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

New York State Canals

The Great American Canal

New York State Canals Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Yugoboy, November 3, 2012
1. New York State Canals Marker
Inscription.  The Erie Canal was the most important of America’s inland waterways. It facilitated the opening of the American frontier and provided a route west for tens of thousands of settlers and immigrants. Villages, towns, and cities were born along its route while commerce spread from the Hudson Valley to the Midwest. The Erie Canal transformed New York into the Empire State and the nation into an economic superpower. Almost two centuries later, its name is still synonymous with American industry and ingenuity. The Erie Canal keeps evolving. Put into service in 1825, it was enlarged from 1834 to 1862, and again in the 1890s. The canal finally underwent its last and largest expansion, opening as the New York State Barge Canal in 1918. Each era reflected demand for larger barges and bigger cargoes. Introduction of self-propelled boats in the 20th century allowed the path of the canal to be changed, utilizing New York's many lakes and rivers.

During a century of evolution, the canal`s infrastructure incorporated many new technologies. transitioning from cut stone to poured concrete, wooden lock gates to giant steel versions, and hand-operated
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cranks to electrified push button controls. Modernized Barge Canal locks, designed for steel barges with 3.000 tons of cargo, could accommodate boats with 100 times the capacity of those from the 1820s.

As the nation changed, the canal adapted. By the 1960s, the canal could no longer compete with modern modes of commercial transportation and the St. Lawrence Seaway, and lost its economic viability as a commercial corridor. Although it is still used commercially, recreational use has become its primary function. Steel fabricated oil barges have now largely been replaced by tour boats, pleasure boats, canoes and kayaks.

The Canal System
Welcome to the NYS Canal System, one of the worlds premier inland waterways. The 524-mile Canal System includes the legendary Erie Canal, and the Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. The waterways travel through New York’s heartland, gliding past lush farmland, famous battlefields, charming canal towns and thriving wildlife preserves. The canals can also be enjoyed along hundreds of miles of Canalway Trail and at numerous parks and picnic areas across the system. Along this historic corridor, pleasure boaters, paddlers, history enthusiasts, hikers and bicyclists alike delight in unlocking the legend of New York's canals.

The New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway
Back side of New York State Canals Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Yugoboy, November 3, 2012
2. Back side of New York State Canals Marker
Authority, operates the New York State Canal System. For more information visit our website at
Erected by NYS Canal Corporation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Erie Canal series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1825.
Location. 43° 6.031′ N, 77° 27.382′ W. Marker is in Fairport, New York, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from O'Connor Road. Marker is within Perinton Park. O'Connor Road is off of Fairport Road/31F. To reach marker, one needs to go all the way into the park, and walk towards the Fairport Rd. Bridge along the Canal Path. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fairport NY 14450, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fullam's Basin (within shouting distance of this marker); D. Marsh Field (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Baird Road (approx. half a mile away); This Memorial (approx. half a mile away); The Potter Property (approx. half a mile away); American Can Company (approx. 0.7 miles away); Old Erie Canal (approx. 0.7 miles away); Fairport Village Hall (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairport.
New York State Canals Marker as seen approaching from south image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Yugoboy, November 3, 2012
3. New York State Canals Marker as seen approaching from south
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2013, by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York. This page has been viewed 763 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 6, 2013, by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 25, 2024