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

The Flats

 
 
The Flats Marker image. Click for full size.
By Yugoboy, February 21, 2013
1. The Flats Marker
Inscription. It's 1890. This is "the flats,” the industrial center of Seneca Falls. The noise is deafening, as hundreds of highly-skilled workers build pumps and fire engines in factories jammed onto every inch of the islands below you. Hammer blows ring out, files rasp, machinery clatters rhythmically, and workers shout over the din. Black smoke and soot belch at you from factory smokestacks all along the river, steam engines roar, water arcs out over the canal as pumps are tested, and lock gates slam shut as a heavily-loaded freight boat passes through lock #5.

In the neighborhood behind these factories in modest homes on tree-lined streets, bread bakes and the next meal simmers on hot cast-iron wood stoves, laboriously hand-washed laundry flutters on clotheslines, and dirt tracked in from muddy unpaved roads is scrubbed away.

Until 1914, the flats were home both to industry and to many of the Irish and Italian immigrants whose labor helped build Seneca Falls.

That year, construction of the New York State Barge Canal required the demolition or relocation of 116 industrial buildings and 60 homes. The flats were then flooded to create the canal and Van Cleef Lake. Despite its size and complexity, the New York State Barge Canal failed to recapture much of the state's shipping trade. Shippers preferred railroads and
The Flats Marker and Van Cleef Lake image. Click for full size.
By Yugoboy, February 21, 2013
2. The Flats Marker and Van Cleef Lake
the developing trucking industry. But the canal did provide electricity through its water-powered generators and soon attracted recreational boaters. Today the canal is maintained by New York State as a precious historical and natural resource still used by thousands of pleasure boats each season.
 
Location. 42° 54.528′ N, 76° 47.716′ W. Marker is in Seneca Falls, New York, in Seneca County. Marker is on East Bayard Street just east of Ovid Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Seneca Falls NY 13148, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory of Norman J. Gould (within shouting distance of this marker); When Anthony Met Stanton (within shouting distance of this marker); Van Cleef Lake (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Amelia Bloomer (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Historic Business District (approx. ¼ mile away); Wesleyan Methodist Chapel (approx. ¼ mile away); First Convention For Woman’s Rights (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Seneca Falls.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
The Flats Marker from eastern approach image. Click for full size.
By Yugoboy, February 21, 2013
3. The Flats Marker from eastern approach
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York. This page has been viewed 270 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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