Erie Canal

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Julie Cataldo is strapped into a harness as she sits in her wheelchair just a few feet from the edge of the Erie Canal. A hydraulic lift hoists her from the chair and swings her out over the water.

The lift lowers her into a kayak, and its operator adjusts her seat.


The Erie Canal's 200 years old. Strike up the band.

Jul 3, 2017
Gary David Gold

The first shovels to dig the Erie Canal went into the ground on July 4th, 1817. When it was completed in 1825, the canal transformed the nation’s economy, allowing goods to move from the Hudson River to cities along the Great Lakes.

To mark the occasion, David Alan Miller, the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s music director, dreamed up the plan to commission and perform original works at seven stops along the route.

This Fourth of July, New York is not only celebrating the nation's independence, but a 363-mile waterway that helped bring economic independence to Buffalo and other cities across the state. Begun on July 4, 1817, the Erie Canal opened in its entirety in 1825 - and a variety of events are planned over the next several years to celebrate this engineering marvel. WBFO's Marian Hetherly got into the bicentennial spirit by sitting down with Erie Canal historian and teaching artist Dave Ruch


WXXI News

Three massive tanks in the shape of 60-foot-tall beer cans lie on their side on a barge, as a red tugboat pushes them down the last leg of their journey along the Erie Canal.

The Genesee Beer Co. is shipping them to Rochester as part of a massive modernization project, and public relations campaign. The fermentation tanks will be used to brew millions of bottles of beer at a time and were too large to ship by truck or train.

Provided

Michael Keene is author of the book, The Psychic Highway: How the Erie Canal Changed America. He describes how this sprawling transportation system changed the world, not just by transporting goods and people, but also ideas.

With so much written about the Erie Canal already, what made you decide to write this book?

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