Saturday, January 31, 2009

NYS Canal Society Winter Meeting

The Canal Society of New York State will hold its Winter Symposium on
Saturday March 7, 2009 at the Monroe Community College Campus in
Rochester, NY.

The general meeting, lasting from 8 AM registration to 2:45 PM – with a
members meeting to follow - will feature speakers on the following topics:

Possible Canal Restorations
The Search for Clinton’s Ditch Lock
The Delaware Canal in 1931-1932 (Newly Discovered Film)
Our Dreams, Goals & Aspiration and Why Can’t We
Politics and the St. Lawrence Seaway
Post Cards and Canals
3 Canals & Waterway of Southern Germany

The Pre-registration cost – due by February 25th - is $35 per person, or
$45 when registering at the door.

For further information and directions, contact
CSNYS board member David Kipp

Friday, January 30, 2009

Western/Central New York timeline - 1650-1659

The approximate date the remaining Neutral Indians on the Niagara frontier are captured and adopted by the Seneca.

Nov 3
The Iroquois sign a general peace with the French at Montréal.

Jesuit missionary Father Le Moyne comes to Onondaga with a party of Huron and Onondaga chiefs, as an envoy to ratify the peace treaty with the French.

The Cat Nation (Eries) send 30 ambassadors to New York’s Senecas to renew peace. An Erie accidentally kills a Seneca during a lacrosse game. The Senecas kill 25 of the ambassadors; 5 escape. The Erie burn a Seneca village. They ambush the rear guard of a Iroquois war party, killing 80 of the Indians. Erie scouts capture the Iroquois leader Annencraos, murder him. The Iroquois will raise 1800 warriors, surround the Erie fortress of Rique (Rigue), overcome 3-4,000 warriors and take the fort.

The approximate date the Seneca establish a town in an area known as the Dann-Mack site. today in Mendon township, probably abandoning the site by 1670 and moving on to found Totiakton (Rochester Junction). ** The approximate date a French settlement in the future Onondaga County area is abandoned. ** The final Neutral and Erie tribes are driven out of the Niagara Peninsula by the Iroquois.

Jul 11
A party of 50 French workers arrive at Onondaga Lake, along with four Jesuits, lead by Father Claude Dablon, to establish a mission, which will be named Sainte Marie Gannentaha.

The last 600 Erie surrender to the Iroquois.

Father Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot visits the Senecas at Boughton Hill (Ganagarro).

Mar 20
The French outpost of Sainte Marie de Gannenhata, on Onondaga Lake, is abandoned.

Settlers from Onondaga Lake, fearing an imminent Indian attack, flee, pausing to bury gold and cannon on Stowell (Treasure) Island, in the Oswego River.

The Iroquois, backed first by the Dutch, then the English, begin nine years of devastating warfare against the French.

© 2009 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The past through rose colored glasses

By Richard Palmer

Memory is a wise old trickster. It wafts you back to the days of your
youth. All it lets you see there is the fun you had. All the rest -
the sorrow, the hard times and the tears - are mercifully
obliterated like tracks in the snow.

Down at the village diner, one can always find old-timers
reminiscing in the morning over coffee about the "good old days."
The reality is there never were any such times and there never will
be. What the oldsters talk about is merely the gilt and gold with
which memory paints nostalgic visions of a drab past.

My grandfather was no different and regaled us with stories of
growing up in a hamlet during the later years of the 19th century.

His story went something like this:

"We had, of course, no electricity, no gas, no running water in the
house. Our idea of a plumber was the boy who held the plumb-line for
the carpenter. The big, old wood-burning range in the kitchen had to
be crammed full of hard maple for every meal, winter and summer,
alike. If you've ever opened the oven door on a sultry morning in
August to take out the pies, you’ll know what I mean.

"We had no cars, no radios, no telephones, no daily newspapers - just
a weekly that published the latest gossip. There was Victrola in the
hamlet and its owner had just a dozen records which came with the
machine. I don’t recall his ever having bought any more. There were
no street lights; and on moonless nights, we wandered about bearing
big, tin lanterns, fueled with kerosene.

