The BIG Ditch….

I told you last post that we would talk a little bit about the Erie canal. While we have been here, we have learned a lot about just how many miracles took place as the restoration of the gospel rolled out between 1820 and 1830. One of the significant events to take place was the building of the Erie canal which ran just north of the main street in Palmyra. This canal ran only about 600ft behind the newly completed Thayer and Grandin row of buildings which housed the Grandin Print Shop. This made it possible for Mr. E B Granding to purchase and have the latest printing press delivered. This press weighed over 1600lb and would have been nearly impossible to move it the over 225 miles from New York City to the western frontier in Palmyra.

The Erie Canal (sometimes referred to as “Clintons Ditch” after the then Governor of NY) was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, originally stretching for 363 miles from the Hudson River in Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo. The canal was first proposed in the 1780s, but construction began in 1817, and it opened on October 26, 1825. It was the second-longest canal in the world (after the Grand Canal in China)

Like many government projects it ran into challenges right from the get-go. Almost immediately on the completion of the canal it was determined that it was too small. A revision began and, it was enlarged between 1834 and 1862. This could have been because no one originally working on the canal had a strong background in engineering. Think of the first canal as OJT (On the Job Training). Even the canal that was completed in 1862 was eventually revised to take advantage of deeper waterways and new lock technology to allow larger boats and heavier freight. It is said the before the canal it cost nearly $100 to ship a ton of lumber to New York City, and after it only cost $5. A tremendous savings and boon to the westward migration of people and materials. For more details you can visit

Not far from us here at the Grandin building is a great place where we can see all “3” of the canal routs. We have an old crossover bridge where they traded sides for the mules to pull the boats, and Aqueduct that spanned the 2nd canal and it also acted as a crossover bridge, and the NEW canal with a modern lock. While the first canal path is dry, and you can see just how large it was, the other 2 still have water in them.

Down the road just a couple of miles we can find old lock 60. A great example of a double lock that would allow ships to pass in both directions. These old locks had wood gates that were in need of constant repair and were later changed to Iron gates in the modern locks today.

But since a picture is worth 1000 words, I will leave you with a few pictures of this amazing modern-day marvel. Unfortunately, it became less cost effective to ship down the Erie canal, and so now a days it is only open for pleasure boats that sail from the Atlantic to the great lakes and back again. 

Remember you are Loved

SIster and Elder Isom

Oh and by the way…Happy Birthday to my love Amy Isom on this day