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

The Erie Canal at Amherst

Erie Canalway Trail - Amherst

The Erie Canal at Amherst Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 15, 2016
1. The Erie Canal at Amherst Marker
Inscription. During more than 175 years of existence, the Erie Canal has followed more than one path. In some places, two or three generations of Canal infrastructure still exist side by side. When technology, especially mechanized boats, made it possible for the Canal to cross lakes and follow wide rivers, the Canal veered off in new directions. The Canal channel dug in the 19th century, and the old locks constructed before the Civil War, now sit abandoned. "Ports" founded to handle Canal traffic lost their original reason for existence. The ever-increasing size of barges during the 19th century explains why section sof the canal became obsolete. As the need for greater csrgo capacity grew, barges became to broad and deep to navigate the original locks. By the Civil War, canal infrastructure had to be widened or else abandoned. With the aid of larger cranes and dredges, the Canal was maintained and enlargened. Here along Tonawanda Creek, they scoured existing creeks deeper to accommodate canal trafic and increase water flow. Steam shovels took huge bites of earth and rock. Cantilevered cranes, with clamshell buckets that could swing in wide arcs, moved tons of debris, while hydraulic dredges siphoned up silt that had accummulated on the Canal bottom. Market-driven demand plus technologocal innovation resulted in an ever-evolving Canal, three generations
The Erie Canal at Amherst Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 15, 2016
2. The Erie Canal at Amherst Marker
This side faces north.
of infrastructure and profound changes to the communities that it served.

Tow Path Bridge 170 over Tonawanda Creek at Pendleton, May 1905.
1817-1825 30 tons; 1830-1850 75 tons; 1850-1862 100 tons; 1862-1899 240 tons; After 1900 450 tones; 1900-1930 1000-3000 tons.

[north side:] Welcome to the Erie Canalway Trail, a multi-use trail for walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and other recreational activities. The trail parallels active and historic sections of the legendary Erie Canal spanning 360 miles across New York State from Buffalo to Albany. The Erie Canalway Trail is an ideal close-to-home recreatioal resource and a great long distance bicycling destination. Initiatives between the New York State Canal Corporation, federal and state agencies, non-profit groups, volunteers and local governments have created this great network of trails for public use.
Enjoying the Canalway Trail:
The Erie Canalway Trail is intended to accommodate a variety of users. It is important to extend courtesy to all trail users and respect their rights. In order to avoid conflicts, trail protocol dictates that bicyclists should yield the right-of-way to all trail users. In addition, please observe the following tips for safe trail use. •Stay to the right except when passing •When stopped, move over to let others pass •Give a clear warning before passing •Keep pets on a
Marker & Setting image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 15, 2016
3. Marker & Setting
Behind the marker and across Tonawanda Creek Road is the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. The intersection with New Road is at left in the distance. New Road and the Canalway Trail cross Tonawanda Creek into Niagara County and Pendleton on separate bridges off-picture to the left. The view of the canal by the marker is obscured by brush.
short leash
Hours of operation and Other information:
The Trail is Open from Dawn to Dusk. In case of emergency call 911. For more information about the Erie Canalway Trail or the New York State Canal System, Please Call: 1-800-4 Canals 4 or Visit Us Online at: An on-line interactive map of the Erie Canalway Trail showing services and attractions is available at
Erected by New York State Canals.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
Location. 43° 5.099′ N, 78° 43.744′ W. Marker is in Amherst, New York, in Erie County. Marker is at the intersection of Tonawanda Creek Road and New Road, on the right when traveling west on Tonawanda Creek Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Buffalo NY 14228, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Transit Road Church (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pendleton (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bigelow House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Williamsville School No.9 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sweet Home Common School No.15 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Grand Erie Canal (approx. 0.3 miles away); Controlling Water in the Erie Canal (approx. 3.3 miles away); Town of Clarence - Swormville (approx. 3.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Amherst.
More about this marker. The Canal route actually leaves the creek before reaching this marker, although "Millersport", to the east and upstream of here on Tonawanda Creek, is evidence of commerce connected to the Canal by Tonawanda Creek.
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 102 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page was last revised on October 9, 2016.
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