The Erie Barge Canal at Lockport
The Lockport Locks Nos. 34 and 35 would accommodate a barge up to 43.5 feet wide, 15 feet high and lift them 49 feet vertically.
In 1825, when the Erie Canal was opened, a single horse or mule would tow a boat. Teams of horses or mules were later used when the canal was enlarged to accommodate larger vessels.
The boats would often carry two shifts of animals and crew who would rotate for six hour work periods. Work was sometimes hazardous - especially at night or when the towpath was slippery - since the towpath was often high above the water with no safety rail being possible due to the tow lines needed. Animals and riders were lost by falling off the towpath into the water - especially in walled sections of the canal or where no "horse holes" or areas to be helped up the steep banks or walls were present.
Strong winds could hold an empty boat against the bank or wall and make towing impossible and sinking boats would slow down other traffic. Sinking boats that were top-heavy would often capsize and dump their cargo; others went down cargo and all; grain boats would swell up and necessitate the use of
Commercial enterprises were present along the canal with stores and shops built as close to the towpath as possible. Farmers with produce stands, grocers, and other merchants selling goods and supplies all contended for the potential business offered by passing vessels.
Although the commercial traffic has passed its prime on the canal, recreational use of the waterway is estimated at 55,000 pleasure craft per year, and the towpath provides many miles of hiking or bicycling potential. The "widewaters" in the canal - previously used as a boat turnaround - has provided areas for marinas in Lockport and other cities and villages. Much of the adjacent land along the canal offers pleasant use as park and greenspace for leisure activities.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
Location. 43° 10.588′ N, 78° 41.126′ W. Marker is in Lockport, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and Exchange Street, on the right when traveling west on Market
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Sluice and Hall Spillway (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lockport Bank (about 600 feet away); The Lowertown Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Lowertown Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lockport Federal Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Barge Tie Ups & lock view looking west (approx. half a mile away); The Bewley Building (approx. half a mile away); Electric Building (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Lockport.
Also see . . .
1. Erie Canal Discovery Center - Lockport, NY. (Submitted on June 18, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Historic Bridges - Exchange Street Bridge. (Submitted on June 19, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 324 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.