The Erie Canal - July 4, 1817

The Erie Canal - July 4, 1817 (HMXYY)

Location: Rome, NY 13440 Oneida County
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Country: United States of America
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N 43° 13.552', W 75° 30.151'

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Historic New York

The ceremonies outside the village of Rome on Independence Day, 1817, climaxed years of discussion about building the Erie Canal. Dignitaries and local citizens assembled at sunrise to attend the start of construction. Judge Joshua Hathaway, a veteran of two American Wars, spoke and began the excavation. Judge John Richardson, the first contractor, then turned the earth. Cannon boomed as others started digging.

Benjamin Wright, "the father of American engineering," assisted by John B. Jervis, supervised construction of the section between Utica and the Seneca River. In the first year, 15 miles were constructed. By October, 1819, the 98-mile section was completed, and the first boat traveled from Rome to Utica.

When finished in 1825, the Erie Canal was considered the foremost engineering achievement of the time. The 363-mile canal crossed the State and became the main route between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. Western New York flourished with new, cheap transportation. The canal insured the place of New York City as the Nation's greatest port and city, and it hastened development of the Midwest.

The modernized State Barge Canal System, consisting of the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals, was completed in 1918.
Series This marker is part of the Erie Canal series, and the New York: Historic New York series.
Year Placed1967
Placed ByNew York State Education Department
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 12:37am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 459191 N 4786019
Decimal Degrees43.22586667, -75.50251667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 13.552', W 75° 30.151'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 13' 33.12" N, 75° 30' 9.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 611 Canalway Trail- Old Erie Canal State Park, Rome NY 13440, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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