The Erie Canal was made back in the 1800’s. Construction began July 4th 1817 in Rome, NY and went to Utica, NY(this just happens to be where long time Braves second baseman Mark Lemke is from). The Canal expanded and fully opened October 26th 1825. The plan was to be able to move bulk goods from New York City across New York and into the Great Lakes region. Normal transit time on land was about 2.5 weeks and a harsh trip as well. There wasn’t a rail system and this canal would open the trade system up to a broad range.
There was a lot of innovation used on digging a 363 mile canal across New York. Manual labor, mules, oxen, and, horses were the driving force behind cutting trees and removing them and their stumps, moving dirt, and constructing aqueducts of stone and wood to cross boats over the top of rivers and streams. They couldn’t run into the rivers because the water would not flow on the canal it would turn into the river so they had to build aqueducts to go over the top. Along with crossing rivers there also had to be a lock system put in place to accommodate the elevation change. The Canal ran through many towns and cities and it brought the cost of food and supplies down.
Some of the canal has been filled in but you can still go and walk, bike, and even snow mobile along the canal. The stone and wood aqueducts have been replaced by cement, but it is still quite a site to look and marvel at the labor and ingenuity that went into making the Erie Canal. So if you ever get into Central New York its worth taking a bike ride along the canal.
Have you been to the Erie Canal? make the JUMP to the forum and let us know!