"The only canned goods at the general store shelves were salmon and
corn. Oranges, bananas and lemons were available only 'in season.'

The farmers knew little, and cared less about scientific agriculture.
Rotation of crops was unknown - or, at least, unpracticed. Some years
the yield was better than others."

Grandpa said it was a miracle he survived so long as he did as in
the "good old days" disease ran its sinister course, practically
uncontrolled. Many doctors still adhered to the practice of
‘leeching’ or blood-letting." "Consumption” was supposed to be
incurable and ‘operations’ were 90 percent fatal. If you broke your
neck or your back, you were considered a hopeless invalid.

The dentist pulled your teeth with a ‘turnkey’ and without
anesthetic. At 40 a woman was old. A man was supposed to be just
about finished, as far as manual labor was concerned, at 50. He
carried no insurance, knew nothing of ‘Social Security’ and
maintained no burial fund.

A man’s ‘Sunday suit’ hung for six days a week in the little dark
closet under the stairs and was expected to last forever. His
everyday attire was an old and not so inspiring conglomeration of
odds and ends which he didn’t really wear - they wore him. Just look
at old pictures in the family album.

There was little variety in his food. "It was salt pork and cabbage
most of the time," Grandpa said. When he was young, he said tomatoes
were just emerging from the category of ornamental shrubbery to being
edible. Salad, ice cream and chocolate Èclairs were just things to be
spitefully mentioned when gossiping about the well-to-do folks on
upper Main Street.

The standard wage for manual laborers other than farmhands was a
dollar a day. The farmers paid 75 cents for ‘day labor’, if you ‘found
yourself’, (meaning you brought your own lunch) or 50 cents plus

"The farmer sold his butter for 15 cents a pound, his eggs at 12
cents a dozen and his fall-butchered pork for four cents a pound. The
only place he could market his milk was at the local cheese factory
and he had to accept whatever the cheesemaker offered him. This guy
didn’t get more than six or seven cents for his cheese, either,"
Grandpa recalled.

The hamlet denizen had little in the way of entertainment and
relaxation, either. Semi-occasionally a ‘medicine show’ would wander
into town for a one-night stand. The biggest event of the year was
the traveling circus.

In March came the town meeting, when almost all the male citizens
would have a few beers, listen to a little oratory and vote Republican.
Today, when a man who has done pretty well for himself, gets on the
nostalgia kick he goes and buys a place in the country. There he
builds 15-room “summer house” with a three-car garage, and all the
modern conveniences. He hires a kid to mow his 10-acre lawn, and a
landscaper to grow his flowers.

Then, he sits back on the porch and brags of how great it is to “get
back to nature” and live in the country like his pioneer forefathers
did. What a lot of bunk! He couldn’t live 24 hours under the
primitive conditions they did, and he knows it.

But that's okay. He should, at least, sleep good; he lies easy !

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letter to the governor

Earlier this month I received a copy of the following letter from New Society of the Genesee member Gerry Muhl, addressed to New York governor David Paterson.

All of you fans of canals out there might like to follow up with your own message to the governor.

To Write To The Governor:
David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

e-mail can be found at:

Gerry’s letter:

Dear Governor Paterson:

On December 23, 2008, Congress passed the new law PL110-456 that creates a successor to the popular 50 State quarter dollar program.

The law requires new quarter reverse designs emblematic of a national park or national site in each state. The program begins in 2010.

The governor of each state has until September 19, 2009 to propse to the U. S. Treasury the site the state wishes to be represented on its National Park commemorative quarter.

As Assistant Curator for the Rochester Numismatic Association I would like to propose that our State’s choice for the quarter be the newly-formed Erie Canal National Corridor. The completion of the canal in 1825 encouraged tremendous growth of both Upstate and Downstate New York and made New York the center of commerce for the nation,

Gerald E. Muhl

Cheesy Elections; No, Not 2004

John Fowler Continues His tour of New York City in 1830

As John Fowler continues exploring downtown Manhattan in 1830 he’s forced to admit that none of the churches and chapels have quite the ancient grandeur of Britain’s. Still he can’t help being favorably impressed with several of the older such structures. While James Stuart has attended services at many of these churches this year he’s neglected to actually describe the buildings, being more interested in who is delivering the sermon.

