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Happy Birthday, Erie Canal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 October 2013 at 12:00 am

188 years ago the canal opened, turning Orleans County into a hot spot

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Erie Canal opened 188 years ago. It was a marvelous day.

The new man-made wonder ran 363 miles, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean, greatly reducing the time and cost of shipping goods and personal travel.

Gov. DeWitt Clinton rode a canal boat from Buffalo to New York City to celebrate the new waterway. He convinced the state Legislature in 1817 to commence on the monumental task of digging a 40-foot-wide ditch that would be 4 feet deep.

The canal would turn Orleans County and several of its villages and hamlets into thriving communities.

I took the photo of the flag this evening in Albion with the Ingersoll Street lift bridge in the background. Here’s wishing the canal many more years of good health.