Lockport in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Life on the Barges
Life aboard the canal barges involved hard work. All members of the family had important roles. The man would be in charge of the animals and manage the entire operation. The wife (and mother) had many chores in addition to caring for the household. Children pitched in and often acted as the “hoggee” driving the mules down the path.
President James Garfield as a teenager decided to “strike out on his own” and for some time worked as a “hoggee.”
Sidebar on the right
James Garfield (1831-1881) was the 20th President of the United States. During the 4th month of his term in office he was assassinated. His father had worked on the construction of the Erie Canal, and at age 16, James Garfield found temporary employment as a hoggee. This term was used to describe the young boys who were hired to care for and guide the mules that pulled the boats along the towpath of the canal.
Erected by New York State Canals. (Marker Number 12.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Erie Canal, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #20 James A. Garfield series lists.
Location. 43° 10.262′ N, 78° 41.579′ W. Marker is in Lockport, New York, in Niagara County. Marker can be reached from Pine Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Pine Street, Lockport NY 14094, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Locks West (here, next to this marker); Upper Locks View (a few steps from this marker); Lock Construction (within shouting distance of this marker); Lockport City Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Great American Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Old City Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Electric Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hydraulic Race Control Gates (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lockport.
More about this marker. This marker is located beside the canal locks, beneath the Pine Street Bridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 351 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 5, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 4. submitted on May 27, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.