The Boom Years

The Boom Years (HM1KQH)

Location: Weedsport, NY 13166 Cayuga County
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Country: United States of America
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N 43° 2.584', W 76° 34.563'

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The Canalway Trail

The opening of the Erie Canal had a huge economic impact on the citizens of New York State. Producers could afford to ship products to previously inaccessible markets at a cost that dropped from $100.00 per ton (by wagon) to just a few dollars. Along its route, land values doubled and villages seemed to spring up almost overnight. The Weed brothers, Edward, Elihu and Walter, settled in Auburn and went into business. They constructed a basin north of the city near the present center of Weedsport in 1818, with docks, repair facilities, and freight warehouses. A village rapidly grew up around "Weed's Basin" which would later be called Weedsport. Weedsport's economic boom lasted until 1841, when the new Auburn-Syracuse Railroad put the village into direct competition with the City of Auburn. Warehouses, once filled to capacity, were empty. It would take a decade for Weedsport to regain its former traffic, but its growth had slowed and its "boom" was history. "The Shirt Village". The Erie Canal was a highway to markets east and west, as the lure of profits promoted competition and manufacturing in villages along the canal. The manufacture of women's garments was particularly important in Weedsport due to the pioneering spirit and business acumen of A.E. Rheubottom. Rheubottom had begun manufacturing a patented hoop skirt before 1871, with a single machine and little capital. Fashionable in its day, the hoop skirt was a success and was sold as far away as Hawaii. Rheubottom's business thrived, and he started two more: Rheubottom & Mack and Rheubottom & Teall. More important for Weedsport, a new industry had been established in the village. Skadan, Kerns & Co., Mitchell & Mack, Crotty & Mitchell, Weedsport Skirt & Waist Co., the Ginsburg Bros., Inc., and the Vulcan Knitting Mills were just some of the garment factories that in total employed hundreds of Weedsport's citizens. A disasterous fire at the Crotty & Mitchell Skirt Factory in 1898, put over 150 people out of work. From the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, Weedsport wasknown as "the shirt village." But the industry was ailing, and during the Depression of the 1930s, the last surviving businesses finally went under.
Series This marker is part of the Erie Canal series
Placed ByNew York State Canals
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 24th, 2015 at 10:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 371627 N 4766802
Decimal Degrees43.04306667, -76.57605000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 2.584', W 76° 34.563'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 2' 35.04" N, 76° 34' 33.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Canalway Trail- Erie Section (Camillus to Port Byron), Weedsport NY 13166, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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