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

The Erie Canal

 
 
The Erie Canal Marker - Colonie, New York Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2008
1. The Erie Canal Marker - Colonie, New York
Inscription. For nearly a century, canal boats were pulled by mules and horse over this portion of New York State's famed Erie Canal.

One of the slowest and most crowded parts of the waterway started to the north of the Flatts at Maplewood. Here Began the Tortuous series of 21 locks that raised the canal up to the Mohawk Valley and around the 70 foot cliffs of the Cohoes Falls. Situated between this traffic to the north and Albany's busy lumber district to the south, the stretch of the Erie Canal through the Flatts was comparatively quiet.

Boats that did not need to stop at the harbor in Albany bypassed this portion of the canal altogether by using the sidecuts in West Troy (now Watervliet) just north of the Flatts to get to the Hudson River. Still, nearly a hundred canal boats passed here on average every day in the mid-19th century.

[Inset Panel]:
The Original Erie Canal Referred to derisively by early critics of the project as "Clinton's Ditch," the original canal was only 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and carried boats up to 75 tons. Construction began in 1817 and was completed in 1825.

The Enlarged Erie Canal Soon the original canal was so overburdened with traffic that an enlargement was begun in 1835. Completed here in 1842, the canal was expanded to a depth of 7 feet and a width
The Erie Canal Marker - Sidebar Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2008
2. The Erie Canal Marker - Sidebar
"As a bond of union between the Atlantic and Western states, it may prevent the dismemberment of the American Empire. As an organ of communication.. it will create the greatest inland trade ever witnessed."
DeWitt Clinton - New York mayor, governor, and principle promoter of the Erie Canal.
of 70 feet. It handled boats carrying three times more tonnage than the original canal.

With the opening of the Barge Canal in 1917, which joined the Mohawk Valley directly to the Hudson river at Waterford, the canal along this section was abandoned and most of it was eventually filled in. This small section before you remains unfilled.
 
Erected by Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
 
Location. 42° 42.295′ N, 73° 42.797′ W. Marker is in Colonie, New York, in Albany County. Marker is on Broadway (New York State Route 32) near Federal Express Plaza, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 590 Broadway, Albany NY 12204, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Saint Agnes Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Burden Iron Works (approx. 0.9 miles away); Chester Alan Arthur (approx. 1.1 miles away); Watervliet Arsenal (approx. 1.2 miles away); Historic Albany Rural Cemetery (approx. 1.3 miles away); Little Red Schoolhouse
The Erie Canal Marker - Sidebar Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2008
3. The Erie Canal Marker - Sidebar
Looking to the south over the Port Schuyler section of Watervliet. The Erie Canal is shown in red. The Schuyler farm pictured here in 1881 is the cleared land just beyond the town. Schuyler Flatts had once included the land to the north of the house.
(approx. 1.5 miles away); City of Watervliet (approx. 1.6 miles away); Saint Patrick's Church Bell (approx. 1.6 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Marker is mounted facing away from Broadway, in the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park. The Park is located on Route 32 between the Village of Menands and the City of Watervliet in Albany County's Town of Colonie. This 12-acre park, opened in Fall 2002, on what was once a portion of the farm of the Schuyler family. The Schuyler farm was a staging area for revolutionary war encampments. Prior to this it was the site of a Mohican Indian summer encampment. The area has great historical and archeological significance and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Park includes a walking and jogging trail with access to the Hudson-Mohawk Bike Path. The park itself is a tranquil, wide-open green space for strolling, picnicking.

The Schuyler Flatts Archological District is on the National Registerof Historic Places as of January 21, 1974 and aditionally designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
The Erie Canal Marker - Sidebar Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2008
4. The Erie Canal Marker - Sidebar
Sidebar shows cross-sectional diagrams of both the Original and Enlarged Canal with measurements of the prism and towpath, and Berme ("healpath").
The Erie Canal Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2008
5. The Erie Canal Marker
The Marker is between the two poles on the right of the depression in the ground. The Depression is the unfilled section of the Erie Canal.
The Erie Canal Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2008
6. The Erie Canal
The depression outlined by the stone blocks is the section of unfilled Erie Canal. The marker is on the right, between the paved footpath and the heavy stones. Route 32 is on the left.
Aerial View of Erie Canal Marker Location Photo, Click for full size
By MicroSoft Virtual Earth "Bird's Eye View"
7. Aerial View of Erie Canal Marker Location
In this view Route 32 (Broadway) runs north/south. The unfilled section of the canal is outlined by the stones on the groud, to the east of Route 32.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 1,972 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 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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