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History of the Erie Canal

1800 Gouverneur Morris envisioned a canal direct from Albany to Lake Erie
1808 James Geddes hired as the original surveyor
1817-1825 363 miles long, 40 feet wide, 4 feet deep, 83 locks 18 aqueducts which were the marvel of the day
1817 The canal had been started in the middle of the State near Rome
1822 The Western section was underway, but when the surveyors reached Oak Orchard Creek it was necessary to by-pass the deep ravine which is now known as Medina Falls . They swung southward making a U shaped section which created a natural docking area.
It took 2-3000 men and 700 horses to build the canal. Laborers earned 50 cents per day – Engineers earned $1500 to $2000 per year.
1835-1862 First widening of the canal to 70 feet wide and 7 feet deep
1880 Moving goods by the canal route reached its peak. Overland it had a cost of $100.00 per ton, the canal brought the cost down to $10.00 per ton, freight rates fell 90%
1882 Tolls on the canal ended
1895 Second enlargement of the canal saw the depth change to 9 feet deep
1903-1918 Third enlargement of the canal changed it to 120-200 feet wide and between 12-23 feet deep. The cost was $155 Million Dollars - into todays dollars it would cost 3 Billion!
1980 Flag poles and docks were added here in Medina
2000 Erie Canal Way Heritage Corridor was established
Present Docking with electric and water is provided, along with shower facilities for the boaters. Summer brings paddle bikes, kayaks and canoes into our Medina Basin.

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