The Dam

The Dam (HM1GW9)

Location: Tonawanda, NY 14150 Erie County
Country: United States of America

N 43° 1.268', W 78° 52.669'

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An Overview


In the spring of 1823, work on the Erie Canal at this end of the state began with the building of a dam. Its purpose was to raise the water level of Tonawanda Creek 4 to 4 1/2 feet so that its ten-mile stretch between Pendleton and Tonawanda could become part of the canal without having to dig. Then, digging was resumed at the point where the canal veered from the dam to travel westward through the village of Tonawanda and along the Niagara River to Buffalo.

If you turn and look directly behind you through the two columns, you will see the route taken by the Erie Canal through downtown Tonawanda.



Looking across the Dam to North Tonawanda, circa 1910.



Runaway Canal Boat, March 1916. A runaway canal boat, carried over the dam by spring flood waters and melting snow, smashed into the abutments of the creek here. The railroad bridge at the left of this photo was unharmed, but the "long bridge" on the other side of it sustained damage.



Viewed from North Tonawanda, a canal bridge spans Ellicott Creek from Gastown to downtown Tonawanda. The building with the Discovery tobacco advertisement on its side is a blacksmith shop on Young Street.


No More Dam: the Arrival of the New Barge Canal



In 1918, the dam was no more and the Tonawandas were the terminus of the new N.Y.S. Barge Canal. In the photo to the left, the old canal veers left to flow westward through downtown Tonawanda where over the next decade it would become a sort of local dump to be filled in with trash and refuse.



Above, in this aerial photo, the process of filling in the old Erie has begun.



No more towpath. No more animals. No more manure. The magnificent Erie passes into history.

Details
HM NumberHM1GW9
Series This marker is part of the Erie Canal series
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 1:51am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 672919 N 4765347
Decimal Degrees43.02113333, -78.87781667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 1.268', W 78° 52.669'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 1' 16.08" N, 78° 52' 40.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 Young St, Tonawanda NY 14150, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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