September 1, 1823, was a festive day in Troy, as a parade, music and gun salutes greeted the first two boats to pass through the new State Dam and Sloop Lock on the Hudson. The dam promised expanded trade and fed a hydraulic canal that delivered water to power mills in the city.
Located at the head of navigation on the Hudson, Troy's waterfront was already busy with vessels traveling to and from New York City and other river ports. The pool behind the dam now linked Troy via canal to Lake Champlain and allowed construction of a feeder connecting directly to the Erie Canal, which would soon become the major shipping route to western New York and the Great Lakes.
The State Dam was demolished in 1915 after the federal government began construction of the dam and lock used today. Completed in 1916, the Federal Lock and Dam are 2,000 feet north of the old dam site.