If you’re reading this, I’m back on the canal, wondering when my next dose of wi-fi will appear. A little self-disclosure . . . I grew up in Wayne County between Syracuse and Rochester about four miles from the canal in a town of about 2000 that was then mostly Dutch Protestant immigrants. My most vivid recollection of the canal was having to cross an open-grate bridge over a “spillway” on the way to school, and seeing the water below terrified me the first day. After day one, I was fine. My little town has doubled in size, and many places where I used to load hay or harvest pickles, cherries, and beets are now either subdivisions or woods.
Here is an older canal, called the Enlarged Canal. The Barge Canal bypassed this older waterway, which had a towpath.
Here’s what today’s canal looks like in “the noses” of Montgomery County. Note to the left in the distance is the
New York State Thruway, and to the right
it’s the Mohawk Subdivision of CSX. I don’t know much about rail, but if anyone wants to see a lot of trains . . about four per hour, here’s the place. Containers, oil tankers, scheduled passenger cars, and even private passenger cars pass. Trucks and trains were two of the facts that undid commercial canal traffic of the scale it once saw.
Many boats on the canal today are private . . . and of all designs as long as they conform to height and draft limitations.
Some places along the banks seem timeless, like these amusement park rides that could be modeled after automobiles of more than half century ago.
This narrow gauge locomotive does tours at Erie Canal Village, a private history park right on the older canal.
Erie Canal Village has great exhibits, like this photo of a canal side store east of Canajoharie. Click here for another photo of the store and more.
Here in Clay is a fuel barge dock that long ago gave way to oil transport by pipeline.
The current canal is about a mile from where I took the next three photos. Keep in mind that of course I could have taken thousands of photos. I did take what surprised me. As evidence of change in Utica, read the banner.
Stanley Theater was to my right and
this formerly United Methodist Church was just around the corner. Read the article here for some startling facts.
Quite a ways farther east in Niskayuna is Knolls Atomic Power Lab.
Here’s the Herkimer Home, and here
is one that recently sold for a mere $1.9 million. Read the article to understand why I said . . . mere.
And finally . . . from a poster in front of the old Matton Shipyard, which Mary Turecamo was this?
All photos–even those of photos–by Will Van Dorp, now back along the canal.