Fowler presents us with the two jewels of Broadway, Trinity and St. Paul’s. Trinity Church impresses him due to its antiquity, although this is actually the second church on the spot, the first, built in 1696, having been destroyed by fire in 1776. The church will once again be replaced 16 years after Fowler’s visit. He obviously has asked a lot of questions because he informs us the steeple is 198 feet high and that it has the only set of church bells in the city. The surrounding churchyard contains the seemingly unbelievable total of 160,000 bodies. (Someone may just have been pulling Fowler’s leg, here; or perhaps a typo crept intro his report somewhere along the line).

Further up Broadway, a few blocks south of City Hall and the city hospital, sits St. Paul’s Chapel, looking pretty much as it does today, with its Ionic portico, its four fluted stone columns, and its monument to Revolutionary War general Richard Montgomery. Fowler calls the structure “superb”. He also gives brief descriptions of St. John’s Chapel over on Varick Street (near where traffic enters and exits the Holland Tunnel today) and the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Mott Street. (A fire will destroy this one in 1866, a replacement opens two years later. By that time construction is underway on the Fifth Avenue replacement we know today). Fowler also mentions in passing that the city now has close to a hundred churches and one synagogue.

Staying with friends, he has no need of hotels but he does mention the City Hotel, where Stuart first stayed, as well as the six-story Adelphi, the American (next door to former mayor Philip Hone’s residence), the newly-converted Mansion House, the Franklin House (handy to the lower Brooklyn ferry) the National, and the Washington Hall (host to James Fenimore Cooper’s 1824 Bread and Cheese Club - when you applied for membership current members would place either a piece if bread in the ballot box, if you were acceptable, or a piece of cheese if you were persona non grata - or perhaps persona non grated).

Open air markets were another source of interest to Fowler - he knows of at least twelve in the city, his favorite being the Fulton Market, site of today’s South Street Seaport. He quotes some prices - beef, 8 to 12 cents a pound; turkeys, 75 cents to a dollar-and-a-quarter each; potatoes anywhere from 30 to 70 cents a bushel, depending on the season; green and black teas, under a dollar a pound; inferior port wine, $2.50 to $4 a gallon; and beer, four to six dollars a barrel, or the average monthly wage of a house- or chamber maid).

Speaking of beef, when American friends ask him to compare theirs to British beef. he perhaps equivocates. “I could only confess myself not epicure enough to tell the difference.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fighting Snow on the Hojack

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Oswego Palladium, Monday, Feb. 10, 1902

Stuck Fast in Snow Drifts

Passenger Trains Stalled Since Saturday

Six of them Between South Richland and Charlotte -
One Contained Members of the Fifteenth Infantry
Bound for the Philippines - Thirty-six Hours from Watertown

Six passenger trains were stalled in snowdrifts yesterday on
the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg division of the New York Central
railroad, operated from this city, and an army of nearly a thousand
men were engaged in shoveling them out.

At Fernwood, the first station south of Pulaski on the Northern
division, a special train with about 200 soldiers of the Fifteenth
Infantry, from Madison Barracks, bound for the Philippines, was
stalled in the snow and remained there up to last evening. The men
were supplied with rations, and upon the steampipes they had an
arrangement for heating coffee. Passenger Agents Gridley and Hartigan
were aboard.

The train due here from Watertown and Utica Saturday at 4:45
p.m. did not arrive until about nine o'clock last night. Conductor
Brumfield was in charge. The train had been stalled between Mexico
and Sand Hill. The snow there was reported to be fifteen feet deep.
Among the passengers on the train was John Hoffman, of Watertown, who
came to this city to attend the funeral of his sister, Mrs. Louis
Brosener, which occurred today. He had been thirty-six hours on the
road and being a man advanced in years had suffered for want of
something to eat. A rotary plow from the main line of the New York
Central cut the way through the drifts and followed.

The Wabash Flyer, conductor John T. O'Brien, due to arrive
here Saturday morning at eleven o'clock, was stalled in the drifts
near Red Creek from Saturday afternoon and had not been released at
10 A.M. today.

