1823: The Completion of the Champlain Canal in New York

September 10, 1823

The Champlain Canal in New York was officially opened in its entirety. The preliminary surveys for the development of this 60-mile (96.6 kilometer)-long canal, which connects the southern end of Lake Champlain with the Hudson River, had been conducted on behalf of the Empire State by an engineer named Colonel Lewis Garin. The New York State Legislature authorized construction of the Champlain Canal in 1817.

This waterway was built simultaneously with the larger and better-known Erie Canal. The 250-mile (402.3-kilometer)-long eastern portion of the Erie Canal, as a matter of fact, was likewise opened on September 10, 1823. By 1819, the initial segment of the Champlain Canal between Lake Champlain and the village of Fort Edward was first opened to traffic. 

The Champlain Canal in its entirety proved to be a major financial success, carrying substantial commercial traffic through New York’s upper region well into the 1970s. This canal is now a popular means of travel for recreational boaters. It is also a major part of both the Lakes to Locks Passage, a nationally designated scenic byway, and the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For more information on the origins and history of the Champlain Canal, please check out https://www.eriecanal.org/texts/Whitford/1906/Chron02.html and https://www.lcmm.org/explore/lake-champlain-history/commercial-era-1823-1945/

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