- Grant Recipient
- 204 Genesee St., Chittenango, NY
- 43.044426, -75.866667
Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum
The Village of Chittenango is one of the many places that owes much of its initial economic growth to the Erie Canal. Located off of the Erie Canal was a lateral canal known as the Chittenango Canal that was operational since the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 through the mid-1850s.
In 1818 the Albany Gazette reports that the Lateral Canal Company in Madison County, NY was first incorporated. This provided investors with permission to build a canal from Chittenango to the Erie Canal. Construction began promptly and it was completed in the 1820s. Local businessman John B. Yates was largely involved in the Lateral Canal Company and helped to fund the building of the Chittenango Canal (History of Chittenango, Ruth Marshall, Chittenango Village Archives).
Measuring several miles long, the canal stretched from the Erie Canal to the village center. As a lateral canal, it was similar in function to a dead end road. Once a boat traveled to Chittenango along the canal they were then able to turn around and return to the Erie Canal. The “dead end” provided a basin area for boats to turn around.
Many business sprouted up along the Chittenango Canal to supply necessities to canal travelers while they in turn delivered their wares to businesses. According to History of Chittenango, the backrooms of each store were equipped with “large ropes, tackles, hooks, etc used for unloading the barrels of molasses, sugar, salt, bolts of cloth, etc, whatever was shipped.”
The life of this lateral canal was short, coming to an end circa 1850 with the enlargement of the Erie Canal. Nothing remains of the Chittenango Lateral Canal.