Saturday, December 03, 2016

Erie Canal Day 4 Addendum - Old Lock 60 park

As promised, here are more pictures from the historic Lock 60 park. The Erie Canal I've been sharing with you recently is actually the 3rd version; the original one that opened in 1825 was immediately overwhelmed by its own success, with the amount of cargo being transported quickly exceeding the amount the planners had projected, and an expansion got underway in 1834. The first upgrade did involve some straightening of the original route in places, but a lot of the project just involved enlarging the original canal to allow for more traffic. This particular lock actually went through 2 separate improvements, first being enlarged, with a second lock being added later to allow vessels to lock through in both directions simultaneously. 

The final version of the Erie Canal, in 1918, saw the old canal replaced by the New York State Barge Canal. By this time the canal builders had learned more about flood control methods, and digging technology had improved, so in this version they were able to put many of the natural waterways to use. Where this meant the old route was abandoned, a lot of the old facilities are still there to see. This was one of them, and we really enjoyed taking a look at the lock. 

Most information from Wikipedia's Erie Canal page (although you'll see a good bit of it is on the info sign I took a picture of there).

BTW, reading about the work that was put in to allow the Erie Canal to achieve its maximum potential reminds me of a fascinating article I read in the NY Times recently. Not much commercial shipping on the Erie Canal these days, but there is a lock on the Ohio River that dates back to not that long after the final version of the Erie Canal that shipping does rely on heavily -- and that is evidently getting to be a problem.

Here are the photos! Click on the first one for a slideshow view. 


Rob K said...

Great photos! Love the history lesson!

LauraEhlers said...

Just amazing. Remember studying the canal in school but really had no idea!