A CANAL CHRONOLOGY
4,000 B. C.
King Menes builds a canal in Upper Egypt on about this date.
2,200 B. C.
The approximate date that Mesopotamia's Shatt-el-hai Canal is built, linking
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
1,700 B. C.
Egypt builds a second canal near Wadi Haifa, extending navigation of the
600 B. C.
China's 260-mile Wild Goose Canal links the Yellow River to the Huai River.
400 B. C.
The approximate date of the building of the Han-kou (Han Ditch) connecting
China's Huai River to the Yangtze as well as a canal south of the Yangtze
Soochow and Hangchow.
103 B. C.
Romans build a canal connecting Arelate (Arles), France, to the Mediterranean.
102 B. C. Marius builds a canal from the lower Rhône River to
Nero attempts to build a canal through Greece's Isthmus of Corinth but soon
The Romans in Britain build the Foss Dyke, connecting Lincoln with the Trent
Construction begins on China's Grand Canal.
China's Sui rulers complete the Yung-Chi Canal.
The approximate date of the Pien section of China's Grand Canal.
The Grand Canal is finished.
Egypt makes repairs to Ramses' canal.
Chhaio Wei-yo invents the chambered lock, on China's Grand Canal.
The Dutch begin building canals with single locks.
The Flemish begin building canals with single locks.
England's Henry I improves the Foss Dyke.
The Italians begin building canals with single locks.
Chinese mathematician Kuo Chou-king completes the Grand Canal, from Chambuluc
the Huang River.
The rebuilding and rereouting of China's Grand Canal is completed.
The Dutch build a primitive double lock on the River Lek at Vreeswijk.
Germany begins building the Stecknitz Navigation to connect Lake Molln with
The first true double lock is built at Dammes, Belgium.
The Stecknitz Navigation is completed.
China's Grand Canal carries 450,000 tons of freight.
The engineer Alberti builds the first Italian locks, near Bologna.
The Duke of Milan's engineer Bertola da Novato builds the Bereguardo Canal,
the first modern locks.
The remains of Nero's Rome-to-Naples canal are discovered.
John True begins building a bypass of the upper mile and three quarters
of England's Exe
River, the Exeter Ship Canal.
The Exeter Ship Canal is completed.
The date 'pound' locks were apparently used on the River Trent and the River
Samuel de Champlain publishes his Brief Narrative, describing his voyage
West Indies. In it he proposes a canal across Panama.
France's Henry IV begins the construction of the Briare Canal, linking the
with the River Seine.
Sweden builds a canal between Eskilstona and Lake Malaren.
France's Canal de Bergues, connecting Dunkerque with Bergues, is built.
Louis XIII completes the Briare Canal.
Pierre-Paul Riquet begins construction of the Languedoc Canal (Canal du
connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean.
Father Louis Joliet speculates about a water link between Lake Michigan
A Cape Cod canal is proposed.
Southern France's Canal du Midi (Languedoc Canal, Canal Royale, Canal des
Mers) links the Mediterranean with the Atlantic.
Father Joliet suggests building a canal from the Chicago River to the Illinois
connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River.
William Penn suggests a canal to connect the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers
Virginia's Governor Spottswood proposes a canal to connect the James and
** English canal engineer James Brindley is born in Derbyshire.
Construction begins on Ireland's Newry Navigation, from Tyrone to Dublin.
The first canal in New York State is built, across a neck in the Mohawk
The Newry Navigation is completed.
U. S. canal engineer Loammi Baldwin is born in Woburn, Massachusetts.
The Patowmack (Patomac) Canal opens, surveyed by George Washington to
circumnavigate the Great Falls of the Potomac River.
U. S. canal engineer Colonel John Christian Senf is born in Germany. **
engineer William Weston is born. ** The Duke of Bridgewater tours the Canal
and the Garonne. ** Construction begins on England's Sankey Brook Navigation.
Part of the Sankey Brook Navigation is opened.
Scottish canal engineer Thomas Telford is born in Westerkirk, Langholm,
Canal proponent Elkanah Watson is born in New York.
