- Canal History.
Provided by the New York State Canals.
- History of the Erie
Canal. Provided by the Department of History of the
University of Rochester.
- National Canal Museum. "The Erie Canal was the most famous
and successful of America's early towpath canals. The Erie Canal was
able to breach the barrier of the Appalachian Mountains and link
Lake Erie with the Hudson River. The Erie Canal was also an integral
part of a larger system of New York state canals which bound
together the Hudson River with Lake Champlain and the Canadian
canals that flowed to the St. Lawrence River. Branches of this New
York State Canal also linked the Finger Lakes and reached the
Susquehanna River System."
Erie Canal Discovery Center. "The Erie Canal Discovery Center
had its genesis in 2002, when a few men of vision, met to consider
the fate of a deteriorating 19th century structure near the canal in
Lockport. Local folk knew that building as the Hamilton House, built
as a Universalist Church, opened in 1843. In recent years, the
building had met declining use by its owners, the First Presbyterian
Church. The original committee was composed of Rev. Paul Couch of
the First Presbyterian Church, Ben Kendig, Developer, Clint Starke,
President-Niagara County Historical Society and former Lockport
Mayor Thomas Sullivan. These men were interested in saving an
historic landmark from the wrecking ball, an unfortunate fate common
to most of the historic structures that once lined Main Street in
Museum. "The Erie Canal Museum (ECM) is a private,
nonprofit corporation founded in 1962. It is housed in the 1850
Weighlock Building, where canal boats were weighed during the days
when they traveled through the center of Syracuse on the Erie Canal.
A gallery full of participatory exhibits gives visitors a look at
canal life and promotes hands-on- learning. The Museum has three
special exhibits each year that draw on its nationally renowned
artifact collection and historical research. Museum tours and
specialty programs for all age groups are developed to entertain as
well as educate. A variety of school programs are also offered by
Canal Village. "Erie Canal Village is an outdoor living
history museum. It is a reconstructed 19th century settlement on the
site where, on July 4, 1817, the first shovelful of earth was turned
for the construction of the original Erie Canal. Relax as our mule
drawn Packet Boat plies a section of the enlarged canal giving
visitors a taste of early 19th century water travel. Then board our
narrow gauge steam train excursion and travel as you would have
during the late 19th century.
The village is home to three museums: The Erie Canal Museum, which
unfolds the story of the Erie Canal from the first proposals for an
improved route to the West through the emergence of the Barge Canal
System in 1918; The Harden museum which exhibits a collection of
horse drawn vehicles that range from utilitarian farm equipment to
an elegant Laundaulet. In order to present a clearer view of 19th
century travel, vehicles are placed on samples of three types of
roads: dirt, plank and cobblestone; and third, The New York State
Museum of Cheese building, which once housed the Merry and Weeks
cheese factory in nearby Verona, NY. This building explores the
history of cheese making and its relationship to the importance of
the Erie Canal in New York State during the 19th century.
In addition to the museums, other typical structures found during
the 19th century can be viewed such as Bennett's Tavern, Blacksmith
Shop, Railroad Station, Print Shop, Ice House, Wood Creek School,
Maynard Methodist Church, Shull Victorian House, Settler's House,
Crosby House and Canal Store."
New York State
Canal Organization. "The Erie Canal is famous in song and
story. Proposed in 1808 and completed in 1825, the canal links the
waters of Lake Erie in the west to the Hudson River in the east. An
engineering marvel when it was built, some called it the Eighth
Wonder of the World.
In order to open the country west of the Appalachian Mountains to
settlers and to offer a cheap and safe way to carry produce to a
market, the construction of a canal was proposed as early as 1768.
However, those early proposals would connect the Hudson River with
Lake Ontario near Oswego. It was not until 1808 that the state
legislature funded a survey for a canal that would connect to Lake
Erie. Finally, on July 4, 1817, Governor Dewitt Clinton broke ground
for the construction of the canal. In those early days, it was often
sarcastically referred to as "Clinton's Big Ditch". When finally
completed on October 26, 1825, it was the engineering marvel of its
day. It included 18 aqueducts to carry the canal over ravines and
rivers, and 83 locks, with a rise of 568 feet from the Hudson River
to Lake Erie. It was 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and floated boats
carrying 30 tons of freight. A ten foot wide towpath was built along
the bank of the canal for horses, mules, and oxen led by a boy boat
driver or "hoggee."
New York State Tour Boat
Association. "New York State is waiting to provide you
with a variety of exciting boating activities from old, well
maintained historic vessels to sleek, modern, state-of-the-art
dinner yachts..and everything in between.
Whether your interest is oceans, rivers, lakes, canals, bays or even
waterfalls, New York State has it. With over 3,000 miles of shore
front, we've got lots of it!
The New York State Tour Boat Association was formed in 1984 to
promote the passenger vessel industry and to introduce travelers and
vacationers to the magnificent, waterways of New York State."
Other Erie Canal Web Sites