The Completion of the Erie CanalIt was at this spot on the morning of October 26, 1825, that Governor DeWitt Clinton officially opened the waterway that transformed America. More than eight years had passed since he broke ground on the canal, and after 363 miles, the engineering marvel was finally finished. Clinton stepped on board a packet boat, the Seneca Chief, which was bound for New York City on the symbolic first voyage along the canal. On board, two wooden kegs filled with Lake Erie water accompanied other symbolic Great Lakes cargo. Behind Clinton, a stately procession of canal boats followed in a celebratory parade. In an extrordinary mural owned by the Niagara County Historical Society History Center, artist Raphael Beck immortalizes the canal opening festivities in his hometown of Lockport. The flight of five locks feature prominently at the center. Canal Opening Festivities, Lockport, Postcard. As the procession passed across New York State, citizens from town to town showed ther enthusiasm with parades, music, and cannon blasts. The canal opened trade from the Great Lakes to the Eastern Seaboard and Europe; with it came the promise of commerce and progress. On November 4, the boats reached the end of the canal, at Albany. From there, steamboats escorted the Seneca Chief down the Hudson River to the New York City Harbor. In a triumphant ceremony, Governor Clinton poured the Lake Erie water into the Atlantic, wedding the Great Lakes to the ocean. All images are courtesy of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society. From a green keg with gilded hoops, Gov. DeWitt Clinton pours the waters from Lake Erie into the Atlantic Ocean. Wedding of the Waters Postcard. Keg Reproduction. Wood, metal. After a series of festivities, the Seneca Chief returned home to Buffalo on November 23. On board, an elaborately adorned keg marked "Neptune's Return to Pan" carried water from the Atlantic. In a less elaborate ceremony two days later, Judge Samuel Wilkeson poured the briny ocean water into Buffalo's harbor, completing the Wedding of the Waters. Joseph Ellicott's preserved parchment invitiation welcoming him to the event. Meeting of the Waters," invitation, September 29, 1826.
|Series||This marker is part of the Erie Canal series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Friday, June 19th, 2015 at 6:01am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17T E 673188 N 4749385|
|Decimal Degrees||42.87743333, -78.87945000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 42° 52.646', W 78° 52.767'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||42° 52' 38.76" N, 78° 52' 46.02" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 3-7 Marine Dr, Buffalo NY 14202, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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