The Dam

The Dam (HM1GW9)

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

N 43° 1.268', W 78° 52.669'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

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.

HM NumberHM1GW9
Series This marker is part of the Erie Canal series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 1:51am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
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

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Lumber Capital
0 miles
Gateway to the West
0.01 miles
The Railroad
0.03 miles
Roll of Honor
0.04 miles
Roll of Honor
0.04 miles
Lumber Port
0.06 miles
The Long Homestead
0.09 miles
Long Homestead
0.1 miles
The People
0.19 miles
First Schoolhouse
0.2 miles
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?