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

Enlarged Lock 23

 
 
Enlarged Lock 23 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 5, 2016
1. Enlarged Lock 23 Marker
Inscription. About 3000 feet from modern Lock 8 is Lock 23, built in 1841 during the enlargement of the Erie Canal (1836-1862). It replaced original Erie Canal Lock 26.

Enlarging the canal became imperative by the mid-1830's after user demand outstripped the capacity of the first Erie Canal. The Enlarged Erie Canal deepened the canal prism from four to seven feet and widened it from forty to seventy feet for accommodating larger and heavier barges. Single-chambered locks were replaced by double-chambered locks allowing barges to pass in the either direction at the same time. One of the two locks here was lengthened again in 1889 to provide greater capacity, although by then the Canal was losing customers and volume to a railroad system that had been expanding since the Civil War.

Today, Lock 23 is a relic, replaced in 1918 by Lock 8 of the modern Erie Canal which employed the current technology of the early 20th century: electricified locks, steel lock gates and a 12-foot deep prism servicing mechanized barges of up to 3000 tons.
 
Erected by Schenectady County & NYS Canal Corporation.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
 
Location. 42° 49.334′ N, 73° 59.237′ 
Enlarged Lock 23 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 5, 2016
2. Enlarged Lock 23 Marker
The Enlarged Lock 23 Marker stands beside the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, and just beyond is the remains of Lock 23. Between 2000 and 2003 students and staff of the Department of Civil Engineering at Union College in Schenectady, working with the Town of Rotterdam, built the replica board-and-batten Lock Tender's Hut and a Wooden Pier at Lock 23.
W. Marker is in Rotterdam, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker can be reached from Rice Road. Touch for map. Marker is beside the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, a.k.a The Bike Trail, near the intersection of Rice Road and Schermerhorn Road. . Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12306, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 23 (within shouting distance of this marker); Robert Allen Deitcher (approx. 0.7 miles away); Maalwyck (approx. 0.8 miles away); Vedder Family Cemetery (approx. 0.9 miles away); George S. Haswell III (approx. 1.8 miles away); Gateway Landing (approx. 1.8 miles away); Home of Aaron Dickinson (approx. 2 miles away); John Glen House 1740 (approx. 2 miles away but has been reported missing). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rotterdam.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This former marker also covered the topic of the Enlarged Lock 23
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
Enlarged Lock 23 with Lock Tender's Hut image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 5, 2016
3. Enlarged Lock 23 with Lock Tender's Hut
View of the west lock chamber, looking south.
Enlarged Lock 23 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, February 17, 2007
4. Enlarged Lock 23 Marker
View of the east lock chamber, looking north.
Marker Detail - The Double Lock Pier image. Click for more information.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 5, 2016
5. Marker Detail - The Double Lock Pier
The inset image on the marker is an engineering drawing for a double lock pier. The pier is essentially a wooden crib filled with loose stone, designed to protect the upper end of the lock from damage that might be caused as a result of being stuck by a loaded canal boat. The opening in the pier that appears similar to a "window", seen on the right of the pier in the drawing, is intended to allow water to pass through as a means of regulating and maintaining the water level in the canal above the lock. The tapered shape of the pier helped to guide and funnel canal boats into the lock.
Click for more information.
Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 5, 2016
6. Marker Detail
Three men relax on the large wooden lock gate counterweight. The lock tender would have to push on these beams by hand to open and close the lock gates. The lock tender's hut, on the left, with the lock number, 23, on the side of it would serve as an office for the lock tender, who, especially at this lock, would have been a very busy man; during its busiest seasons, the lock was operating with a lockage every 5 minutes (Approximately 47,000 lockages per season).
Barge Canal - Erie Canal image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 30, 2011
7. Barge Canal - Erie Canal
Lock E8 on the Mohawk River, replaced lock 23 in 1918 when the Barge Canal opened up for commerce. What was then called the Barge Canal is now referred to as the Erie Canal. Lock E8 is seen here, with some damage, in August of 2011 after flooding due to Hurricane Irene.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 9, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 185 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 9, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   7. submitted on April 10, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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