Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Today I learned about...

...the Erie Canal. Okay - this is kind of part of my new year's resolution. I'm trying to learn new things - broaden my mind. So, last weekend we went to Toronto. I knew New York was a big state - but I really didn't have any measure of how big until we were driving from one end to the other. While on the way, we went through the Erie Canal area and I realized that I knew next to nothing about the Erie Canal. But that's changing. I thought it connected Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. Boy was I wrong. It starts at the Hudson River. It was known as Clinton's Folly - after the Governor of New York that proposed its construction. It was originally only 4 feet deep. It's now between 12 and 23 feet deep. It's over 360 miles long. It opened up the interior of the US for settlement. It cost over $7 million to build back in the early 1800s and the investment paid off in 10 years! Wow! I'll bet modern day infrastructure projects don't pay off that fast. The canal towpath was on the Underground Railroad! Lake Erie is 570 feet higher than the Hudson in Albany and today there are 57 locks on the canal. I would like to take a boat trip, starting down here near NYC, going up the Hudson, across the Erie Canal to Lake Erie someday.

1 comment:

Dina said...

I like this resolution of yours. Keep the interesting facts coming, hopefully I'll learn something through osmosis!