was definitely wrong, which is why I edited it. I removed the Geometry header and curvature paragraph entirely; there must be thousands of one degree curve sections of railroad track in the world. The fact that the viaduct is on a one-degree curve is in the infobox, and may be helpful to include somewhere in the article but is not mentioned for now. I re-headed the remaining paragraphs, which don't really contain any geometry, based on the content. Sswonk (talk) 01:27, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the curvature is undeserving of detailed coverage and a special section; it can be given one line somewhere else. The diagram is erroneous in showing the viaduct subtending one degree when we now know it to be approx. 6.2 degrees. That throws off the 16" calculation as well, but that level of detail, in my opinion, is excessive and distracting. Removing the erroneous diagram and 16" statement. Hertz1888 (talk) 07:08, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Is it known that the curvature is consistent over the bridge's length and circular? The curve is so slight, I can't tell from aerial photos whether there are "straighter" and "curveder" parts, but I also know that most curves are spiral (gradually increasing and then decreasing curvature) rather than constant circular. The "would make a circle..." statement even less applicable (separately from being undue-weight/irrelevant) to me. DMacks (talk) 04:24, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
The curvature would make the eastern side about 0.5% longer than the western side (calculation on request). I fail to see how this is worth mentioning. Any wedge shape would be imperceptible, or at least unremarkable. It's at most a one-inch difference in 18 feet. Hertz1888 (talk) 02:25, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Putting it another way, if you picture an area 27' wide (approx. outside width of the viaduct) that is 18' long on one side and 18' 1" long on the other (the size of a small house or an extra large living room), it's hardly a decent keystone shape. Does it merit all the diagrams, words of text, and discussion? Hertz1888 (talk) 20:18, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I also tagged the "wedged arches" statement as needing a citation. The Thomas Viaduct, another curved stone bridge of the same era, uses wedged piers as well as wedged spans to accomodate 612' length at 4° curvature. Not that I have evidence to contrary for Canton Viaduct but we need to have verifiable information here. DMacks (talk) 04:24, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Interestingly, the radii on the curvature image (which itself appears to be WP:OR) supports the claim that the buttresses themselves are also wedged (not just the archways between them): the diagram matches the explicit description in the formal engineering analysis cited for the Thomas Viaduct article). DMacks (talk) 05:17, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

(od) The general agreement of three experienced editors is that the curvature of the viaduct is unremarkable and using a paragraph and image to show it isn't warranted. There are thousands upon thousands of curved roadways and sections of railway, cloverleaf structures, circular buildings, towers and the like in the world. Each article doesn't need to show how this is accomplished using wedges or masonry techniques; more general articles such as Arch and Arch bridge, for example, is where those kind of examples and writing are used. What is interesting and unique is the history of the Viaduct, the security and safety sections, the use of the structure as a town symbol: that's what should be improved, especially with many more citations and references. Most of what is unique has been written, now is the time to work on finding sources. Sswonk (talk) 20:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Image removal[edit]

Canton Viaduct Geometry.PNG
Canton Viaduct Geometry2.PNG
US Census Bureau Map - Canton Viaduct.gif
Canton Viaduct Stonework.jpg
Also, where is the File:Canton Viaduct Repairs 1906.jpg file? If shows in the article but not in my gallery
Thank you Canton Viaduct

Since you uploaded these files, you can very easily request that they be deleted yourself. Go to the image page by clicking it in your gallery, click "Edit this page", and copy and paste this text to the top of the edit box for the picture: {{db-author}}. You can read about the template at WP:CSD G7. This convinces the authorities (administrators) that the speedy deletion request is from you, and it will be deleted in a few minutes. BTW, I removed your personal email from a comment above this one, but it wasn't done because you did anything against the rules to include it. I just thought you weren't aware of the things that can happen with spammers, and what is discussed in Wikipedia:Personal_security_practices. It's just a recommendation, please don't take it any other way. Sswonk (talk) 22:26, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I needed to be a little clearer about this. What needs to be placed at the top of the page is just the two braces, db-author, two braces, exactly as highlighted above. The code surrounding it with the "code" and "nowiki" inside < > that is visible when editing this page is used to keep the template from becoming live on this page. The thing to do is copy the text as displayed here on the page, as highlighted i.e. without the code and nowiki tags. I can't fix your placement of the tag because that makes me the last person who edited the image page, it needs to be you. Sswonk (talk) 23:52, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I deleted 4 of the 5 that were tagged. I declined to delete File:Canton Viaduct Stonework.jpg (for now) because it seems like a good picture for possible use in article: nice perspective of relative size of water arches. Others please advise whether there is use for this image or if there's another one serving my envisioned purpose (or whether don't need such an image at all). DMacks (talk) 00:05, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Re: File:Canton Viaduct Repairs 1906.jpg, the page is there but the image is gone, I think it needs to be uploaded again, not sure what the problem is. Sswonk (talk) 00:32, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Railroad Tracks[edit]

