Thursday, December 4, 2008

Launch of the Myron Holley

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Western Farmer, Palmyra, Nov. 21, 1821

THE LAUNCH. - On the morning of the 15th inst. it was verbally
announced to the inhabitants of this village, that the new and
elegant Packet Boat built here by Seymour Scovell, Esq. would be
launched in the course of the day. This information, together with
the repeated discharge of cannon, immediately drew together a large
collection of citizens to witness this interesting transaction.

About 11 o'clock A.M. a procession was formed at the Eagle
Hotel, under the direction of Col. Thomas Rogers 2d, who acted as
Marshal on the occasion, and moved, preceded by a band of music, to
the Boat, which then rested on the ways, confined only by pulleys
from its destined element. While in this situation, it was occupied
by a number of gentlemen, among whom were those who had been
requested to deliver an address and to read the toasts prepared for
the occasion.

A gun was then fired as the signal for loosening the ropes,
when the Boat gently glided into the water, amidst the reiterated
cheers of numerous spectators - the animating notes of the
instrumental and martial music, and the reverberating thunder of

The Boat's name was then announced by the proprietor, which we
think highly appropriate, and creditable not only to Mr. Scovell, but
to that section of the Canal on which it is destined to ride. - Its
name is the MYRON HOLLEY.

After the general joy had somewhat subsided, and the people
called to order, a laconic, animated, and truly appropriate address
was pronounced from the Boat, by I. J. Richardson, Esq. which was
answered with three cheers and a gun.

The following toasts were next called for, which were read,
accompanied by music and the discharge of cannon.

1. The Packet Boat Myron Holley - Destined to ride in the road
which the man whose name it bears has been preeminently engaged in
erecting - may its usefulness and public accommodations answer the
most sanguine expectations of its proprietors.

2. The Canal - Conceived in wisdom, promoted by patriotism, and
executed with ability and integrity.

3. The 15th of November 1821 - Rendered memorable by the
launch of the Myron Holley - may the inhabitants of Palmyra at future
anniversaries, remember with gratitude the individual whose exertions
have produced this event.

4. Commissioners and Engineers - Selected for their wisdom,
ability and integrity - may their faithful exertions secure the
applause and gratitude which they so richly merit.

5. The Contractors - Their industry and enterprise merit the
gratitude of, and an ample recompence from, the government.

6. The State of New-York - Pre-eminently great in its resources
and magnanimity.

7. The Governor and constituted authorities of the State of New

8. The master builder of the Boat, Mr. Hamlet Almsbury - his
skill and industry merit a further patronage.

After partaking of some refreshment, upwards of two hundred of
the company present, went on board the Myron Holley, and proceeded
west on the Canal, to the first lock, a distance of about three
miles, which, owing to the paddle gates not being hung, was then
impassable. While in this lock, built by Darius Comstock, Esq.
several volunteer toasts were given in commendation of this
gentleman's skill and industry, which the elegance and fitness of the
work so strikingly evinced.

On the way to and from the lock, the passengers were delighted,
not only with the sweet shrill notes of the bugle and other
appropriate music on board, but the novelty of the scene, with
beholding the banks of the Canal, its bridges, and the windows and
doors of every dwelling they passed, lined with admiring spectators.

On their return, about one hundred of the company on board,
repaired to the Eagle Hotel, where they partook of an elegant supper,
prepared by Maj. Wm. Rogers for the occasion.

The Myron Holley is said to be the best and most elegant boat
on the Canal. It is well calculated for the accommodation of
passengers, for which it is particularly designed. It will make daily
excursions on the Canal, Sundays excepted, as long as the weather
will permit.

We learn that the upper lock is now completed, and that the the
repairs found necessary to be made on Mr. Cluse's job about one mile
east of this village, will be in a few days be finished, which will
open a navigation of about 28 miles on this section. The Canal
through the marshes at Montezuma, owing to the uncommon wet weather
during the latter part of the season, will not be ready to receive
the water before next spring.

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