The passenger train from Rochester, Conductor George Donovan,
due to arrive here at 12:45 P.M. Saturday, was stalled behind the
flyer and the train that should have reached here Saturday evening at
6:15 o'clock in charge of Conductor Stewart was some place between
Wallington and Charlotte.

Conductor Thomas D. Clooney who left here Saturday at 1:05 P.M.
with a train made up here bound for Rochester, spent Saturday night,
Sunday and part of today at least among the snow drifts of Hannibal.
Railroad men said this morning that unless there was a let up in the
storm along the western division that the four trains stalled there
would not be released before nightfall, if then.

There was no train into this city over the Phoenix line after
2:30 A.M. Sunday. Conductor Daniel R. Ryan left Syracuse Saturday
night at eleven o'clock with his train and after a hard run arrived
here at the hour above stated.

The D.L.& W. road had two trains in yesterday. The first
arrived about 12:30 12:30 o'clock, four hours late. The next train
arrived in the evening two hours late. Saturday night Conductor John
H. Roche got his train, due to arrive here from Binghamton at 10:15
P.M. as far as the Kingsford farm. The snow in the long cut was solid
and deep. Gathering the passengers into the baggage car the train was
cut and the locomotives started with the baggage car for this city
while trainmen were left behind to guard the front and rear end of
the passenger coaches, Roche's forethought the passengers would
probably remained in the snow all night. After the way was broken the
passenger coaches came easy behind a shifting engine and were put
away in the yard.

There was no Wabash train from New York over the O.& W.
yesterday. Because of the storm the train was shifted to the Central
tracks at Oneida and sent to Suspension Bridge by the main line. The
train east took the same route.

Bucking the Drifts

The old wedge-shaped snowplows were of little use in the
attempt to get through the drifts of packed snow in the cuts during
the past few days. With two or three engines behind one a flying
start would be picked up and the plow would be buried in the drifts
at the rate of fifty miles an hour and there they would stick, with
the chance of jumping and landing crosswise of the tracks. The
rotaries or centrifugals do the only effective work in the succession
of storms such as we have had during the past ten days, but as there
is only on rotary plow on the R.W. & O. division it has been
impossible to keep it working on the various divisions of the road.
About five such plows for the R.W.& O. system would probably be able
to do more effective work.

About Snow Drifts.

Persons who have not traveled over the line of the R.W.& O. in
winter have no conception of the snowdrifts. At Kane's bridge, just
west of the city, the snow in the cut is even with the bridge, which
is twenty-six feet above the tracks. The cut was blown full of fine
snow and when the plows came along they kept throwing up banks on
either side until they were high above the stacks of the locomotives.
Wednesday noon last as the westbound passenger train was going
between these walls of snow the vibration loosened some at the top
and it fell between the train and the wall breaking our four of five
windows in the cars.

At Red House cut it is reported that there were drifts twenty
feet deep and that the entire cut was filled with packed snow. Some
of the men who were taken out Wednesday last to work in the snow
complained bitterly. No provision had been made for feeding them and
they were kept at work steadily for twenty-six hours. They received
regular pay for the number of hours they worked.

Roadmaster Burke was no satisfied the way the men were provided
for and he notified Superintendent Moore. The result was that
yesterday morning the men went out in cabooses fitted up with stoves
and carrying a quantity of provisions, provided by the men
themselves. David Marlo had charge of the gag sent east yesterday
morning and Roadmaster Burke took charge of the gangs sent west.

Snow in Hunter's Cut

The rotary plow, with Supervisor of Track Burke in charge, went
west last night about 9:30 o'clock and at 8:30 o'clock this morning
had just reached Hannibal, a distance of twelve miles. There were
fifty shovelers in the party and the train was composed of the rotary
plow, two cabooses and four engines. Almost from the start trouble
was encountered from the great drifts that filled he cuts.

After several hours of continuous work the Kane cut was cleared
and the train proceeded. At other points on the drifts were encountered.
Before leaving the city Supervisor Burke had a stock of coffee,
bread, bologna and sandwiches put in so that the men might have
something with which to regale themselves after their battle with the

From Hannibal, Supervisor Burke and his force will push on to
Crockett's and dig out a snowplow crew which has been buried at
Hunter;s cut since Saturday night.

