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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fort Hunter in Montgomery County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Putman's Lock Grocery

 
 
Putman's Lock Grocery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 2, 2011
1. Putman's Lock Grocery Marker
Inscription. Putman's Lock Grocery, owned by the Garret Putman family from 1855 into the 1900s, is typical of the many stores which lined the canal. Part of the store, which contained living quarters and rooms for rent, was destoyed by fire in the 1930s. The basement was used as a tavern. The room behind the French doors was for general sales, displaying goods which ranged from clothing and tobacco for the canaller to harnesses and hay for the draft animals. The porch was a meeting place for those whose lives depended on the canal.
 
Erected by Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
 
Location. 42° 57.167′ N, 74° 14.282′ W. Marker is near Fort Hunter, New York, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Queen Anne Street. Click for map. The marker is within Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, posted between the two lock chambers of Old Erie Canal Lock number 28, which is also known as the Yankee Hill Lock. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Hunter NY 12069, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Johnson, 1749 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Johnson Trail
Putman's Lock Grocery Marker Detail 1 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 2, 2011
2. Putman's Lock Grocery Marker Detail 1
Photo Caption from the Marker; "The Canal Store in the early 1930s. The uniformed men are State Police, who had just raided a moonshine operation at the building. Courtesy of the Fort Hunter Canal Society."
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Guy Park (approx. 1.5 miles away but has been reported missing); Guy Park, 1766 (approx. 1.5 miles away); A Mohawk House Unearthed (approx. 2.4 miles away); East Guard Lock (approx. 2.4 miles away); Sweet Canal Store (approx. 2.4 miles away); Original Erie Canal (approx. 2.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Hunter.
 
Regarding Putman's Lock Grocery. Putman's Store began as a family business. Garret and his son John were listed as grocers in the 1855 New York State census. Their wives, Garret's daughter and another son were also part of the household living at the family homestead near the store. By 1860, the scene had changed. John and Garret had returned to farming, while neighbors of the Putmans ran the canal store. Thus began a pattern that would last until 1892; the Putman's owned the grocery while an ever-changing roster of neighbors acted as the grocers. Althought Johnn Putman was again listed as a store keeper in 1892, he later returned to farming. It is probable that by 1900, or 1905 the latest, the store was no longer
Putman's Lock Grocery Marker Detail 2 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 2, 2011
3. Putman's Lock Grocery Marker Detail 2
Photo Caption from the Marker: Putman's Grocery ca. 1890. Putman's was most profitable in the 1870s, when canal traffic was at its peak. After 1880, canal business, and the grocery, went into a long period of decline. The store closed in 1917, following the opening of the Barge Canal in the Mohawk River. The abandonment of the Enlarged Erie Canal eliminated any need for a store at this location. Photo courtesy of the Fort Hunter Canal Society.
in operation.

In its heyday, the fourteen-mile section of the Erie Canal near Amsterdam, New York, boasted forty stores. Businesses similar to the Putman's Grocery were located at just about every lock on the canal and at many points in between. As one canalman noted, these stores provided an astounding variety of goods and services. Canalside stores stocked anything a canal fleet needed in the way of patent medicine, cooking pots, tinware, candy, food, shoes, clothing, raingear, and drygoods. Also available were supplies such as hay, oats, straw, or shavings, harnesses, horse collars, whiffle trees, tow lines, horse bridges, fenders, pike poles, hardware, etc. It was also possible to replenish cooking and drinking water at these places; kerosene, or coal oil had to be obtained from these supply points as oil lamps were the only type of illumination to be had on the canal boats at that time.
 
Also see . . .
1. Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site. (Submitted on September 24, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
2. Enlarged Erie Canal "Yankee Hill" Lock No. 28 at Fort Hunter, N.Y. (Submitted on September 24, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Putman's Lock Grocery and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 2, 2011
4. Putman's Lock Grocery and Marker
The recent flooding of the Mohawk River after Hurricane Irene washed away the wooden footbridges that crossed the two lock chambers here between the parking area and Putman's Lock Grocery. They were later recovered and re-erected here at the lock. The marker is in the upper-right, between the two lock chambers.
Putman's Lock Grocery before Restoration image. Click for full size.
Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, circa 1970
5. Putman's Lock Grocery before Restoration
Putman's Lock Grocery image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 29, 2008
6. Putman's Lock Grocery
Putman's Lock Grocery with Old Erie Canal Lock 28 in the Foreground image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 2, 2011
7. Putman's Lock Grocery with Old Erie Canal Lock 28 in the Foreground
Putman's Lock Grocery image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 29, 2008
8. Putman's Lock Grocery
Putman's Lock Grocery and Lock #28 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 20, 2007
9. Putman's Lock Grocery and Lock #28
Putman's Lock Grocery Flooded after Hurricane Irene image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 29, 2011
10. Putman's Lock Grocery Flooded after Hurricane Irene
Putman's Lock Grocery image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 29, 2008
11. Putman's Lock Grocery
This is a view of the Mohawk River to the west. The abandoned canal and Grocery are in the lower portion of the photo, with canal lock #28 on the left and the Barge Canal / Mohawk River on the right. This photo is from another display nearby. The roadway that was built to the former grocery building by filling in part of the lock is shown. Also the rail bed to the south of the road appears to still have rail and a line of telegraph poles. The former railroad right of way is now the bike path, which is part of the state-wide Canalway Trail that follows the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 519 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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