I edited this section and removed a sentence/phrase that said "which seems to contradict the use of ballast." Ballast is used to stabilize the tracks by adding mass to the assembly and absorbing vibration and movement. That the ballast would have a crown does not seem unusual, since it would make the ballast drain better and would help prevent loose material from collecting on the surface. If the track ballast's use is contradictory in some other way, you should explain it and it's relevance to the article. Otherwise, it is commentary and may not be appropriate. Overall, this section adds a lot of detail that may not be important enough to be kept in the article. Maybe an expert on railroads should review the article and edit it so it contains pertinent info on the unique construction features of the bridge's railway that are noteworthy.

Russian viaducts[edit]

I asked, using translation software, a question on the Russian wikipedia about the Russian bridges. A detailed response was received after a couple of weeks and posted at User talk:Sswonk#Canton viaduct in Russia. CV, I am also posting this link on your talk page. Sswonk (talk) 14:56, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Operative Freemasons?[edit]

This is confusing... normally a distinction is made between "Freemasons" (members of the fraternal order... sometimes referred to as "speculative masons") and stone masons (workmen who shape and build in stone... sometimes referred to as "operative masons"). This article confuses the two concepts. I think (from reading between the lines) what is being referred to in this article is a group of Freemasons who were also stone masons (or stone masons who happened to all be Freemasons), and will edit on that assumption. If I am incorrect, please clarify. In any case, calling them "Operative Freemasons" seems to be an invented term that is confusing. Blueboar (talk) 14:01, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Hmmm... looking into this a bit further, there seems to be a lot of unfounded statements about Freemasonry in this article, especially the stuff about the importance of fibonacci sequences and golden ratios etc ... complete nonsense if you know anything about Freemasonry. I think a re-write of the section is in order.
As for the "operative Freemasons", most of that seems to be based on speculation as well. I have found a few sources that mention the idea that at least some of the workmen were Freemasons... but most of them are on the lower end of the reliability scale. I have a suspicion that, somewhere along the line, there was a well intended, but uninformed, conflation of the generic term "mason" (ie stone or brick mason) with the more specific term "Mason" (ie member of the Freemasons). This error then got repeated until the accepted story is that the Viaduct was constructed by Freemasons.
Is it possible that the Scottish stonemasons were also Freemasons? Absolutely... but I think we need a more reliable source to definitively state this in the article. Blueboar (talk) 15:06, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I reverted Blueboars multiple edits that stripped down a lot of material here, back to the last version before Blueboar edited today. To CantonViaduct: Blueboar is apparently/probably a Freemason, is incredibly active in WikiProject Freemasonry, and has participated at great length in multiple edits about various points and extremely long discussion in articles involving mention of Freemasonry (my main experience is in vast amounts of discussion at List of Masonic buildings). (Blueboar, please clarify if you think anything i am saying is very unfair; it is not usually necessary to make such comments as i am doing, but i think it is helpful in this case to give this context to CantonViaduct, a very specialized editor.) Here, i think Blueboar probably has some legitimate point that something or another about Freemasonry is not worded perfectly.I suggest and request that specific changes be discussed here, with hopefully brief and clear discussion. There is no great harm being done by some small possible mischaracterization of Freemasonry; there is no need for contentious editing in the article. Blueboar, if your point is that some specific sourcing is needed, please suggest specific sourcing to provide. I don't believe that slightly informal use of term "operative Freemasons" is so terrible necessarily (although I do agree we want to avoid coining new terms), but perhaps there is a better wording which you could suggest. Thanks. --doncram (talk) 19:53, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I certainly did not intend my edits to be contentious. I saw a problem and attempted to correct it per WP:BOLD. As I indicate above, the problems are more than just the usage of the term "Operative Freemasons". The article makes unsourced assertions about Masonic practices that are simply incorrect. As these assertions are unsourced, I either removed or corrected them.
I suppose the next question is... Why the revert? Did I remove or change something you think is accurate? Or was it simply that my edit was too large for you to accept in one chunk? Or was there some other reason why you reverted? Blueboar (talk) 20:25, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Blueboar resumed similar editing and i just reverted again. Blueboar, you acknowledge here that you are speculating that info in the article might be speculating, and state that you want to edit in the article based on your assumptions. I don't think that's right, and not helpful here in particular. I'll comment at your Talk page and/or WikiProject Freemasonry discussion later, but don't have time right now for an extended discussion.
Could you state clearly one or two specific points that you feel must be addressed. If you assert that sources are needed to resolve any of these points, please also state whether you are willing to obtain and use sources to address the issues you feel must be addressed. --doncram (talk) 13:57, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Doncram... Please do not simply revert everything I do. That is not helpful. What exactly do you object to? Let me summarize my edits since your previous revert: 1) I removed an image of a stone carving that is in England and has nothing to do with the Canton Viaduct. 2) I have placed citation requests on information I find dubious or outsourced. 3) I reworded the bit about the "Operative" Freemasons... as that is a term that simply does not make sense. so which of these edits do you object to? Blueboar (talk) 14:47, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I absolutely did again revert multiple edits by you. Please do let's discuss here to some consensus. You've opened discussion here about three points, thank you for doing that.