Construction begins on the Duke of Bridgewater's Canal in northern England,
Worsley to Manchester. The Duke hires James Brindley to assist John Gilbert
The Sankey Brook Navigation is completed. ** James Brindley designs England's
Barton Aqueduct. ** The Bridgewater Canal opens from Worsley to Manchester.
David Rittenhouse and Doctor William Smith survey a canal route from Reading,
Pennsylvania, to Middletown, linking Philadelphia with Pennsylvania's interior,
which will later become the Union Canal.
George Washington inspects the route for a Dismal Swamp canal by canoe.
** U. S. canal
engineer James Geddes is born near Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
English architect and canal engineer Benjamin Henry Latrobe is born.
Inventor Robert Fulton is born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. ** Loammi
becomes a land surveyor and engineer. ** The Virginia legislature begins
waterway west from Richmond.
James Brindley begins building the Trent and Mersey section of England's
New York State's royal governor Sir Henry Moore suggests improving the stretch
Mohawk River between Schenectady and Fort Stanwyx. Nothing comes of it.
U. S. canal engineer Benjamin Wright is born in Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Washington inspects the proposed route for a James River and Kanawha Canal.
** A second survey is made for a canal linking Philadelphia with Pennsylvania's
Irish immigrant Christopher Colles gives a series of lectures on lock navigation,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ** Benjamin Franklin proposes a Susquehanna-Schuylkill
canal to the mayor of Philadelphia. ** George Washington again inspects
route for a James River and Kanawha Canal. ** English canal engineer James
56, dies of diabetes in Turnhurst, Staffordshire.
Virginia's Patowmack Company is incorporated to build a canal around the
of the Potomac River. ** George Washington once again inspects the proposed
for a James River and Kanawha Canal.
U. S. canal engineer Nathan S. Roberts is born in Piles Grove, New Jersey.
U. S. canal engineer David Stanhope Bates is born in Morristown, New Jersey.
Elkanah Watson travels to Europe for five years, during which time he will
canals. ** Improvements are begun on the St. Lawrence River, including a
of short canals.
U. S. canal engineer Loammi Baldwin II is born.
George Washington inspects lock construction on the Susquehanna and Schuylkill
Canal, at Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania.
The general assembly of Maryland grants a charter to build a canal along
the route of
the lower Susquehanna River. The Proprietors of the Susquehanna (Port Deposit)
is incorporated. ** Construction begins on New York State's Little Falls
The New York State legislature recommends a plan by Colles for improving
River navigation. George Washington visits Fort Stanwix (Rome), proposes
canals on the
Hudson and Mohawk rivers.
The James River Company is formed, with George Washington as
honorary president, to build locks around Richmond, Virginia.
Colles receives $125 to implement his plan. He publishes his proposals.
The James River and Kanawha Canal Company is organized.
Louisiana's Carondelet Canal opens. ** Elkanah Watson returns to the U.
with George Washington to discuss a Potomac-Ohio River canal. ** Washington
elected president of the Patowmack Canal Company. ** Spain builds a Louisiana
from New Orleans east to the Mississippi River, to avoid the delta. ** Charters
granted to the James River Company and the Patowmack Company for canals
on the James and Potomac rivers.
98 citizens of Brunswick and Bath, Maine, sign a petition for a canal from
the head of the New Meadows River into Merrymeeting Bay.
James Rumsey resigns his post as chief engineer of the Patowmack Canal.
South Carolina legislature authorizes a tow-path canal to connect the Santee
Cooper rivers above Charleston. ** Construction begins on the Patowmack
Canal. George Washington serves as honorary chairman of the company.
Thomas Jefferson takes an eight-day trip on the Canal du Midi.
A charter is granted to the Dismal Swamp Canal Company. Construction begins.
An inclined plane is used for the first time to raise canal boats, on England's
The James River Canal is completed, running seven miles to the west of Richmond,
Virginia. ** The lower three locks on the Patowmack Canal are completed.
The Maine legislature authorizes a corporation to build a canal in the Bath
Canal engineer Canvass White is born in Whitestown, New York.
District of Maine settlers petition the Massachusetts General Court, suggesting
from Sebago Pond to Portland. ** Companies are chartered for a Schuylkill
Susquehanna Canal, and a Delaware and Schuylkill Canal.
The Dismal Swamp Canal Company advertises for contractors in the
Gazette of the United States.
The second canal built in the United States opens at South Hadley, Massachusetts,
bypass a dam on the Connecticut River. ** The Western Inland Lock Navigation
Company is formed, by General Philip Schuyler, to build a three-mile Little
York, canal and another linking the Mohawk River with Wood Creek. ** Elkanah
Watson is named to the commission. ** The small canal in Maine is completed.
Construction begins on the Conewago Canal, bypassing the York Haven falls
Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River. ** Construction begins on the Schuylkill
Susquehanna and the Delaware and Schuylkill canals. The proprietors of the
and Susquehanna Navigation Company invite English canal engineer William
come to the U. S. as a consultant. ** The Proprietors of Locks and Canals
on the Merrimack
River is formed.
William Weston arrives in Philadelphia.
The Massachusetts General Court issues a charter to Charles Barrett to build
along Maine's Georges River.
Massachusetts governor John Hancock incorporates the Middlesex Canal to
state's Merrimack and Medford rivers, assigning James Sullivan and others
President Washington travels to Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, to inspect lock
on the Susquehanna and Schuylkill (Union) Canal.
Construction begins on the Dismal Swamp Canal and on South Carolina's Santee
Cooper Canal. ** The first canal inclined plane is built, on Massachusetts'
Canal, to bypass the falls at South Hadley.
Construction begins on the Blodgett Canal, bypassing the Amoskeag Falls
of the Merrimack
River, at Manchester, New Hampshire, and on Massachusetts' Middlesex Canal,
between Lowell and Boston.
Fulton obtains British patent #1988 for a double inclined plane system to
be used to
raise canal boats without locks. ** Loammi Baldwin is named Chief Engineer
Middlesex Canal. ** The Dismal Swamp Canal's locks are completed. ** Retired
Secretary of War General Henry Knox buys the Georges River Canal locks from
The Little Falls Canal is completed. ** The South Hadley Canal opens. **
James River Canal is enlarged to permit the passage of freight boats. **
U. S. Canal
engineer John Bloomfield Jervis is born in Huntington, New York. ** The
Massachusetts General Court charters the Cumberland Canal Company and the
Canal Company. ** Thomas Telford designs Wales' Pontcysyllte Aqueduct across
River Dee, on the Llangollen Branch Canal.
The Western Inland company receives a $15,000 loan from the state. ** Fulton
publishes his Treatise on Canal Navigation. ** Benjamin Latrobe emigrates
U.S. General Knox hires Life Wilson to make repairs on the Georges River
damaged by floods.
The Conewago Canal is completed. ** General Schuylerand William Weston explore
upper New York State for canal routes. ** The Merrimack River canal system
completed. ** The Canadian government builds a canal at Sault Ste Marie,
rapids between lakes Huron and Michigan. ** The Western Inland Lock Navigation
Company builds the Rome Canal to replace an Indian portage connecting New
Wood Creek with the Mohawk River near Little Falls.
Pennsylvania passes a law to control improvements on the Susquehanna River
other than itself.
The Santee and Cooper Canal is completed. ** Residents of Northampton,
Massachusetts, complain about the dam on the South Hadley Canal, demand
** Gouverneur Morris, U. S. minister to England, suggests in a letter from
a waterway could be built between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.
Pennsylvania governor Thomas McKean commissions architect Benjamin Henry
to survey the Susquehanna River, from Columbia to Tidewater, to determine
A canal company charter is approved by Delaware.
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company opens its subscription
The Susquehanna Canal and the Patowmack Canal are completed. ** U. S. canal
engineer Horatio Allen is born in Schenectady, New York. ** U. S. canal
William Milnor Roberts is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ** The governors
of Pennsylvania and Maryland take a test ride on the completed portion of
Susquehanna Canal (Port Deposit Canal, Conowingo Canal).
The first stockholders meeting of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company
The Middlesex Canal opens, connecting the Merrimack River with Boston harbor.
Construction begins on Scotland's Caledonian Canal. ** U. S. canal engineer
Gooding is born in Bristol, New York. ** The Susquehanna Canal is completed.
