“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Watervliet in Albany County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Erie Canal

Erie Canal Marker - Watervliet, New York Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 6, 2008
1. Erie Canal Marker - Watervliet, New York
Completed 1825 Terminus at
Hudson River. Locks called
Sidecut allowed entry to
navigable waters

Erected by Watervliet Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
Location. 42° 43.967′ N, 73° 42.065′ W. Marker is in Watervliet, New York, in Albany County. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Avenue (New York State Route 32) and Twenty-Third Street, on the right when traveling north on 2nd Avenue. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Watervliet NY 12189, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mayor James F. Cavanaugh (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Weighlock Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Maplewood Historic Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Nalle Rescue (approx. 0.3 miles away); U.S. Army 3 Inch M5 Antitank Gun (approx. 0.3 miles away); Peter J. Dalessandro (approx. 0.3 miles away); T'was The Night Before Christmas (approx. 0.4 miles away); Meneely Foundry (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Watervliet.
Regarding Erie Canal. Construction of the Erie Canal began on July 4th, 1817, and the canal was
Erie Canal Marker at Second Ave. and Twenty-Third Street Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 30, 2004
2. Erie Canal Marker at Second Ave. and Twenty-Third Street
officially opened on October 26, 1825. It was 363 miles long, from Albany to Buffalo with 83 locks and 18 aqueducts.

The question of where to locate the eastern terminal of the Erie Canal provoked great controversy between the cities of Albany and Troy. The route which was finally selected went from Schenectady to Cohoes and then south along the west bank of the Hudson River to Albany. This plan to have the last stretch of the canal terminate in Albany and thus by-pass the city of Troy absolutely infuriated the Troy business community.

In order to provide equally convenient access to the Erie Canal for Troy commerce and west-bound freight that did not need to stop at the Port of Albany, a short lateral canal was constructed to connect the City of West Troy (now Watervliet) with the tide waters of the Hudson River. This short cut (Side Cut) to the Erie Canal ran about where present day 23rd Street is.

The location of the Erie Canal marker is near the former West Troy Side-cut. The West Troy Side Cut was also known as the "Upper Side cut" since there was also a Lower Side cut located just south of the Watervliet Arsenal. The character of the neighborhoods surrounding these side cuts earned it the nickname of "Barbary Coast of the East" (Buffalo being the "Barbary Coast of the West"). Since the Canalers were paid at the end of their trip they often had
Erie Canal Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 2, 2008
3. Erie Canal Marker
View is to the North looking along Route 32 in Watervliet, NY.
money in their pockets and a few days off to go looking for a good time. There were more than 25 saloons within two blocks of the side cut locks. Paddy Ryan, a famous prize fighter, began his boxing career at the side-cut. He worked as a lock tender, and also owned a saloon nearby. In 1880, he defeated the English Champion, Joe Goss, in a memorable 86-round match, and earned the titles, "King of the Erie Canal" and "World Champion".

Source: Amelia T. O'Shea (2006) "Canals of Albany County" Freehold, New York O'Shea ISBN# 1-57256-953-0
Additional keywords. Erie Canal Sidecut Side Cut Hudson River West Troy Watervliet
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesWaterways & Vessels
West Troy Side Cut Photo, Click for full size
Collection of J. Connor
4. West Troy Side Cut
This old photo post card shows a canal boat in the upper lock of the West Troy Side cut.
Remains of the West Troy Side Cut Locks Photo, Click for full size
New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, 1970
5. Remains of the West Troy Side Cut Locks
This photo was taken of the remains of one of the locks of the West Troy Side Cut in 1970 for documentation that was submitted to nominate the site for National Registger of Historic Places status, which it attained in 1971. These remains were reportedly filled in and covered up for preservation at that time.
West Troy Side Cut Lower Locks Photo, Click for full size
Collection of H.C. Ohlhous
6. West Troy Side Cut Lower Locks
A steam boat spends the winter between the upper and lower locks of the West Troy Side cut. Postcard circ 1907
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 2,663 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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