About 1) the image of a stone carving of Masonic sign, i am indifferent about that. Actually I did not revert that change; the image is not now in the article. I agree it would be better to have a photo of such a carving in the Canton Viaduct itself, but there is no policy or strong other reason why an image cannot be shown here, as long as it is appropriately presented, as it was. It was not misrepresented. I could go either way about restoring it or not. What do others who actually have visited this site and/or developed actual material based on sources in this article think about that?
About 2) multiple "dubious" and other tags, and deletion of material, do let's discuss those. One passage deleted, which I restored, was "The keystone is symbolic in Freemasonry, and the Canton Viaduct contains 77 keystones." Blueboar, do you know anything general about keystones and Freemasonry, and can you provide any general comment or specific source relating to that. Are you asserting that you know that there is no such symbolism in Freemasonry? And if so can you provide a source going that way? About the asserted fact that Canton Viaduct has 77 keystones, why on earth do you want to delete that? Do you know that is not true? Do you mean to ask for documentation? If documentation is your concern, do let's call for documentation, here at the talk page, and ask for and allow for developers of this article to respond.
About 3) you changed the sentence "Operative Masons laid the capstone in the south end of the west parapet. According to Masonic tradition this location was selected due to it being the farthest distance from the foundation stone located in the northeast corner." to use lowercase masons rather than Masons, and to add a "dubious" tag at the end. I don't profess to have knowledge in general about what Operative Masons are, and what sources support that presentation in this article. But, there are sources in the article. This is not nominated for Featured Article listing. I don't see a clear problem here. I wonder if you could clarify what is the problem, what is the "rewording" you suggest. I just see that you deleted it, you did not reword it.
Thanks for your concern about the quality of information in this article. I am sure that the article can and will be improved, and discussion here clarifying specific possible changes may well assist with that. It would be most useful if you or anyone could provide specific substitutes with properly developed supporting citations. --doncram (talk) 23:07, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
About a different point within topic 3), you changed a paragraph to read "According to the public flyer produced by the Freemasons to mark the 175th anniversary of the Viaduct, many of the operative stonemasons who worked on the Viaduct were also Freemasons from local area lodges.[reference to Canton Viaduct Masonic Memorial and Milestone Public Flyer ] Among them was a group of Scottish stonemasons who were also Freemasons. They camped at Dunbar's Quarry in Canton, Massachusetts and most likely belonged to the Rising Star Lodge in Stoughton, Massachusetts...." (copied verbatim but with 2 wording changes by another editor, and with how reference shown is changed here changed for presentation here, by me)
Thanks for your adding that flyer source, such as it is. Does the edit indicate that your concern first expressed, was incorrect? Maybe you just had a misunderstanding about the accuracy of info in this article? Are your concerns largely addressed? Maybe this rewriting would be helpful. What do others think? --doncram (talk) 23:22, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the dubious tags... I have added two... the first is for the wording: "Freemasons use Fibonacci numbers in their structures and these golden ratios..." I challenge that statement. From long experience as a Freemason (over 25 years), and from studying and lecturing on Freemasonry in my professional life I know well that neither Fibonacci numbers nor "golden ratios" have any significance in Freemasonry. The second is for the statement: Operative Freemasons laid the capstone in the south end of the west parapet. According to Masonic tradition this location was selected due to it being the farthest distance from the foundation stone located in the northeast corner. While it is Masonic tradition to lay cornerstones in the north-east corner of buildings... there is nothing significant about the South-West. For these statements to remain, I would like to see a high end source for each of these statements. Blueboar (talk) 01:33, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
There are some other statements that I have concerns with... but I will leave it at that for the moment.
OK... I have waited several days (until my edits fell off my watch list), this is enough time for editors to respond. I have removed the dubious statements. I will start a new thread for other issues... Blueboar (talk) 12:26, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I reverted back. Blueboar, there is no agreement for your changes, and, as you agreed i thought, we are waiting for comment/participation by the main editor of this article and/or by others who have been involved. By the way it's nice perhaps to hear your credentials but as you know credentials are not necessary and generally not relevant for wikipedia editing. Please do lay out your specific suggested changes and explain why, with sources. --doncram (talk) 17:11, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
No... that isn't how it works. I challenged statements as being dubious... so the WP:BURDEN to provide sources falls on those who want the statements to remain in the article. As for waiting... Three days is more than enough time to wait. User:Canton Viaduct has been on Wikipedia in those three days... So he has had time to become aware that others are editing the article and comment upon those edits if he wishes to. I have now made sure that he is aware by posting a note to his talk page... informing him of this discussion, and personally inviting him to take part. He can respond if he wishes to... He no longer needs you to guard his interests. Blueboar (talk) 19:33, 29 September 2010 (UTC)


