Thursday, January 7, 2010

Canal Items, from the Earliest Days

Hampden Federalist and Public Journal, Springfield Mass.,

Wednesday, June 26 1822
New York June 19.


We are informed by a gentleman who has just returned from a visit to
Buffalo and Niagara Falls, that he traveled 160 miles in the new
convenient passage boat on the Erie Canal, viz., from Little Falls to
Utica 22 miles
Utica to Montezuma, by Rome, Syracuse, and Weed's Basin 96

Crossing from Montezuma over the Seneca River and the Cayuga Marshes 6 miles
and up the river Clyde 6 1-2 miles to Blockhouse- - he again takes the canal and passing
the flourishing villages of Lyons and Palmyra to Hartswell s Basin 42

On this route are already seven passage boats with good
accommodations, and hundreds of other boats transporting
immense quantities of produce to Utica; and such is the stock in this
state, that there are now 100,000 barrels of flour alone on the banks
of the canal, that cannot be transported for want of boats- - many of
which are now building that cost from $100 to $400 each, and carry
from 150 to 400 barrels. These boats have taken freight from
Montezuma to Utica, a distance of nearly 100 miles, at the extremely
low rate of 5 cents per cwt., or one dollar per ton, which is about
one tenth the former rate of transporting the same distance by
wagons; in this case, the owners of the goods paid the tolls, which
however are very trifling.

The passage boats are drawn by three horses tandem rigged; the other
boats by one or two horses, according to the size of the boat -- a
boy rides the rear horse, and travels from three to four miles per
hour. Passengers leaving Utica at 8 oíclock, reach Weed's Basin 87
miles the next morning at 7 o'clock, traveling all night. The charge
is only 4 cents per mile, which includes board and lodging both of
which are as good if not better, than the taverns on the road. This
is as rapid as the stages travel, much less expensive, no risk of
life or limb, and no fatigue or dust attending.

The Grand Canal is nearly finished from Schenectady to Little Falls,
56 miles- - from Montezuma to Clyde, or Block House, 13 miles, and
from Hartwell's Basin to Genesee River, and from thence to Lockport,
70 miles- all of which it is said, will be filled, and boats allowed
to pass, on or before the first day of October next, making 260 or 270
miles, through one of the richest and most valuable parts of the
state of New-York. Numerous emigrants from the hardy and industrious
northern and eastern hive are to be seen transporting themselves and
their families, at little or no expense, to settle on the lands
bordering on the canal.

Merchants residing in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Lexington and
Louisville and in Michigan and Indiana, will soon get their goods
transported for 1/4 the price they now pay, and save as much or more
in the breakage and damage now unavoidable in wagons, besides the
saving of half or two thirds in time; which, in fact, is extending
the credit on their goods.

Emigrants and their families much prefer the canal to any other route
on every account- - expense, time, health and comfort &c.

The amount of toll already received at the office in Utica this
spring exceeds the sum paid the whole of last year, and it is
supposed it will amount 50 or 60,000 dollars.

The Advertiser, Lyons, Friday Jan. 17, 1823

Canal Navigation. The following statements shews the amount of
property which passed this village on the Erie Canal, in 1822. It
will be recollected that this section of the canal was not navigable
from the first of July till about the first of November

32,703 bbls. Flour

12,181 bbls. Salt

1,475 do. Provisions,

406 do Ashes.

7,849 bushels Wheat

92,507 feet Boards.

40,245 gallons Whiskey

14,492 lbs. Lard

87 tons Castings

349 boxes Soap
besides a great variety of articles, the amount of which in the
aggregate, is considerable. The quantity of flour and salt is large,
for the time the canal was navigable. The amount of toll collected
on this section, is sufficient to shew the increasing importance of
the "Big Ditch."

Wayne County Sentinel, Palmyra. Wed. March 30, 1825.

The Western Villages.
Under this head, some of the city papers have very properly noticed
the extraordinary growth of several of the villages on the line of the
Erie Canal since its partial completion; but we have not seen a single
word respecting Palmyra . We cheerfully respond that great
improvements are making in nearly all of our western villages, and
few present greater evidences of the fact than the one in which we
have the good fortune to be located. No speculating spirit has
hurried its march of improvement beyond the
degree which its own resources will warrant and sustain. Surrounded
as it is by a wealthy and fertile country, and an enterprising and
rapidly increasing population, it seem as if nature has heretofore
done more for its facilities and importance that the citizens
themselves. But we take pleasure in stating, that an enterprising
spirit seldom witnessed, and a disposition to "put a shoulder to the
wheel" to improve and raise up our village, is now universally
manifested by them.

We had indulged a hope that a correct census of this village,
accompanied by a minute statement of its growing condition, would be
furnished for publication before this time; but we cannot forbear to
mention, while on this subject, some of the great improvements now
going on.

New streets are laying out, and preparations for building are making.
In addition to the three large and commodious store-house already
erected in this village, three more are now building, which will
probably be finished in the course of four weeks; an excellent and
convenient wharf is also constructing by the Messrs. Thayres,
connected with Rogersí Basin. The business done on the canal last
year, at this point, proved the necessity of these conveniences. The
number of dwelling houses, merchants, and mechanics shops
&c.,&c.,&c., to be erected the ensuing season, is greater, perhaps,
than was ever before known in any season.

The Wayne Sentinel, Palmyra Wednesday, May 1,1833

The great eastern mail is now received at this place, by the way of
the Free Bridge and Vienna, from eight to ten hours earlier than it
was before the change in the route, and generally in advance of the
mail which is brought with all reasonable speed on horseback over the
old route through Montezuma and Lyons - both leaving Elbridge
simultaneously. The proprietors and the public have abundant reason
to be well satisfied with the change. The particular arrangements of
the stages over this route, we understand, will be announced to the
public by the proprietors in a few days.

Syracuse Journal, April 26, 1852

The Canals. The Oneida Lake is still blockaded by ice, and boats from
the east bound for Oswego will be obliged to come by way of this city
for the present.

Business at this point started rather sluggishly, owing to the
insufficiency of water. UP to 6 oíclock last evening there were 20
clearances ó all loaded, except one, with corn from Canton, Camillus
and Bellisle. The amount of tolls received was $543.37. The water on
the long level east was not high enough to permit the lockage of
boats. The water was not let in here until Monday night, and
consequently there have been no boats loaded.

Syracuse Journal, April 30 1852

Canal Tolls. The amount of Canal tolls received at the Collectorís
office in this city during the first ten days of navigation, ending
the month of April, the present year is $4,462.64. During the
corresponding period last year, the amount received was $5,346.33
exceeding the present year by $883.69ñ The decrease is much less than
might have been anticipated from the embarrassments that have been
experienced from scarcity of water, and from Railroad competition.
The ensuing half month will doubtless put another face on the aspect
of things.

Collected by Richard Palmer

No comments: