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The Genesee Valley Canal served as an important link between the Allegheny River and Erie Canal in Rochester, N.Y.

Categories: History, Industry & Commerce, NYS History, Transportation, WCNY Vignette

The Genesee Valley Canal is not well known outside of the region, but it played a vital role in the economic development of the United States in the mid to late 19th century. This lock was one of several on the canal-way that provided access between the Erie Canal near Rochester, New York, and the Allegheny River near Olean, New York. While the Erie Canal provided access from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes via the Hudson River, the Allegheny River eventually meets the Ohio River, which meets the Mississippi, and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. The Genesee Valley Canal provided an important linkage between the three major routes for moving goods and people throughout the US, while avoiding the open water of the Great Lakes. The canal was only open for 35 years, eventually being supplanted by railroads, but many parts of it are still visible today as part of the Genesee Valley Greenway.

Video produced by WCNY.