There are a few factoids in the article that I think are irrelevant to the topic. I will discuss them one at a time... In the Foundation Stone section it states:

  • "The majority of the B&P's Board of Directors were Freemasons, including President Thomas B. Wales and Joseph W. Revere. President Wales was very involved in Freemasonry and gave three of his clipper ships Masonic names: Eosphorus (Morning Star), Hesperus (Evening Star) and Templar. According to Masonic tradition, foundation stones are located in the northeast corner of structures with inscriptions such as the Masonic emblem (square and compasses) and the date; they also contain time capsules.

I have no reason to disbelieve the factoid about President Wales naming his ships with "Masonic names", but the factoid is irrelevant in the context of an article on the Viaduct. I propose that we not include it. I also propose that we move the statement about the Masonic membership of the Board members up to the opening paragraph (where we talk about the Masonic membership of the workmen). Since the Foundation Stone does not mention anyone's masonic membership (or Freemasonry), the statement is out of place in a section about the Foundation Stone. I will wait another few days for a response before I make these changes. Blueboar (talk) 12:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I see no urgency for such changes. Offhand, i don't agree that they would be good changes. I'm open to hearing from others. Blueboar, please do wait for others to comment, and please do recognize that i have hereby provided an objection to your suggestion. --doncram (talk) 17:13, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Doncram... please stop... your constant and consistent revering of every edit I make to this article is becoming disruptive. I have been waiting for other to comment... it isn't my problem if they don't comment. How long do you want me to wait between edits? Blueboar (talk) 19:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
This time around, I strongly support Blueboar's edits -- next time, it might be Doncram's. Doncram is here claiming that there are Masonic traditions about architecture that Just Don't Exist. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:24, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely not, i have made no such claims. I did not develop this article and am not backing everything it says. I asked Blueboar to back off, politely, so as not to overwhelm this article and its Talk page, and he seemed to agree, but now seems to be reneging on that agreement. Specifically i asked Blueboar to state his most important concerns here and to wait for the main editor(s) here to come around and respond, which has not happened yet. --doncram (talk) 19:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think three days is an unreasonable amount of time to wait between noting that a problem exists, and correcting it... how long do you think I should wait? Blueboar (talk) 19:41, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Excuse me? You're claiming that adding "According to Masonic tradition this location was selected due to it being the farthest distance from the foundation stone located in the northeast corner" is "making no such claims"? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:38, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I guess what you quote must be something in the previous version of the page to which i reverted. I did not compose it and don't have a position about that specific wording; in face of mounting edits by Blueboar I reverted again to the previous version and called for discussion here. The context of this is: Blueboar began with multiple edits; i asked him politely at his Talk page to go slow; he agreed; he has reneged and has now begun ANI proceedings; he has not waited for comment from the main editors here (which i am not). I have asked Blueboar to identify his most important concerns and to state them clearly. That process could work.
About the specific quote, maybe that is justified by the sources that User:Canton Viaduct has. I don't know. You can have your doubts, but you don't know either. User:Canton Viaduct, if you log on and see this discussion, it would be helpful if you could comment. I see nothing terrible about asking for discussion here and allowing for User:Canton Viaduct to comment. --doncram (talk) 19:47, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Since you asked me to slow down... I have identified the first of my concerns... and waited three days for a reply... no reply... I then edited the article to fix my concerns. I think that is reasonable. You reverted (again), apparently because you want me to wait longer. How much longer? Blueboar (talk) 19:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Nothing whatsoever terrible about asking for discussion. Reverting edits and claiming that the result is not your responsibility, on the other hand, is heading in that direction. