The New International Encyclopædia/Charles River
CHARLES RIVER. A river of eastern Massachusetts (Map: Massachusetts, E 3). It rises in the western part of Norfolk County in a number of small headstreams which connect small lakes, and, pursuing a zigzag northeasterly course, empties into Boston Harbor. In the middle and lower parts of its 47-mile course, the Charles is very attractive for boating excursions. The chief towns on its banks are the Newtons, Waltham, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, and Boston. Below Watertown the stream is tidal, and between Cambridge on one side and Boston on the other it widens into an estuary, part of which has been filled in, and is known as Back Bay.