Gouverneur Morris writes to New York State Surveyor-General Simeon DeWitt,
suggesting the possibility of an artificial river across the state.
The U. S. Congress agrees to improvements of the James River.
Construction begins on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
Work on the Chesapeake and Delaware is suspended, due to a lack of funds.
It is resumed
19 years later.
Benjamin Latrobe surveys the route for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
Maryland legislature grants canal managers the right to conduct lotteries
their salaries. ** Thomas Telford begins the construction of Scotland's
** The Middlesex Canal is completed. ** Maine canal promoters petition the
Massachusetts General Court for a five-year extension of their charter.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is completed. ** The first boat goes through the
completed Dismal Swamp Canal. ** Improvements on the South Hadley Canal
Tolls are allowed on the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** German-born U.
engineer John Christian Senf dies. ** General Henry Knox dies and his Georges
Canal is abandoned. ** U. S. canal engineer Edward Hall Gill is born in
New Hampshire's Manchester Canal opens.
Jesse Hawley, imprisoned for debt in Canandaigua, New York, writes thirteen
under the name Hercules, proposing a canal across New York State. ** The
Swamp Canal is enlarged to permit the passage of flatboats. ** U. S. canal
Loammi Baldwin the elder dies. ** The U. S. Senate asks Treasury Secretary
Gallatin to study demands for internal improvements.
Joshua Forman introduces a canal resolution to the New York State Assembly.
Gallatin issues his report, proposing many improvements to the U. S. canal
The New York State Legislature introduces a bill to fund a feasibility study
New York State canal, retains Judge James Geddes to make surveys of routes
across the state, to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. ** A pamphlet is published
a wooden flume linking New York and Philadelphia. ** Jesse Hawley concludes
series of articles.
James Geddes recommends a Hudson-Erie route to the New York State legislature.
The U. S. government appropriates $25,000 for improvements on the Carondelet
** The Maine canal charters expire.
After the New York State Senate passes a canal resolution, seven commissioners,
among them De Witt Clinton and Stephen Van Rensselaer, are appointed to
feasibility study of a trans-state canal.. ** Construction begins on Benjamin
Latrobe's Washington City Canal. ** A contract is let for the construction
locks on the James River and Kanawha Canal, at Richmond, Virginia. ** U.S.
engineer Charles Ellet, Jr. is born in Penn's Manor, Pennsylvania. ** England's
Kennet and Avon Canal is built.
The New York State legislature creates a canal commission. William Weston
plans by mail, for the Erie Canal.
The Pennsylvania legislature combines the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Canal
Delaware and Schuylkill Canal companies into the Union Canal Company. **
Fulton is appointed to an Erie Canal commission.
Two London canal workers are arrested when the one losing a bet was being
the winner, as part of the bet. ** The Dismal Swamp Canal is fully operational.
William Weston turns down an offer to become chief engineer on the Erie
Wright accepts the post. ** The Seneca Lock Navigation Company secures the
The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company to improve navigation on the
The New York State Canal Commission is denied funds by the state legislature.
** A canal
is constructed through Virginia and North Carolina's Dismal Swamp. ** The
British destroy Washington, D. C. Latrobe's original map of the Susquehanna
Canal is lost. ** President
James Madison asks the U.S. Congress to build a ship canal from the Chicago
Des Plaines and the Illinois River.
New York City mayor De Witt Clinton is appointed to prepare a memorial to
state legislature , proposing a canal across the state. He circulates a
U. S. inventor Robert Fulton dies.
The Washington City Canal is completed, reaching the Chesapeake and Ohio
Georgetown, District of Columbia.
The New York State Canal Commission submits its final report to the legislature.
Stephen Van Rensselaer, De Witt Clinton, Samuel Young, Joseph Ellicott
and Myron Holley are appointed as commissioners for an Erie Canal.
Nathan Roberts assists Benjamin Wright on the Erie Canal between Rome and
Montezuma. ** Canvass White is hired to assist on the final survey. ** The
Navigation begins building north from Philadelphia. ** A wooden lock is
built on the
Ottawa River at Vaudreuil.