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:55, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I do not have time to address bluebore's concerns at the moment so butcher the article and I'll revert whatever is needed. BB's AGGRESSIVE editing is unwelcomed and I couldn't be more underwhelmed with his 'credentials'. Bro Ed Canton Viaduct (talk) 03:37, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Just so you know... I do not rest on my credentials... Doncram asked for them, so I gave them. The only credential that matters here is that I am a fellow Wikipedia editor... and as such have as much right to edit this article as any other editor. You don't have to agree with my edits, but simply reverting them is not how Wikipedia works. You also have to explain why you disagree, and work with me to reach a consensus. Blueboar (talk) 14:49, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Bro. Ed, I would like to call your attention to WP:NPA and WP:OWN at this point. Whether he is welcomed or not is fairly irrelevant, and it's policy here that you should comment on edits, not the editors who make them. Thanks. S&F, SarekOfVulcan (talk) 11:23, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

To User:Canton Viaduct -- Sorry you have to deal with this. Based on my experience, I find it unfortunate for you that Blueboar has focused on this article. I tried to help by asking Blueboar nicely at his Talk page to back off a bit, and he agreed, but in my view has fully reneged on his agreement. If this goes as other articles that Blueboar has focused upon, there will be hundreds of edits in the article and thousands of lines of discussion here. I don't have time to participate and respond to every crisis. I may watch some and may speak up occasionally to counter outright falsehoods if I see them. I'll also ask another editor or two to watch here and try to help.
Your statement that you will plan to do rewriting later, rejecting unhelpful edits that will accumulate now, sounds very reasonable. The chastising by SarekOfVulcan and Blueboar about "personal attacks" by you is baseless. Blueboar has also repetitively asserted elsewhere about me showing "bad faith" in dealing with him, but as I replied in the current ANI discussion that he opened, my occasional comments about his editing are well-justified. It is not wikipedia policy that we must continue to assume good faith beyond the point where good faith is clearly no longer justified, and some discussion of others' behavior is helpful sometimes, as I think it is here. Good luck with the article. I hope that other editors are able to help you continue to develop the Canton Viaduct article, which is a great contribution to Wikipedia already. I may or may not respond to anything further here. --doncram (talk) 15:40, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
(after 2 edit conflicts) P.S. In my just-previous edit i moved a comment by Blueboar with a clear edit summary explaining it was to keep SarekV's outdented comment clear, which Blueboar has already challenged me about at my Talk page and has reverted here on this Talk page, while i was writing this. Among the difficulties of attempting to interact with Blueboar, is Blueboar's seeming obstinacy in Talk page participation and refusal to adhere to usual practices which allow for better discussion. Usually editors indent each new comment one more level and try to keep a discussion flowing. Blueboar instead often inserts comments and demands out of sequence, and often with partial un-indenting that is out of line with Wikipedia Talk page practices, in a manner that seems to over-assert the importance of his views relative to all others. This makes reading discussions difficult. And battling about formatting of Talk page comments is just another distraction. There are many layers of difficulty in dealing with him; again, sorry. --doncram (talk) 15:40, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Baseless, huh? Guess you missed the "Bluebore" comment, huh? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:45, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Doncram, I understand that you dislike the way I edit. To be honest, I find many layers of difficulty in dealing with you and the way you edit. Never the less, when we cross paths, we both need to put those dislikes aside and "deal". Now... could we please discuss edits and not editors. Blueboar (talk) 16:53, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Next issue[edit]