The plow was sent out with two engines Saturday afternoon, Conductor
Bloomingdale being in charge of the train and Engineers Finn and Van
Auken at the throttle.

As many another snow-fighting crew has done, the plow pushed
into the cut at Crockett's came to grief. At last reports the plow
and engine were buried in twenty-five feet of snow and there was no
possible chance of getting them until a shoveling party arrived. The
plow is stalled about an eighth of a mile from Crockett's station and
from reports received this morning the crew was not suffering from
cold or lack of food.

Hunter's cut is or of the most treacherous on the western
division. It is about 3,000 feet long and the snow is packed almost
solid to a height of twenty to twenty-five feet.

Trains West of Charlotte

This morning Trainmaster Halleran said that he would have the
western division open late this afternoon. He was thus sanguine, he
said, because there is not a great quantity of snow west of
Crockett's. Supervisor Burke would, said in digging out the plow at
Crocketts, have the assistance of seventy-five shovelers, as he would
pick up twenty at Hannibal and he same number at Crockett's. Mr.
Halleran said that passenger trains are now running between Charlotte
and Suspension Bridge.

The train from the east into Oswego last night was preceded by
the rotary, with Supervisor Philip Kelly and forty and forty
shovelers. The men were sent back to Watertown at midnight on a
special train.

Besides the rotary there are four other plows at work on the
R.W. & O. Each of the trains is drawn by two engines. Mr. Halleran
says that the Phoenix line the storm is most felt between Fulton and
Woodard. Unless the storm breaks out afresh the company expects to
have all trains running by tomorrow.

Movement of Trains Today.

This morning, trains were near east on the R.W. & O. at the
usual hours. Trains were also sent out over the Phoenix branch. All
trains scheduled for the west were annulled. At 10:30 o'clock today
there hadn't been a train over the R.W. & O. lines.

Down the Lackawanna

The trains on the Lackawanna railroad were about on time today.
The New York train, due at 8:35 A.M. , was only eleven minutes late,
and all the out-going trains left on time. At 12:30 o'clock
yesterday, the Lackawanna got the first train into Oswego. Up to that
time there was no railroad communication between Oswego and
elsewhere. The New York train left at 9:15 last, on time. Very little
trouble is being experienced on the Oswego and Syracuse division of
the road, and snow being found on the Syracuse and Binghamton division.

Freight Agent Taylor said today that he would have all
freight trains in and cut of this city moving today.

Situation This Afternoon

The noon train from Richland arrived about an hour late.
Passengers brought news that the main line from Richland to Rome and
north to Ogdensburg is open with trains running from thirty minutes
to an hour late. The Syracuse Northern road is also open. The
special train with the soldiers on board was hauled back from
Fernwood to Pulaski yesterday afternoon and last evening a start was
again made for Syracuse. The Phoenix and Lackawanna roads are running

There was no train from the west up to 1:30 P.M. today, but it
was said that the line would be open by evening and that all
passenger trains, due to arrive here Saturday last, will get through
by nightfall.

The Street Railroad

All roads leading to this city from the country are badly
drifted and only those who found it absolutely necessary were able to
get to town. Nothing was done in the city yesterday towards clearing
off crosswalks by officials who look after that work. The city snow
plow, however, made the usual trips about the parks and citizens
generally cleared off their sidewalks, so that by afternoon there was
no difficulty for ladies to get about, excepting at crosswalks, where
drifts had formed.

By hard work the street railway company kept its tracks open
Saturday night. The snow plow was kept moving over them constantly.
Today Manager Arnold has a gang of men engaged in opening up the
Minetto branch of the street car line.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Historic Pittsford 2009 Calendar & News

Thursday February 5th @ 7:30m St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Lincoln Ave., Pittsford, NY

Double-Crossing New York: Erie Canal Travels

Come join David Minor of the Canal Society of NYS as he describes the three major crossings of NY State.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dangerous Way to Celebrate

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Cayuga Republican, Auburn, N.Y., Wed., Nov. 2, 1825


At Weedsport, on the morning of the 29th ult. Mr. David
Remington, and Mr. Henry Whitman. They were killed by the accidental
discharge of a 24-pounder while they were acting as gunners at the
canal celebration, at that place. Remington was literally blown to
atoms. Whitman survived about 4 hours. They were in the prime of life
and have both left young families to deplore their untimely exit.

