At the north end of Lake Charles there is a stream flowing northwards. While, at this point you are not able to see it, the stream is flowing towards Lake William, the fourth lake in the system. You will have to portage over much of the distance to the next lake but there is a rough trail you can follow. Before arriving at the shore of Lake William you will come across an area where the stream widens to form a pond. This is located in the area just beyond the highway overpass.
You have now arrived at the remains of the upper section of the Porto Bello Marine Railway which raised and lowered vessels to and from Lake William. As you cross the man-made pond you will see a dam and on the western side of this is a stream flowing down a slope to Lake William. Just to the right of the stream is a sloped trail on which a Marine Cradle would have travelled when the Canal was in operation. The tracks on which the Cradle was carried extended out into the water so that vessels could float on to the Cradle. Once secured the Cradle with the vessel was pulled up the tracks to the summit and then lowered down to a second holding basin and then along a channel to Lake William. To the right of the Incline we believe that there would have been a Flume House and beneath it a stone lined underground chamber where the turbine was housed. Water to power the turbine flowed from the upper pond through a wooden flume to the Flume House where it powered a large turbine which subsequently raised or lowered the cradle along the tracks to and from Lake William. This Marine Railway was the first of its kind in British North America.
From the Harbor to Porto Bello was considered Section one of the Canal and it was supervised by the Lock Keeper, Henry Findlay. Henry would either travel the waterway on board the craft he was tending or he would go by horse and meet the vessel at each of the Locks and the Marine Railway. At times Henry would stay overnight at Portobello in which case he would book a room in Marshall’s Inn which was just across the road opposite the Marine Railway. The next day he would return to Dartmouth using a horse he could rent from Marshall’s Inn.