On Tues Sept 22, I decided to go to the Clarendon Historical Society where Doug Farley, Director of the Erie Canal Discovery Center in Lockport, NY gave an entertaining, interactive presentation on some fun facts about the Erie Canal. During a portion of the presentation, we were quizzed on our knowledge of the Erie Canal to determine whether we were smarter than today’s fourth graders.
For example, did you know?
- It took 8 years to build the Erie Canal? The original Erie Canal was constructed between 1817 and 1825.
- The Erie Canal is 363 miles long?
- The Erie Canal spans from Albany to Buffalo?
- There are 83 locks to solve the difference in elevation from near seal level on the Hudson River to 565 feet at Lake Erie?
- More than 300 bridges crossed the canal along its route?
- Mules and horses pulled the canal boats at 4 mph?
- Costs to transport goods across the state on the canal vs by road were reduced by 80% to 90%?
- Toll receipts paid back the $7.5 million construction cost within ten years?
- The canal was enlarged due to increased traffic demands with construction occurring from 1836 to 1862?
- Tolls were abolished in 1882 because of increasing competition from railroads? Sadly, the Thruway Authority now manages the state’s canals, with tolls reintroduced.
Bonus… did you know that just northeast of the Medina harbor there is the spectacular waterfall, where the Oak Orchard River actually passes under the canal then over the Falls? In fact, if you go a few miles further east, you can actually drive under the Erie Canal, through the Culvert Road underpass!
At the end of the “quiz, the results were tabulated. The good news was that most of us were smarter than a fourth grader…just barely.
If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my customers knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.