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Syracuse in Onondaga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Why a Weighlock?

 
 
Why a Weighlock? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
1. Why a Weighlock? Marker
Inscription.  A weighlock was used to weigh canalboats so that a tariff could be determined on the cargo. Each time a boat captain took on a new cargo, he was required to have the cargo weighed and pay a toll.

Boats were weighed once a year to determine the empty weight. Then when cargo was loaded, the boat was weighed again. The loaded weight was subtracted from the empty weight. The remainder was the cargo weight.

The Syracuse Weighlock was situated precisely where the Oswego Canal joined the Erie. Boats traveling either canal were forced to stop and be weighed in Syracuse. In 1922 the canals were filled in and today they are Erie and Oswego Boulevards. The Weighlock persisted as a State Engineering headquarters and then opened as the Erie Canal Museum in 1962.

How a weighlock operated:
A. The boat was drawn into the lock chamber and the gates closed.
B. Small sluice gates, located at the chamber's bottom, drained the water the same way water is drained from a bathtub.
C. As the water level dropped, so did the boat.
D. The boat came to rest on a wooden cradle at the bottom of the chamber.
E. This activated
Why a Weighlock? Marker  <i>wide view<br>(looking west across Erie Canal Museum courtyard)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
2. Why a Weighlock? Marker wide view
(looking west across Erie Canal Museum courtyard)
the scale.
F. Once the weight was recorded a second set of sluice gates located at the base of the lockgate pulled water from the canal and refilled the chamber.
 
Location. 43° 3.039′ N, 76° 8.943′ W. Marker is in Syracuse, New York, in Onondaga County. Marker can be reached from East Water Street just east of Montgomery Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located in the courtyard on the west side of the Erie Canal Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse NY 13202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gardening Along the Erie Canal (here, next to this marker); Gateway to the World (here, next to this marker); Erie Boulevard Was Once the Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); How Much Does a Canal Boat Weigh? (within shouting distance of this marker); Pitts Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Locks (within shouting distance of this marker); Double Enders (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Syracuse.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Erie Canal Weighlock
 
Also see . . .  Syracuse Weighlock Building. The Syracuse Weighlock
Canal Boat Entering Weighlock<br>(<i>exhibit near marker on west side of Erie Canal Museum</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
3. Canal Boat Entering Weighlock
(exhibit near marker on west side of Erie Canal Museum)
Building was originally built for a purpose similar to weigh stations on highways today, collecting tolls on cargo in order to pay for the construction and maintenance of the canal. In order to assess a toll, the boats were weighed. The weighmaster then charged a toll based on that weight, what the boat was carrying, and how far it was going. (Submitted on January 7, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
Syracuse Weighlock Building<br>(<i>now home of the the Erie Canal Museum</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
4. Syracuse Weighlock Building
(now home of the the Erie Canal Museum)
Canal Boat Exiting Weighlock<br>(<i>exhibit on east side of Erie Canal Museum</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2019
5. Canal Boat Exiting Weighlock
(exhibit on east side of Erie Canal Museum)
 

More. Search the internet for Why a Weighlock?.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 7, 2020. This page originally submitted on January 6, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 6, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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