Water Street and the Third Dam

Water Street and the Third Dam (HM1O0A)

Location: Canton, NY 13617 St. Lawrence County
Country: United States of America

N 44° 35.779', W 75° 10.443'

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In the late 1800s Nathaniel and Barzillai Hodskin operated a pocket furnace, foundry and machine shop on Water Street. SLCHA [St. Lawrence County Historical Association] The industries on Falls Island and along Water Street did not operate independently. Rather than competing with each other, in many respects they were collaborators. Detail from a Sanborn Map identifies the various businesses and industries on Water Street in 1898. Detail of Sanborn Map This third dam held back water from the channel that ran parallel to Water Street, just east of the main East Channel of the Grasse River. To the left is Judd Ruston's factory and on the right is the Canton Electric Light and Power Company building. Fluctuating water levels made it difficult to produce consistant electrical power until Canton connected up with the Hannawa Falls and Colton Power plants. SLCHA Harvesting ice in the pond created by the third dam. Canton Town and Village Historian [both photos] J. Henry Rushton (1843-1906) produced canoes, rowboats, guideboats, skiffs, sailboats and even a few steam and motor boats in his Boat Shop, a large three-story factory originally on the corner of State Street and Water Street (today known as Riverside Drive). In the 1880s and 1890s Rushton became well known as a designer and builder of canoes and boats. Rushton produced crafts that were practical, economical, and durable, and he was very successful at promoting and marketing them. In the early 1900s, just as the automobile was about to replace the horse-drawn carriage, Rushton's business in sport and leisure water craft was challenged by the popularity of the bicycle as well as a national economic downturn. The Rushton Boat Shop closed in 1917, eleven years after his death. In 1926 the Boat Shop was sold to a farmer who tore it down and built a very large dairy barn with the lumber. SLCHA [both photos] The Baxter Foundary, known for casting a variety of tools, farm implements and stoves. SLCHA [both photos] The principal industries on Falls Island were the grist mill, the sash and blind factory, and the sawmill, but at various times there were other industries as well. At one time axes and scythes were made; furniture was crafted and caskets constructed. These businesses eventually ceased operation and were replaced by mass production plants in bigger market areas. The first tannery was built on the island by Elias C. Page, who later expanded to a Water Street lot on the east side of the river. As larger industrial centers developed and chemicals were used to replace the hemlock bark, Canton's tanneries also went out of business. Canton Town and Village Historian
HM NumberHM1O0A
Placed ByGrasse River Heritage
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 19th, 2015 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 486186 N 4938122
Decimal Degrees44.59631667, -75.17405000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 35.779', W 75° 10.443'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 35' 46.74" N, 75° 10' 26.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 25 27 29 Riverside Dr, Canton NY 13617, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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