You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 24, 2020.

But first, check out this canal notice for the 2020 season.

Three centuries ago canoes and bateaux followed Wood Creek from the Oneida carry (i.e., involving a short portage) into the east end of Oneida Lake. The 1825 and 1862 canals bypassed the south side of the Lake and formed the heart of Syracuse.  For the Barge Canal, machines like HD Oneida cut the channel leading into the Lake at Sylvan Beach.

What may not be obvious as we travel this part of the Canal is landownership. Read the small print on the sign below that until last year marked a fuel dock at the east end of Sylvan Beach.   The sign was removed sometime in summer 2019, because of other, bigger projects planned by the Oneida Indian Nation.

Beyond the Route 13 bridge

people pack into the village,

starting more than a century  ago when many arrived by steamer from the head of the Syracuse trolley line.

As seen from the bridge, boaters raft together from both sides, leaving only a narrow channel out to the lake.

 

Amusement parks have been located here for over 100 years.

The lake is about 25 miles long.  Follow the Canal markers if you want to keep moving.   For decades, these buoys were set and removed by a Canal vessel called Ward’s Island.  No more, since Ward’s Island was reefed off Long Island back in 2018.

The lake can get quite rough, as these Canal-era wreck stories attest.

In the early years of the Barge Canal, the season lasted long after ice closed the canal.  In December 1936, some vessels were iced in and needed to be rescued by a more powerful vessel, in this case, Andrew M. Barnes (aka Interwaterways Line 102, scrapped in 1950), sister vessel of the freighter called Day Peckinpaugh (aka Interwaterways Line 101), and still around.

Brewerton, on the west side, sports one of the three lighthouses built around the lake.  Samuel de Champlain traveled through here in 1615.

Brewerton is also host to two large marinas, Winter Harbor and

Ess-Kay Yards.

with boats from

unexpected places.

West of the lake, the Canal is synonymous with the canalized Oneida River, which

brings us to lock E-23, the busiest lock in the system.

Before we leave E-23, let’s have a look at a gate cabinet, the blue and gold cubes with a number that indicates the lock.  Inside and in pristine condition are the DC circuit switches state-of-the-art 1918!

Does that look like someone construction a study seawall in front of the house?

Nope.  It dates from 1840, and is one side of a lock.   For more, see tug44.

And ahead it’s Three River Point.

Tangentially related:  Less than 30 miles north of Sylvan Beach is the town of Redfield, one of the snowiest places in the Great Lakes region, 38.8′ in the 1976-77 season!

Drone photos by Jim Kerins.

Related:  Less than 10 miles off to the left is the Onondaga Lake outlet, aka the connector between the canalized Seneca River and Syracuse.  Long Branch Park covers both sides of the cut, once a major amusement area.  We’ll end up there  in the next tour, in a week or so.  Maybe you can help the effort:  I’ve passed the lake outlet, aka the “cut” to Syracuse, but I’ve never gone through the cut or traveled on Onondaga Lake.  If you have and if you have photos to share, I’d love to see them.

 

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