Regarding the caption for the picture of the Dedication stone...

I have a problem with the inclusion of the line:

  • The Operative or Craft Freemasons' calendar year was 5834 A.L. (Anno Lucis - in the Year of Light)

First, it repeats the confusion between operative masonry (stone masonry), and speculative Masonry (or Freemasonry). The term "Craft" Freemsonry has nothing to do with opperative vs. speculative. The term is used (mostly in England) to distinguish basic freemasonry (the first three degrees) from the "further" degrees of the York and Scottish Rites. In the US we use the term "Blue Lodge" with the same meaning.

Second, while "Craft" Freemasonry does use the Anno Lucis calendar... it is an irrelevant factoid in the context of this article. There is no indication that the Dedication Stone at the Canton Aquiduct ever contained a Masonic, Anno Lucis date. So why bother mentioning it? Blueboar (talk) 17:07, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Since no one has an answer... I will edit the text of the caption. Blueboar (talk) 13:19, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

A couple of observations[edit]

The introduction states that the viaduct was built by Scottish Freemasons. I'm not sure that this is a reasonable representation, as it then goes on to explain that the masons who built it were also Freemasons. That's not out of the question as the craft in Scotland was always somewhat different in tone, but the emphasis becomes very different from what it currently is. It wasn't built by a Masonic organisation per se.

I'm also somewhat concerned by some of the wording in the Freemasonry section. The article currently speculates about lodge membership in Ma, although there is neither sourcing nor clear analysis to support that. If some of the masons who built the viaduct were also Freemasons then we're left without some key information.

  • Were they Scots who joined Freemasonry in Scotland?
In that case they may have attended a local lodge whilst engaged in the build, but need not have joined.
They may also have been involved in a peripatetic lodge under the Grand Lodge of Scotland which would not now be present in Ma.
  • Were they Scots who had joined Freemasonry whilst elsewhere?
We don't have the information about where but a similar point is valid, they may have visited but not belonged to.
  • Was the usage Scottish actually denoting that they were Scots or was it the peculiar US usage where they were American of Scots heritage?

We could do with some clarity and change of emphasis. any thoughts on it?

ALR (talk) 09:46, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

The problem is that the sources themselves seem to be somewhat contradictory and unclear on these points. It might help to take a closer look at the various sources... and outline who says what. Blueboar (talk) 13:47, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Dedication Stone[edit]

The caption for the picture of the front of the dedication stone reads:

  • The Canton Viaduct Dedication Stone now rests in Canton Viaduct Park on a curved wall (see gallery) over a symbolic keystone made from original stones removed during the 1993 deck replacement. The keystone is symbolic in Freemasonry, and the Canton Viaduct contains 77 keystones. The front inscription reads: (followed by a list of Directors of the P&O)

My concern is with the sentence I have highlighted in bold. The keystone is somewhat symbolic in Freemasonry (although that symbology is limited to the York Rite)... and the viaduct may have 77 keystones... but placing them together like this makes it seem as if the two facts are connected when there is no evidence that they are. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the key stone under the Dedication Stone has any connection to Freemasonry. This is a WP:SYNTH violation, but one that is resolved easily by removing the sentence. Any objections? Blueboar (talk) 14:03, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Hearing none, I will do so. Blueboar (talk) 17:52, 5 October 2010 (UTC)