President Madison vetoes a permanent fund for roads and canals.
The New York State legislature authorizes the construction of the Erie Canal.
December Fifteen miles of the Erie Canal are completed.
The first ground for the Erie Canal is broken, at Rome, New York, near the
Canal. ** Ground is broken for the portion of New York's Champlain Canal
Whitehall. ** The Susquehanna Canal goes bankrupt and is sold to new owners.
Laommi Baldwin surveys the route of the James River and Kanawha Canal. **
Clinton is elected governor of New York State. ** Engineer Canvass White
is sent to
Great Britain by New York State to study canals and purchase surveying equipment.
** Nathan Roberts is made assistant engineer on the Erie. ** David Stanhope
is made Assistant Engineer, under Benjamin Wright, on the middle division
Erie Canal. ** John Jervis is promoted from axeman on the Erie Canal to
** Construction begins on the Monongahela Navigation and the Champlain Canal.
** Latrobe redraws his Susquehanna Canal map. ** Construction begins on
Nathan Roberts is made resident engineer on the Erie Canal between Rome
** Construction is begun on an aqueduct to carry the canal across Rochester's
Valley. Canvass White returns to the U. S. ** The legislature of Lower Canada
authority for a canal to bypass the Chambly Rapids on the Richlieu River.
begins. ** Construction begins on the Lehigh Canal. ** The first locks on
the Seneca Canal
are opened, bypassing the falls of the Seneca River.
The Erie Canal opens between Rome and Utica, New York, when the canal boat
The Chief Engineer arrives in Rome, after a four hour trip.
Close to 1,000 Erie Canal workers die of malaria in the Montezuma Swamp.
Roberts runs the canal from the Seneca River to Rochester. ** David Stanhope
promoted to Division Engineer on the Irondiquoit section. ** John Jervis
Resident Engineer on the middle section. ** Irish immigrant Valentine Gill,
engineer E.H. Gill, becomes a surveyor on the canal.
Canvass White receives a U. S. patent for a cement that hardens under water.
Lion of the West leaves Rochester, the first canal boat from there to Utica,
New York, on the
The first toll is collected on the Erie Canal.
A meeting is held at Canandaigua's Mill's Hotel to discuss the building
of a canal linking Canandaigua Lake with the Erie Canal. John C. Spencer,
James D. Bemis, Asa Stanley,
Dudley Marvin, William H. Adams are appointed to study a route.
The Canandigua Lake canal committee recommends a 19 1/2-mile route that
require 23 locks and cost $68,000. The Ontario Canal Company is formed.
Virginia takes control of the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** The first
tidewater canal, the Fox Creek Canal, is completed. ** Architect and canal
Benjamin Henry Latrobe dies of yellow fever in New Orleans.
The state legislature incorporates the Ontario Canal Company.
Ontario Canal Company commissioners N. Gorham, Z. Seymour, Asa Stanley,
P. P. Bates,
and William H. Adams open the books for subscriptions, at Coe's Hotel in
Ontario Canal Company subscriptions reach $20,000.
A meeting is held in Philadelphia to resuscitate the Chesapeake and Delaware
DeWitt Clinton is re-elected governor of New York State. ** Construction
on Pennsylvania's Union Canal. ** The Maine legislature grants a charter
Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company. ** Construction begins on Canada's Lachine
Canal, to connect Montréal and Ottawa, bypassing rapids on the St.
** Industrialist William Hamilton Merritt forms Canada's Welland Canal
Company. ** Construction on the Erie Canal reaches Rochester, New York.
The Seneca Canal is completed.
The U. S. government approves a canal connecting Lake Michigan with the
but allocates no funds for the project.
The first boat with a cargo of Rochester flour leaves for Little Falls,
James Geddes recommends five routes for Ohio canals to the state's legislature.
