Diabetes Awareness Campaign: Trekking Along the Erie Canal.
North Tonawanda
Pendleton
Lockport
Medina
Albion
Brockport
Rochester
Rochester
Fairport
Macedon
Palmyra
Newark
Lyons
Weedsport
Jordan
Camillus
Syracuse
DeWitt
Chittenango
Canastota
Canastota
Durhamville
Oneida
Rome
Utica
Ilion
Herkimer
Little Falls
Canajoharie
St. Johnsville
Auriesville
Amseterdam
Schenectady
Schenectady
Colonie
Albany
Rome
The erie Canal Packet.
The Erie Canal Packet, Chief Engineer of Rome
The original Erie Canal
Rome is the epicenter of the Erie Canal. This was the site where in 1817 the first shovel broke the earth for Clinton’s Big Ditch. It was a logical place to begin. There were historical, geological, practical, and political reasons it all started here.
Nature’s geological gifts were extremely beneficial. Eons ago this area had been the bottom of a primordial sea. The soil is sandy and thus easy for digging. Known as the Long Level, the land is so flat that there would be no need for a lock anywhere along the 59 mile span between Utica and Syracuse.
On July 4, 1817 a contingent of Albany politicians and VIPs from all across New York gathered with great fanfare. Governor DeWitt Clinton overturned a spade full of dirt. This ceremony was the culmination of Clinton’s decade long struggle to gain approval and find funding for a project which had been the vision of many. The groundbreaking was the commencement of a great engineering feat which became the envy of the world.
The next day work began in earnest. Various construction teams spread out along the route and worked simultaneously. The plan was to head in two opposite directions. Incredibly by the summer of 1819 water flowed into the canal and commerce between Rome and Utica commenced. By the following summer the canal was functional to the Bushnell basin just east of Rochester.
 
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