"In the midst of life we are in death."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Western / Central New York timeline - 1620-1649

James I grants the Plymouth Company a colony in the New England area to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific (including what will become New York).

Father Joseph de la Roche-Dallion becomes one of the first Europeans to visit the Niagara region.

Europeans discover the oil springs in Allegany County. ** French missionary Joseph de la Roche Dallion explores the region around the future Cattaraugus County.

The approximate date French missionaries to Canada begin writing about the Genesee region.

Over the next three years the Wenrohronon (Wenro), meaning "the people of the place of floating scum," located near the oil spring at Cuba, migrate westward, seeking refuge from the Seneca with the Hurons.

John Scrantom and other settlers buy the future site of New Guilford, Connecticut, from the Indian sachem Menunkatuc. Scrantom’s descendant will become a Rochester pioneer.

Jesuit fathers Jean de Brébeuf and Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot round the western
end of Lake Ontario from Canada, enter the Niagara region of the future New York and
set up a mission near today's Lockport. They will winter over here then abandon their

Fathers de Brebeuf and Chaumonot return to Ste. Marie, Ontario, from a visit to the Neutral Indians, on Lake Erie. De Brebeuf sees a vision during a snowstorm, a large glowing cross, convincing him to welcome martyrdom.

Father Jogues is captured by Mohawk Indians while on his way to the Jesuit Huron mission at Niagara. He will be ransomed by the Dutch within a year.

Jesuit father Joseph Bessani is captured by Mohawks while he’s en route to The Huron missions in the Niagara region. He’s later ransomed by the Dutch.

Father Ragueneu refers to a "waterfall of dreadful" height in the western part of the state.

The Hurons, Neutrals and Eries are defeated by the Iroquois.

© 2009 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yahoo Groups

Erie Canal fans  may be interested in the group at the following URL

You'll need to join the group to access its posts

Touring Gotham's Unclean Streets

New York's streets may not be the tidiest in 1830, but there's lots to see

When John Fowler wakes up in Brooklyn on the morning of August 3rd, 1830, his first bug-free night in New York, he’s feeling refreshed and is raring to hit the tourist trail, crossing over to Manhattan and taking in the sights. He’s impressed with City Hall, the business exchanges, the banks, and hotels. He heads down Broadway for a look see at the Battery and Castle Gardens. We’ll go into some details of these shortly. But his first general impression is of chaos.

He mentions a “want of uniformity” in the buildings (he should see it today) and that all the business streets “show a total inattention to neatness, if I may not add cleanliness.” It would seem that urban streets in London, Bristol and other English cities are very neat and orderly. Sedate, even. Not so here. As goods are brought up from the various wharves surrounding lower Manhattan they are left stacked in the streets, barrels, crates, cases and unpacked goods strewn about. When the goods are taken out of their containers the packing materials - straw, wood shavings, and the like - are thrown down in the nearest open space.

But back to the tourist attractions. City Hall contains not only the mayor’s headquarters and other principal city offices, but the courts as well. The inner foyer - Fowler calls it the Mayor’s court - contains handsome portraits of George Washington, the former state governors, and celebrated U. S. army and navy commanders. The only fly in the ointment, so to speak, is the inescapably reeking, overwhelming presence on floors, landings and staircases of tobacco spittle.

Out in the fresh air again Fowler heads down Broadway a few blocks to Wall Street. At the corner of William Street, sitting atop a post office in the basement, a two story marble building contains the city’s main exchange. A flight of stairs on the building’s exterior lead to an open 27-foot-high portico rimmed with Ionic columns. Semaphores housed on the building’s roof communicate with ships in the harbor.

