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

The Boom Years

The Canalway Trail

 
 
The Boom Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 16, 2015
1. The Boom Years Marker
Inscription. The opening of the Erie Canal had a huge economic impact on the citizens of New York State. Producers could afford to ship products to previously inaccessible markets at a cost that dropped from $100.00 per ton (by wagon) to just a few dollars. Along its route, land values doubled and villages seemed to spring up almost overnight.

The Weed brothers, Edward, Elihu and Walter, settled in Auburn and went into business. They constructed a basin north of the city near the present center of Weedsport in 1818, with docks, repair facilities, and freight warehouses. A village rapidly grew up around "Weed's Basin" which would later be called Weedsport.

Weedsport's economic boom lasted until 1841, when the new Auburn-Syracuse Railroad put the village into direct competition with the City of Auburn. Warehouses, once filled to capacity, were empty. It would take a decade for Weedsport to regain its former traffic, but its growth had slowed and its "boom" was history.

"The Shirt Village". The Erie Canal was a highway to markets east and west, as the lure of profits promoted competition and manufacturing in villages along the canal.

The manufacture of women's garments was particularly important in Weedsport due to the pioneering spirit and business acumen of A.E. Rheubottom. Rheubottom had begun manufacturing a patented
Left Text image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 16, 2015
2. Left Text
hoop skirt before 1871, with a single machine and little capital. Fashionable in its day, the hoop skirt was a success and was sold as far away as Hawaii. Rheubottom's business thrived, and he started two more: Rheubottom & Mack and Rheubottom & Teall. More important for Weedsport, a new industry had been established in the village.

Skadan, Kerns & Co., Mitchell & Mack, Crotty & Mitchell, Weedsport Skirt & Waist Co., the Ginsburg Bros., Inc., and the Vulcan Knitting Mills were just some of the garment factories that in total employed hundreds of Weedsport's citizens. A disasterous fire at the Crotty & Mitchell Skirt Factory in 1898, put over 150 people out of work.

From the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, Weedsport was known as "the shirt village." But the industry was ailing, and during the Depression of the 1930s, the last surviving businesses finally went under.
 
Erected by New York State Canals.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
 
Location. 43° 2.584′ N, 76° 34.563′ W. Marker is in Brutus, New York, in Cayuga County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of New York State Route 31 and West Brutus Street. Touch for map. Marker is at a parking area on the south side
Main Image - Weedsport, N.Y., 1885 image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 16, 2015
3. Main Image - Weedsport, N.Y., 1885
"Bird's-eye view of the Village of Weedsport, c.1885. the Enlarged Erie Canal is shown in the lower section og the print, stretching east to west."
of NY Route 31, across from West Brutus Street. The marker is on a tri-panel kiosk; it is the panel facing east. Marker is in this post office area: Weedsport NY 13166, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Conduit For Ideas (here, next to this marker); The Erie Canal (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Erie Canal (a few steps from this marker); God's Acre (approx. 0.6 miles away); Weed's Basin (approx. mile away); Town of Brutus (approx. mile away); Firehouse (approx. 0.8 miles away); William McCreedy (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brutus.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Bottom Text image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 16, 2015
4. Bottom Text
"A Weedsport Skirt and Waist Company as c. 1906, when it advertised itself as the Security Company."

[bottom center photo not shown]"The Weedsport Skirt & Waist Company Plant, c.1910."
Bottom Right Images image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 16, 2015
5. Bottom Right Images
"A salesman's appointment card for the Skaden, Kerns & Co., shirt manufacturers."

"A bird's-eye view of the Vulcan Knitting Mill, c. 1890."
The Canalway Trail Information Panel image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 16, 2015
6. The Canalway Trail Information Panel
This panel faces towards NY Route 31 on the tri-panel kiosk.
The Boom Years Marker - Right Panel image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 16, 2015
7. The Boom Years Marker - Right Panel
Parking lot off NY Route 31 in background.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 24, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 237 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 24, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.
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