The links between Concord and Hokkaido were established in the nineteenth century.
William Wheeler: Concord's First Link to Hokkaido
In 1990 Massachusetts formalized a sister state relationship with Japan's
northernmost island of
Hokkaido. This culminated a long history with Hokkaido going back to 1876 when
then President of
the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts)
William Clark went to
Hokkaido to found the Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University). In
Japan had been open to the West for only a short time and Hokkaido was similar
to the United
States' new territories. Many Americans helped Japan learn Western ways and
helped in the settling
of Hokkaido. Governors Dukakis, Weld and Celluci have been supportive of the
Massachusetts-Hokkaido Sister State relationship.
Concord's relationship with Hokkaido began with Clark's mission through
Wheeler who was Clark's assistant and who took over the running of the college
on Clark's return.
Wheeler's many contributions to Hokkaido were acknowledged by the Emperor with
Order of the Rising Sun.
Among his many contributions to Hokkaido were the following:
- taught math, surveying and drawing, and engineering
- engineered the canal between Sapporo and Barato
- opened the road from Suttsu to Kuromatsunai
- planned the railroad between Sapporo and Otaru
- founded the weather bureau
- first observed the climate scientifically
- founded the astronomical observatory
- oversaw the scientific planning for the "model barn"
- designed many houses modeled after the "model barn"
- investigated the sues of Hokkaido lumber
- discovered clay and made the first brick
Wheeler was a major contributor to Concord as well through his many engineering
years of public service. He built Concord's water and sewer systems, including
the water works at
Sandy Pond, Nashawtuc Hill, Annursnac Hill and Nagog Pond. He was elected
positions such as
the Water Commission, School Committee, Board of Health, Light Board, Free
Town Donations and Moderator. He was also a Trustee of the Massachusetts
or the University of Massachusetts from 1880 to 1929, missing only a few years.
In addition, he was
responsible for bringing to Nashawtuc Hill its uniquely beautiful Japanese trees
which were planted at
his home then called Maru-Yama Kwan (Round-Hill House) after his time in
News and Weather |
Concord Carlisle High School
500 Walden Street
Concord, Massachusetts 01742