Souvenirs of Yesteryear : Canal water

The Chenango Canal ran for 45 miles through the spine of its namesake county from 1837 to 1878. It provided the transportation that drove the local economies and shaped much of the infrastructure that remains today.

When the canal expired, it was considered a nuisance by residents who lived near it. They clamored for the government to fill in that foul smelling, mosquito infested ditch. Unfortunately, the people got their way and today most of the canal has been filled in or is being filled in. Tracing its path is sometimes an exercise in faith. (Although, I am getting pretty good at it.)

Fortunately, we have some current landowners who treasure their stretch of the canal and strive to protect it.

In the photo is proud canal owner, Kathy Sweet. Her grandson, Matt, is pointing to the something. Behind them is Kathy’s canal. The water is under all that lush green duckweed and is home to fish and turtles. Kathy’s favorite flower is the iris and she has several vigorous clumps thriving along the shore. Her piece of the canal is only 0.07 mile long but is still 40 feet wide. Kathy and Matt are seated on what used to be the tow path. Not seen in the photo, because it was behind me, is what the previous owner claimed to be an original hitching post for mules and/or horses. Kathy’s canal is about midway between canal locks 85 and 86.

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