With recent edits by myself and SarekOfVulcan, the sub-section on Construction no longer mentions anything about Freemasonry. It is therefor a little odd to keep as a sub-section within the section on Freemasonry. I think it should therefor be moved out of that section, and should be promoted into a section on its own. Blueboar (talk) 18:04, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Dedication stone[edit]

Only two issues with this section... The text currently says: "The Dedication Stone was originally topped with a 63" long × 8" high × 24" wide capstone with double beveled edges, creating an octagonal profile. The capstone has been missing since 1860 and may have had a Masonic engraving." My first issue is with geometry... since the Dedication Stone is a rectangle, the addition of a capstone with double beveled edges would create an irregular hexagon, not an octagon. You would need another double beveled stone at the base to form an octagon. My second issue is with the end of the passage... "and may have had a Masonic engraving"... This is tagged as needing a source. Without a source it is complete speculation. Who says it may have had a Masonic engraving?

I will correct the octagonal/hexagonal confusion... although, to be honest, I would prefer to simply delete the clause all together, as I think the the geometric profile (whether hexagonal or octagonal) formed with the capstone is trivial.

Since the speculation about engraving is tagged, I will give other editors some additional time to find a source. But if one is not found within a month or two, I will remove it as being original research. Blueboar (talk) 13:16, 11 October 2010 (UTC)


Why is the infobox humongous? The infobox is a summary of the article, not the place to describe each and every one of the topic's characteristics. For instance, "number of spans", it should just say 71. If you want to describe all of them, write about it. If its not in the body, it shouldn't be in the infobox. (talk) 01:55, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

One of your links is hijacked[edit]

First of all, let me say that this article has got to be one of the best, most comprehensive articles on Wikipedia I have ever read. It is just unbelievable.

I have complained elsewhere about the pathetic quality of Wikipedia articles. Hence, it's doubly ironic that this article has been given not one, but multiple quality grades of 'Start'. Does this intend to imply that this article not only needs improvement, but *immense* improvement? If so, whoever is responsible for assigning these grades has committed one of the grossest insults I have seen committed on Wikipedia. Elsewhere on this site are articles having one-tenth the content of this one, written in middle-school English by armchair experts, which have been given an equally undeservedly-high score of 'B'. So when this article's referees come back from their three-handcrafted-ale lunch, perhaps they can tell me why an article like this, which covers seemingly every imaginable angle of this topic--technological, historical, civic, and more--with numerous professional-looking graphics, passes in your eyes for 'Start' quality. I mean, where are the crummily written sentences that need to be fixed? Where's the absence of depth? Are you instead saying that the article has too much content, and needs to be cut back? If so, that premise is unacceptable. We want Wikipedia to be a base for all knowledge. So let us write. Unless I'm missing something here (which is definitely possible), I think it's pathetic.

At any rate, the link at bottom labelled 'Russian American Cultural Center of Boston' is bogus. In fact it's doubly bogus: Not only does it take you to one of those 'You can buy this URL for $19.95' sites, it insidiously blocks your browser's Back button so you can't return to the article. (For decades, I have bitterly objected to Microsoft's crummy philosophy that the user's very ability to control his own UI (user interface), on his own computer, can be hijacked by the mere *content* which the app happens to be displaying at any given moment. I have programmer friends who tell me, Well, it's in the nature of HTML for that to happen. BULL-shyte. Then program the stupid browser to let the user override it. It would be as if Microsoft Word became incapable of certain user functions depending upon the topic you're writing about. When it comes to browser function, if you tell it to walk you to work, you must let it carry your lunch as well.)

So delete this link immediately.

And my congratulations to the creator(s) of this fine article.

--Jim Luedke Jimlue (talk) 04:42, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Link removed... thanks for checking it. Blueboar (talk) 14:34, 15 November 2011 (UTC)


This entry is long. It is 2500 words longer than the entry on The Golden Gate Bridge. I don't mean to minimize the importance of the Canton Viaduct, but really, do we need multiple Lego models? Hobga (talk) 04:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

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