Saturday, November 29, 2008

Early Erie Canal news items

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Geneva Gazette, Wed., Aug. 30, 1815

Seneca Locks. - We have the satisfaction to state, that on the
23rd inst. the first Boat (about 70 feet in length) went through the
two upper locks on the Seneca Falls, loaded with upwards of one
hundred persons. In presence of a great number of spectators,
collected from different parts of the country.

The boat having entered the Guard Lock, went through the new
Canal, nearly 3-4ths of a mile in length, and descended the two Locks
in 25 minutes; then turned about in the Seneca river and re-ascended
the Locks, in 9 minutes - all which no doubt will be accomplished
hereafter in much less time, considering that every thing was new,
and managed by hands unacquainted with Lock navigation concerns, the
architect, Mr. Marshal Lewis, excepted, whose faithful exertions
deserve the highest praise.

The workmanship of these Locks, as it respects solidity and
neatness, is probably not exceeded by any heretofore construction.
The Locks, Canals and Dams, as far down as Col. Mynderse's old mills,
will no doubt be completed before winter, and the remainder, near
and below the Col's. new mills, will in all probability pass
inspection by the middle of next season. The completion of these
Locks will be important - not only as it respects the advantages
which this village will derive from it, but in particularly, the
convenience of transportation for the immense country west of this.

Geneva Gazette, July 17, 1822

We are informed that in consequence of the lowness of the water
in this section of the canal, it is to be drawn off the upper levels,
beyond Palmyra, and that until the embankment at Mann's Mills is
completed, and the waters of the Genesee river let into the, the
navigation will not extend farther westward than Palmyra.

Geneva Palladium, Wed., Aug. 28, 1822

Steam Boat. - On Saturday last, Mr. Battle, the projector and
builder of the Steam-boat, Mohawk Chief, took on board a number of
citizens and a few hands who are acquainted with the navigation of
the Mohawk, and started up the river, for the purpose of trying the

And although not half the power of steam (as represented by the
engineer) was applied, which the machinery is calculated to bear,
still se went off in fine style, till she came to a rapid, called by
the boatmen knock-em stiff; this she ascended, though not with the
same velocity, as she is calculated to do when her machinery is

After having handsomely passed the rapid, she was hove about
and proceeded down the river about two miles below the city, when she
began o hove about and returned to her moorings.

During this trial, she was propelled by power applied to wheels
fixed in her stern; Mr. B. not yet having completed that part of the
machinery, calculated for rapids, which is by two setting poles on
each side of the boat, to be worked by the power of steam. -
Schenectady Cabinet.

Geneva Palladium, Nov. 6, 1822

From the Utica Gazette

The aqueduct across the Mohawk Rover, at Little Falls, was
finished last week and filled with water. This is a structure of
considerable magnitude, built entirely of stone, in point of solidity
and beauty, probably not exceeded by any work of the kind in the
United State. It forms a connection between the Erie Canal and the
old cut on the opposite side of the river, and answers the double
purposes of opening a communication to the village of Little Falls,
and of feeding the canal with water.

A Marble slab , with the following inscription, executed in a
very handsome style by Mr. Erastus Cross, of this village, is placed
in the parapet wall over the centre in the principal arch.

COMMENCED AUG. 23 - COmpleted Oct. 15.
Canal Commissioners.
HENRY SEYMOUR, Acting Commissioner,
BENJAMIN WRIGHT, Chief Engineer.

Geneva Palladium, Nov. 13, 1822

Erie Canal. - The water has been let into the Canal from Little
Falls to Schoharie Creek, east, and west from Genesee river to
Monezuma, making about 200 miles of uninterrupted canal navigation.
Boats are now arriving at Utica, from Rochester. There is every
reason to believe the Canal will, in a few days, be opened to
Schenectady. - Ib.

Geneva Palladium, Nov. 13, 1822

Several boats loaded with flour, left this village (Rochester) las
week for Little Falls by the Canal, and there were also some
arrivals. We understand there is some wan of water between this place
and Montezuma, which will probably soon be supplied.
A collector's office is to be opened in this village, during
the present week, for the purpose of receiving tolls of boats,
arriving and departing. D.S. Bates, Esq. is appointed Collector. The
embankment at Irondequoit, answers the highest expectations, and is
thus far found to be durable and permanent. - Rochester Telegraph.

Geneva Palladium, Nov. 13, 1822

Ironduquot Embankment. - This interesting section of the Erie
Canal, which was first opened on the 15th inst. is distant from this
place about eleven miles. The approach to it from the west is lateral
to, and situated on an elevated roll or ridge of land, of about 80
rods in length, which rises from the bed of Ironduquot creek, and
forms one of its banks, and is, in its turn, used to form one side of
the embankment of the Canal, till you come to the main valley of the
creek, where the course of the Canal crosses it. This natural bank
rises, generally, to within about six feet of the level of the Canal,
which is there built on it.

The valley of the Ironduquot, where the Canal must pass, is
seventy-two feet lower than the banks, and forty rods wide. The base
of the embankment constructed, is 304 feet, through which is built a
culvert, of twenty-six feet chord, with a semi-circular arch of 244
feet in length. The ground, on which this structure was placed, was a
soft, alluvial marsh: - in consequence, it became necessary to place
in on piles, of which thee are nearly one thousand.

The scenery is magnificent! While you are silently and
peacefully navigating the tops of an artificial and natural
mountains, the eye takes in, at a single glance, the whole fertile
valley of Ironduquot, and the mind expands itself to the amazing
importance of the internal improvement which this work connects, and
has now thrown into operation. The expense of the above work is
probably $40,000. - Rochester Telegraph.

Geneva Palladium, Wed., Nov. 27, 1822

Extract of a letter from a gentleman of this place (Rochester,)
traveling by the canal to Weed's Basin, dated Nov. 11.

"The boats from Rochester to this place (Weed's Basin) are now
making their regular trips, and arrive in time to meet the boats
every morning from Utica, thereby requiring only two days from
Rochester to utica. The The boat taking passengers from Rochester to
Pittsford, is not as capacious as might be wished, but they are fully
compensated by the elegance of the boat Myron Holley, the superior
style of the fare, and the polite and prompt attentions of the
master, Capt. Allen, which is met with at the last mentioned place;
and I am informed that the accommodations on board Mr. Culver's boat
are equally good. I understand an arrangements on board Mr. Culvert's
boat are equally good. I understand an arrangement is to be made for
running these two boats alternately, which, when completed, will make
a daily line from our place, of a mode of traveling which, perhaps,
is not surpassed in the state, particularly at this season of the
year." - Rochester Telegraph.

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