Our visitor’s impressed by the white marble United States Branch Bank (one of fifteen banks presently operating in the city). He notes in the published weekly bank note tables such comments as, “Uncertain”, “No value”, and “Seventy percent discount”, perhaps a foreshadowing of the money crisis to come some seven years in the future. The nearby four-story brick Custom House makes a poor impression.

Back on Broadway, set back from the street, on a rise near where the Woolworth Building stands today, sits the city’s main hospital, a stone building complete with maternity hospital and lunatic asylum, the various components treating between 140 and 180 patients annually.

As he heads back across Broadway to City Hall he takes note of Columbia College just to the north, and several buildings housing such other learned bodies as the Lyceum of Natural History, and the Literary and Philosophical Society. Not to mention the Historical Society, with 10,000 volumes lining its shelves. 20,000 more can be found at the New York Society Library in Nassau Street.) The main Manhattan public library will one day hold over eleven million books, but for now it’s a start).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Canal News 1818, 1822, 1823

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Geneva Gazette, Nov. 18, 1818

From the Waterloo Gazette.

It is with extreme satisfaction, that through the medium of your
press, I can inform the public, that on the 19th ult. the first heavy
laden boat passed the Lock, lately constructed on the Clyde, near the
new Milling establishment of the Messrs. DeZengs, at the village of
Clyde, in the township of Galen. This valuable improvement completes
an excellent Durham-boat navigation, through, perhaps, the most
fertile sections of Seneca and Ontario Counties, for upwards of forty
miles west of from the Seneca river; and creates an eligible site for
all kinds of hydraulic operations, at a point where it has hitherto
been considered utterly impracticable to raise a sufficient head of

Besides, it is not the least pleasing reflection, that in the
course of a very few years this stream may become a most important
link in the chain of our western inland navigation.

In justice to an undertaking of such magnitude and and utility,
I am proud to acknowledge the enterprise of the Messrs. DeZengs,
advised and directed by the skill of that architect and mill-wright,
Mr. James Valentine. May success reward their efforts.


Lyons Advertiser, June 21, 1822

Reduction of Toll. - At the late meeting of the Canal
Commissioners at Buffalo, the Collector of toll of this village
informs us, that a resolution was passed, by which the toll upon all
articles passing on the canal, between the Seneca and Genesee Rivers,
is reduced to one half of the rates charged elsewhere. One reason of
this reduction is said to be the deficiency of water. There is water
enough in the canal to render it useful for navigation, although as
the feeder from the Genesee river is not yet introduced, boats are
not able to carry more than half loads.

Another reason probably is, the navigation through this part of
the canal line, is connected with that of the middle section only by
passing for about twelve miles on the Seneca River, of which the
water is unusually low. Both of these reasons are expected to be
obviated soon, by the completion of the feeder, and by finishing the
great work through the Cayuga marshes, where the labor of excavation
is now going on more successfuly than it has been at any former
period. Whenever these works are completed, and the proper quantity
of water introduced, the toll will again be raised to the common rates.

Lyons Advertiser, Friday, Nov. 8, 1822.

Arrived at this village (Rochester,) on Wednesday last, the
Canal Boat Western Trader, Capt. Garney, from Utica, with a full
freight of Emigrants, consisting of eight families, in all sixty
persons, who have come the distance of 150 miles, for the moderate
sum of $1.50 each - thus completely elucidating one of the many and
important benefits of the Great Western Canal.

Lyons Advertiser, Dec. 13, 1822

Northern Canal. - The last stone of the Northern canal, was
laid by Gov. Clinton, President of the Board of Canal Commissioners,
on the 28th Nov. in presence of a great assemblage of people. The
Canal is connected with the Hudson at Waterford, at the head of sloop
navigation, by three beautiful locks of white marble, through which
the company passed in boats.

The Northern Canal is now finished; a boat arrived the above
mentioned day at Waterford, from Lake Ontario, by way of the St.
Lawrence and Sorell rivers and Lake Champlain! The undiverted
energies of the state can now be turned to the speedy completion of
the Erie Canal.

Lyons Advertiser, Wed., Aug. 27, 1823

We understand that two boats intended for the new liune of
packets on the canal, were launched at Bucksville Saturday last. They
are said to be very superior boats, possessing elegant accommodations.