Monday, December 1, 2008

More Early Erie Canal Items

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Geneva Gazette. June 30, 1819

Montezuma bridge, between the village of that name, and the town
of Mentz, over the Seneca River and marshes, Onondaga county, extends
three miles! It is said to be the longest bridge in the world. This
is the third bridge over the Cayuga and Seneca river, in the space
of seven miles, and remarkably shows the progress of improvement in
this part of our country.

Ontario Repository, Canandaigua, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1821

The last Palmyra paper gives us the particulars of the
proceedings at that place, on the 15th inst. in launching a new and
elegant Packet Boat, built by Mr. Seymour Scovel, for the conveyance
of passengers, and finished in a style and with accommodations
superior to any boat heretofore used on the canal.

The proceedings evince the same lively interest that is always
felt in whatever relates to this great inland communication. As she
glided into the waters of the can, the air resounded with the cheers
of numerous spectators, the animating strains of music, and the roar
of cannon.

The proprietor then announced her name, the MYRON HOLLEY. A
short and suitable address was then delivered from the boat, by
Israel J. Richardson, Esq. after which the company partook an
excursion of a few miles down the canal, in this novel mode of
conveyance. In the evening, about 100 of the party partook of a
supper prepared for the occasion by Col. Rogers.

The Canal is now navigable on this section, from the Irondquot
(cq) in Pittsford, to within a mile of Lyons - about 28 miles.

Lyons Advertiser, Friday, August 2, 1822

The Canal Completed through the Cayuga Marshes. - By the
following, from a valued correspondent at Montezuma, it will be seen
that the great work of excavating the canal through the Cayuga
Marshes, is at length completed, and that the navigation is now
uninterrupted between this village and the middle section.

Montezuma, 31st July, 1822

Mr. Day - Yesterday I had the satisfaction of passing of
passing from Clyde through the celebrated Cayuga Marshes, on the Erie
Canal, in the first boat ever borne by the waters of that part of the
line. The waters had been let let into the canal from Clyde to the
west end of the Marsh level, the evening before; but they did not
reach the lock which separates the Marsh level from the Clyde level
more than 3 hours before the arrival of the Packet in which I travelled.

The passage was pleasant, and highly enjoyed by a large number
of persons. At the lock we were a little delayed, inconsequence of
the paddle gates not being entirely completed. They were, however,
soon put into a condition to admit us pass; and as out boat went out
of the lock, we gave three cheers, which were cordially returned by a
large number of persons on land.

On the marsh the water in the canal was more than five feet
deep, except at four or five bars, which had not been wholly
removed. The length of the marsh level is about six and a half miles,
and as it is watered by the Seneca and Cayuga lakes, which lie above
it to the south, the whole excavation of this level, to the depth of
five feet below the surface of the water, without any possibility of
draining it, - consisting as it does almost exclusively of muck, marl
and quicksand, must have been a work of prodigious difficulty.

But the excavation is done, except the bars above mentioned,
which it is said will all be removed in three days; - and there is
now opened a free passage by the canal, from the middle section into
Ontario county as far as Lyons, without the necessity of any portage
or change of boats.

The canal at present is not navigable farther west than Lyons,
in consequence of the extreme drought in this quarter, the streams
being now more shrunk and exhausted than they have been for twenty
years before. Still, a moderate rain would at once make the Canal
navigable to Heartwell's basin, in Monroe county; - and without rain,
there is no doubt that when the feeder from the Genesee River is
brought across the Irondequot embankment, the navigation will be good
and unbroken from Rochester to the Little Falls - and that embankment
is intended to be completed in the middle of September next. I have
been from the first a decided advocate of the canal, but being well
acquainted with the character of the country through which it runs, I
could not help regarding certain parts with peculiar anxiety, and
even with some doubt of their practicability. Of these points the
Cayuga Marsh was one.

But this part of the line is actually completed, and I have had
the satisfaction of passing through it, in one of the largest and
best packet boats now in use, the Myron Holley. The canal through the
marsh is broad and deep, and has every appearance of being permanent.
There is a good towing path through it, and if that part of the canal
is most beautiful where the straight lines are the longest, and where
the banks are highest and most regular, then this part of the great
work will be considered as more beautiful than any portion of it
hitherto completed.

The boat will start on its return through the marsh to Lyons,
in a few minutes, which prevents my giving you several more
particulars of this most extraordinary and interesting part of the
Respectfully yours, & c.

G ---- L ----

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