Gateway to the West
New York State Governor DeWitt Clinton believed a canal could be dug across his state in order to create an inland water route from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Erie, a virtual "Gateway to the West". Many scoffed at the idea, called it "Clinton's Folly," but Clinton persevered and finally on July 4, 1817, digging began on the 363 mile long, 40 foot wide, 4 foot deep canal. The Erie Canal, also commonly referred to as "Clinton's Ditch", was officially opened on October 26, 1825, after eight years and seven million dollars. The ceremony included Clinton "wedding the waters" from Lake Erie with the Atlantic Ocean.
Travel time between New York City and Buffalo was reduced from six weeks to ten days by the Erie Canal. Carrying a steady flow of settlers and commercial traffic, the Erie Canal enriched all communities along its way. New York
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Erie Canal series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 4, 1817.
Location. 43° 1.263′ N, 78° 52.68′ W. Marker is in Tonawanda, New York, in Erie County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Young Street when traveling north on Main Street. Marker is on the right stone pillar of the entrance to Tonawanda Gateway Harbor Overlook Plaza. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tonawanda NY 14150, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lumber Capital (a few steps from this marker); The Dam (a few steps from this marker); The Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Roll of Honor (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Roll of Honor (within shouting distance of this marker); Lumber Port (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Long Homestead (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Long Homestead (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tonawanda.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 23, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 23, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.