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Erie Canal Facts and History for Kids

Who was the principal engineer on the Erie Canal? Benjamin Wright
When did construction began on the Erie Canal? July 4, 1817 in RomeNew York
When was the Erie Canal First Used? May 17, 1821
When was the Erie Canal Completed? October 26, 1825
How many locks are there on the Erie Canal? 35
Where is the Erie Canal? The Erie Canal stretches from from AlbanyNew York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.
How Long is the Erie Canal? The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about 363 miles.

Timeline of the History of The Erie Canal

1808: New York State Legislature authorizes a survey of possible canal routes.
1817: Construction begins on the Erie Canal.
1825: Completion of Erie Canal between Buffalo and Albany. Official opening of the Erie Canal.
1835: Legislature approves first enlargement of the canal to a minimum of 70 feet wide and seven feet deep.
1862: New York State legislature declares completion of Erie Canal enlargement.
1895: Second enlargement of the canal is approved, deepening it to a minimum depth of nine feet.
1903: Third enlargement of the Erie Canal is passed as part of the Barge Canal Act.
1918: The Barge Canal is completed at a cost of $155 million.
1959: Opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

List of Locks Along the Erie Canal

There are a total of 35 locks along the Erie Canal that goes from Waterford, NY to Buffalo, NY.
Lock #2 is in Waterford, NY
Lock #3 is in Waterford, NY
Lock #4 is in Waterford, NY
Lock #5 is in Waterford, NY
Lock #6 is in Waterford, NY
Lock #7 is in Niskayuna, NY
Lock #8 is in Glenville, NY
Lock #9 is in Rotterdam, NY
Lock #10 is in Cranesville, NY
Lock #11 is in Amsterdam, NY
Lock #12 is in Tribes Hill, NY
Lock #13 is in Randall, NY
Lock #14 is in Canajoharie, NY
Lock #15 is in Fort Plain, NY
Lock #16 is in Mindenville, NY
Lock #17 is in Little Falls, NY
Lock #18 is in Jacksonburg, NY
Lock #19 is in Frankfort, NY
Lock #20 is in Careys Corners, NY
Lock #21 is in Rome, NY
Lock #22 is in Rome, NY
Lock #23 is in Brewerton, NY
Lock #24 is in Baldwinsville, NY
Lock #25 is in Mays Point, NY
Lock #26 is in Clyde, NY
Lock #27 is in Lyons, NY
Lock #28A is in Lyons, NY
Lock #28B is in Newark, NY
Lock #29 is in Palmyra, NY
Lock #30 is in Macedon, NY
Lock #32 is in Pittsford, NY
Lock #33 is in Henrietta, NY
Lock #34 is in Lockport, NY
Lock #35 is in Lockport, NY
Lock #36 is in Buffalo, NY

Erie Canal Song Lyrics

“Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal” was written in 1905 by Thomas S. Allen

Low Bridge
I’ve got a mule, her name is Sal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
She’s a good old worker and a good old pal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal
We’ve hauled some barges in our day
Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
And we know every inch of the way
From Albany to Buffalo

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge cause we’re coming to a town
And you’ll always know your neighbor
And you’ll always know your pal
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal

Get up here Sal, We’ve past that lock,
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal
And we’ll make home before six a-clock
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

On more trip and back we’ll go
Through the rain and sleet and snow
And we know every inch of the way
From Albany to Buffalo

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge for we’re coming to a town
And you’ll always know your neighbor
And you’ll always know your pal
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal…..

Erie Canal Museum

Erie Canal Museum
318 Erie Boulevard East
Syracuse, NY 13202-1106
(315) 471-0593

Exhibits such as:

Frank B. Thomson Line Boat: A full size replica of an Erie Canal line boat.

Penny Postcard Arcade: On display are some of the more interesting postcards in the Museum’s large collection.

Weighmaster’s Office: An Erie Canal weighmaster calculated the tolls that a boat captain paid. The Syracuse Weighlock Building weighmaster’s office was restored in 1985.

Computer Kiosk: Visitors learn about Erie Canal history by using a computer program designed for fun and learning.

Uniquely Syracuse Room: This room honors local business people, inventors and innovators. Displays discuss Stickley furniture, candlemaking, Syracuse China, brewing, lacrosse and more.

The Tavern: Reproduction of a mid-1800′s Canalside tavern where Erie Canal travelers would stop for food, drink and gossip.

Pottery Display: Onondaga Pottery, today’s Syracuse China, used the Erie Canal to ship finished goods to market.

General Store: Visitors see a multitude of items that were sold in a recreated 1800′s dry goods store.

Stonecutters Shed: Stone from Central New York was used to build the Erie Canal locks and aqueducts. Display features slide presentation of canal sites and Syracuse buildings.

Nineteenth Century Theater Stage: Syracuse of the nineteenth century had many theaters in the downtown area. This display recreates the staging of the times.

Erie Canal Cruises

1. Erie Canal Cruises
DBA Lil’ Diamond Cruises
800 Mohawk Street
Herkimer, New York 13350

In the Summer of 2002, Kim and Jerry Gertz cruised New York State and upon seeing the stunning beauty and learning the historical significance of the Mohawk Valley, they decided to come out of retirement and launch Erie Canal Cruises.

They bring with them their signature brand of friendly, quality service and family fun on board “Lil’ Diamond II” a United States Coast Guard Certified Vessel for 60 passengers. The Gertz’s invite you to join them on a fun and historically fascinating cruise, back to a time when the canal was just a vision and boats were pulled by mules and horses.

2. Erie Canal Cruise Lines
P.O. Box 285
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

From May through October you may rent a fully-equipped self-drive boat and chart your own vacation course on the Erie Canal and fabulous Finger Lakes.

42´ x 12´ x 3´ Single diesel engine, bow thruster, wheel steering, sleeps 6. They are air conditioned and heated. 2 private staterooms, 2 heads, one large 3´ x 3´ shower, large dinette converts to double berth, propane stove, microwave, refrigerator with freezer, TV/VCR, AM/FM/CD cassette stereo.