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Little Falls in Herkimer County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Bridge for Boats

The Little Falls Aqueduct

 
 
A Bridge for Boats Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, March 23, 2019
1. A Bridge for Boats Marker
Inscription.  The pile of rocks in front of you is all that is left of a massive 214-foot-long aqueduct that once carried water and canal boats across the Mohawk River, connecting the original Erie Canal to a boat basin on the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company canal (northeast of Canal Place today). Little Falls had developed on the north side of the river along that earlier canal, and local merchants lobbied heavily for a water connection to their businesses.

"A Handsome Structure"

Built in 1822 using local limestone, the aqueduct crossed the river in a single seventy-foot arch, with smaller arches at either end. It contained a sixteen-foot-wide waterway, four feet deep, with a wooden towpath along one side. The aqueduct was-deepened when the Erie Canal was enlarged in the 1840s. It was difficult to maintain, however, and used less frequently as time passed. New businesses located next to the canal and the railroad came to dominate the north shore the river.

By 1881, the aqueduct was abandoned and its water removed. The northern stone arch was dynamited to make way for an expansion of the Victor Knitting Mills and
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Paper Box Factory in 1891. (Look for the arched openings from that building's foundation.) The southern arch of the old aqueduct collapsed after 1928, but the graceful central arch remained standing until 1993. It fell down during high waters, over one hundred years after it was last maintained.

The Little Falls Aqueduct was the best example of the aqueducts built for the original Erie Canal. You can still see the remains of later canal aqueducts at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site and Rexford, both to the east on the NYS Canalway.
 
Erected by US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Erie Canal series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1822.
 
Location. 43° 2.391′ N, 74° 51.534′ W. Marker is in Little Falls, New York, in Herkimer County. Marker is at the intersection of Mohawk Street, on the left when traveling south on Mohawk Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Little Falls NY 13365, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lafayette's Tour (a few steps from this marker); Benton’s Landing (a few steps from this marker); Little Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Route of the Little Falls Canal
A Bridge for Boats Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, March 15, 2019
2. A Bridge for Boats Marker
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Cheese Business (approx. 0.2 miles away); The World's Best Cheddar (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Street Cheese Market (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shaping the City (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Little Falls.
 
View Downstream from Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, March 23, 2019
3. View Downstream from Marker
Looking upstream image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, March 23, 2019
4. Looking upstream
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 16, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 298 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 23, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   2. submitted on March 16, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   3, 4. submitted on March 23, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 22, 2024