20 Facts About Erie Canal


Erie Canal is a historic canal in upstate New York that runs east-west between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.

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Construction of the Erie Canal was a landmark civil engineering achievement in the early history of the United States.

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The Erie Canal was built by Irish laborers and German stonemasons.

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Erie Canal began on the west side of the Hudson River at Albany, and ran north to Watervliet, where the Champlain Erie Canal branched off.

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Erie Canal continued south-southwest to Pendleton, where it turned west and southwest, mainly using the channel of Tonawanda Creek.

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Erie Canal made use of the favorable conditions of New York's unique topography, which provided that area with the only break in the Appalachians south of the St Lawrence River.

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The Chemung Erie Canal connected the south end of Seneca Lake to Elmira in 1833, and was an important route for Pennsylvania coal and timber into the canal system.

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The Genesee Valley Erie Canal was run along the Genesee River to connect with the Allegheny River at Olean, but the Allegheny section, which would have connected to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, was never built.

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The Genesee Valley Erie Canal was later abandoned and became the route of the Genesee Valley Erie Canal Railroad.

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Erie Canal greatly lowered the cost of shipping between the Midwest and the Northeast, bringing much lower food costs to Eastern cities and allowing the East to economically ship machinery and manufactured goods to the Midwest.

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Erie Canal travel was, for many, an opportunity to take in the sublime and commune with nature.

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Erie Canal helped bind the still-new nation closer to Britain and Europe.

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Cases surrounding the newly-built Erie Canal expanded condemnation theory to permit canal builders to appropriate private land and broadened the meaning of "public use" in the 5th Amendment to the U S Constitution.

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The new Erie Canal turned south there along the Seneca River, which turns west near Syracuse and continues west to a point in the Montezuma Marsh.

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In 1992, the New York State Barge Canal was renamed the New York State Canal System and placed under the newly created New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority.

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In 2017, the New York State Erie Canal Corporation was transferred from the New York State Thruway to the New York Power Authority.

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Sections of the old Erie Canal not used after 1918 are owned by New York State, or have been ceded to or purchased by counties or municipalities.

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Erie Canal is a destination for tourists from all over the world, and has inspired guidebooks dedicated to exploration of the waterway.

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Records of the planning, design, construction, and administration of the Erie Canal are vast and can be found in the New York State Archives.

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The Erie Canal officially begins at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers at Waterford, New York.

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