Friday, March 26, 2010

Erie Canal

The Erie Canal opened in 1825 creating a critical route for expansion of trade and travel across upper New York "from Albany to Buffalo" and beyond into the Great Lakes and westward. At that time Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan were called the Northwest Territories.
The canal was dug by hand mostly by newly landed immigrants, 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep. There is very little left to see of the earliest canal, for it was widened and deepened, and in places relocated. The historical route that remains holds water and is used for canoeing, and the towpath is well maintained for walking and biking. 
This series of pictures taken at the aquaduct near Fayetteville shows the modern narrow passage for small craft over Limestone Creek; the modern cement work of that passage; modern cement that blocks the canal from falling into Limestone Creek; and two shots of the towpath crossing the creek which flows beneath three arched sections. In these and the second picture you can see the original flat stone supports for the canal bed, constructed of planks, as it crossed the creek. 

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