A report on Erie Canal and Genesee River

Erie Canal map c. 1840
Below Upper Falls in Letchworth State Park
Aqueduct over the Mohawk River at Rexford, one of 32 navigable aqueducts on the Erie Canal
Upper Falls in Rochester
The Mohawk Valley, running east and west, cuts a natural pathway (water gap) between the Catskill Mountains to the south and the Adirondack Mountains to the north.
A View of the Casconchiagon or Great Seneca Falls, Lake Ontario, taken 1766 by Thomas Davies
Profile of the original canal
The High Falls in downtown Rochester
Operations at Lockport, New York, in 1839
The Middle Falls in Letchworth State Park
Stonework of lock abandoned because of route change, at Durhamville, New York
Genesee River in the Town of Caneadea
An original five-step lock structure crossing the Niagara Escarpment at Lockport, now without gates and used as a cascade for excess water
Below Upper Falls in Letchworth State Park
Erie Canal lock in Lockport, New York
1853 map of New York canals emboldened, center: the Erie Canal; other lines: railroads, rivers and county borders
Lithograph of the Erie Canal at Lockport, New York c. 1855. Published for Herrman J. Meyer, 164 William Street, New York City.
Aqueduct over Nine Mile Creek north of Camillus, New York, built in 1841 and abandoned c. 1918; one of 32 navigable aqueducts on the Erie Canal, it has since been restored.
Upstream view of the downstream lock at Lock 32, Pittsford, New York
Map of the "Water Level Routes" of the New York Central Railroad (purple), West Shore Railroad (red) and Erie Canal (blue)
Rochester, New York, aqueduct c. 1890
Two "low" lift bridges in Lockport, New York, July 2010
The modern Erie Canal has 34 locks, which are painted with the blue and gold colors of the New York State Canal System.
Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda, about 1000 ft from the present-day western terminus of the Erie Canal where it connects to the Niagara River
The Old Erie Canal and its towpath at Kirkville, New York, within Old Erie Canal State Historic Park
Buffalo's Erie Canal Commercial Slip in Spring 2008
Erie Canal Lock 18, Cohoes, New York
Old Erie Canal State Historic Park, DeWitt, New York
The modern single lock at the Niagara Escarpment

If "not for hydropower, the flour mills, clothing mills, and tool fabricators would not have located in Rochester", and the 1825 Erie Canal allowed the mills to ship products to New York City.

- Genesee River

Yet these men "carried the Erie Canal up the Niagara escarpment at Lockport, maneuvered it onto a towering embankment to cross over Irondequoit Creek, spanned the Genesee River on an awesome aqueduct, and carved a route for it out of the solid rock between Little Falls and Schenectady—and all of those venturesome designs worked precisely as planned".

- Erie Canal

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Genesee Valley Canal

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Former canal that operated in central New York between 1840 and 1878.

Former canal that operated in central New York between 1840 and 1878.

Demand for a canal had increased in the first third of the 19th Century as new settlers cleared the fertile lands along the Genesee River to plant crops such as wheat.

It was to run from the Erie Canal on the south side of Rochester south-southwest along the Genesee River valley to Mount Morris, Portageville, and Belfast, and then cross-country to the Allegheny River at Olean, with a branch from Mount Morris paralleling Canaseraga Creek to Dansville.

Genesee Valley Canal Railroad

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Part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system in western New York.

Part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system in western New York.

On May 6, 1836 an act was passed in New York authorizing the construction of the Genesee Valley Canal, running from the Erie Canal in Rochester southwest along the Genesee River valley to Mount Morris, Portageville, and Belfast, and then cross-country to the Allegheny River at Olean, with a branch from Mount Morris paralleling the Canaseraga Creek to Dansville.

Rochester, New York

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City in the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Monroe County, and the fourth-most populous in the state after New York City, Buffalo, and Yonkers with a population of 211,328 in 2020.

City in the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Monroe County, and the fourth-most populous in the state after New York City, Buffalo, and Yonkers with a population of 211,328 in 2020.

Rochester in the late 1930s
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Genesee River and the historic Aqueduct Downtown
Kodak is headquartered in Rochester.
Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester, the largest employer in the six-county metropolitan area
A white hot Garbage Plate from Nick Tahou Hots
Nazareth College
Murphy's Law, a large, iconic bar and club at the corner of East & Alexander in the East End
The Little Theatre in the East End
Monroe Avenue bars at night
Former Federal Building, now Rochester City Hall since the 1970s
Circle at Bausch & Lomb headquarters with the Xerox Tower in the background
Former City Hall in the City Hall Historic District
Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Geva Theatre Center downtown
Frontier Field, including the Rochester skyline
Marina Auto Stadium
Packet boats on the Genesee River
Aerial View of the Greater Rochester International Airport
Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Station
The Broad Street Aqueduct was used as a subway tunnel.
Main Street looking east
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Center City and the Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge
Townhouses in Corn Hill
Oxford Street Houses
Park and Oxford
Apartments in Rochester's East End
Houses on Park Avenue
An aerial image of the city of Rochester taken in August 2007
Morey Hall
Wilson Commons
Rush Rhees Library
Lattimore
Laser Energetics Lab
Eastman School
Entrance to the George Eastman Museum
Gardens at the Eastman Museum
Strong National Museum of Play
The Rochester Memorial Art Gallery
Eastman Theater
Sacred Heart Cathedral, seat of the Rochester Diocese
Rundel Memorial Library
Genesee Valley Park
Ontario Beach
Meadows in Highland Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted
Lions at the Seneca Park Zoo
Mt Hope Cemetery (Infrared)
Mt. Hope Cemetery
Hamlin Beach state park on Lake Ontario north of the city

The city was one of the United States' first boomtowns, initially due to the fertile Genesee River Valley, which gave rise to numerous flour mills, and then as a manufacturing center, which spurred further rapid population growth.

Also in 1823, the Erie Canal aqueduct over the Genesee River was completed, and the Erie Canal east to the Hudson River was opened.

Batavia, New York

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City in and the county seat of Genesee County, New York, United States.

City in and the county seat of Genesee County, New York, United States.

All of western New York was sold through this office of the Holland Land Company, which is now a museum.
Oatka Milk plant still processes milk from area dairy farms which are fewer but larger in recent times.
Old mill dam at the Big Bend of the Tonawanda, downtown Batavia, New York. The choice of this site for Ellicot's headquarters was probably influenced by a good mill site.

The current City of Batavia was an early settlement in what is today called Genesee Country, the farthest western region of New York State, comprising the Genesee Valley and westward to the Niagara River, Lake Erie, and the Pennsylvania line.

The Erie Canal in 1825 bypassed Batavia, going well to the north at Albion and Medina, enabling Buffalo and Rochester to grow much faster.

Niagara Escarpment (in red)

Niagara Escarpment

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Long escarpment, or cuesta, in Canada and the United States that runs predominantly east–west from New York through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Long escarpment, or cuesta, in Canada and the United States that runs predominantly east–west from New York through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Niagara Escarpment (in red)
Rattlesnake Point near Milton, Ontario
The Niagara River over thousands of years carves the Niagara Gorge over and through the Niagara Escarpment

In Rochester, New York, the Genesee River flows through the city in three waterfalls over the scarp face.

The escarpment was a major obstacle in the construction of the Erie Canal in New York and was traversed by a series of locks; the community which grew up at the site thus became known as Lockport, New York.