The packet Myron Holley arrives in Bushnell's Basin, south of Rochester.
town of Fairport is created on the site. Nathan Roberts is named to plan
section of the Erie. ** A dam is constructed on Schoharie Creek at Fort
create a slack water section where Erie Canal boats could be towed across
Lock 20 is completed nearby. ** The Erie Canal's Great Embankment is built,
in length and seventy feet high, to carry the canal over Rochester's Irondequoit
** Construction begins on New York's Glens Falls Feeder Canal. ** The Champlain
Canal is completed as far as the village of Waterford. ** Connecticut charters
Farmington Canal Company. ** The Maryland General Assembly authorizes a
from Baltimore, Maryland, to Conewago Falls, on the Susquehanna River. **
Wright surveys a route for Massachusetts and Rhode Island's Blackstone Canal,
Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island. ** Scotland's Caledonian
Canal is completed.
Jan 14, 1823
The Massachusetts legislature incorporates the Blackstone Canal Company.
Feb 4, 1823
Massachusetts approves the creation of the Hampshire and Hampden Canal Company.
Mar 13, 1823
The Pennsylvania General Assembly approves a Delaware and Hudson Canal.
Apr 23, 1823
New York State charters the Delaware and Hudson Canal.
The Baltimore-Conewago Canal commissioners leave Baltimore to meet with
Clinton in New York City. They hire James Geddes as their canal director.
York they continue to Albany and take the Erie Canal to Cayuga Lake. They
steamboat to Ithaca and travel overland to the Susquehanna River. Their
for nothing. The canal is never built.
Jul 8, 1823
The 35-mile Bude Canal opens in Cornwall, England, with six incline planes
An aqueduct is constructed in Rochester by David Stanhope Bates, to carry
over the Genesee River.
Rochester celebrates the opening of the Erie Canal. ** Nathan Roberts presents
Lockport plans to the Canal Board. ** Brockport becomes the temporary western
terminus of the Erie. ** William Avery of Pompey, New York, tests his
steam-powered canal boat on the Erie. ** Incorporators of the Cumberland-Oxford
Canal Company have the proposed route examined. ** John Jervis becomes construction
superintendent on a fifty-mile stretch of the Erie. ** Virginia takes over
of the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** The Champlain Canal opens. It connects
to the Erie Canal, crossing the Mohawk River on a slackwater navigation
** James Geddes runs surveys for Ohio canals. ** Union Canal contracts are
be put out for bids. ** Construction begins on the Delaware and Hudson Canal.
forms a Canal Commission and hires Justus Post and Rene Paul to run surveys.
Valley business interests petition the state legislature for a valley canal
to connect the Erie
Canal with the Allegheny River near Olean.
Jan 20, 1824
At an Ontario Canal Company meeting, at Canandaigua's Mead's Hotel, nine
elected. The Canal is never built.
The southernmost of two routes is chosen for the Chesapeake and Delaware
Apr 1, 1824
A board is chosen to study the feasibility of a canal from the Susquehanna
De Witt Clinton is deposed as Erie Canal commissioner.
Work resumes on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, after a 19-year delay,
Chief Engineer Benjamin Wright.
Congress appropriates funds for surveys on roads and canals.
Oct 26, 1824
The cutting of the western end of the Erie Canal, Lockport to Lake Erie,
Nov 30 , 1824
Construction begins on Canada's Welland Canal, to bypass Niagara Falls.
Dec 18, 1824
New York City mayor Philip Hone decides to back the Delaware and Hudson
** A charter is issued for the Morris Canal.
The Pennsylvania state legislature appoints a canal commission - the Pennsylvania
Society for the Promotion of Internal Improvements in the Commonwealth.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company is formed. ** Ohio retains Judge David
Stanhope Bates to survey two of Geddes' routes, which will become the Ohio
Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal. ** Construction begins on New Jersey's
Morris Canal. ** Horatio Allen becomes a resident engineer on the Chesapeake
Delaware Canal. ** Justus Post and Rene Paul recommend five possibilities
for a canal
between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River. ** The U. S. Supreme Court,
v. Ogden , gives the Federal government control of all U. S. rivers - the
first of the
Rivers and Harbors acts. ** The first pier of the new Genesee River aqueduct
away by spring floods.
Jan 7, 1825
Subscription of stock in the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company opens, sells
Mar 3, 1825
The Federal government give support to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
The Delaware and Hudson Canal Corporation is organized.
Apr 27, 1825
Capital stock subscriptions for the Blackstone Canal go on sale in Providence,
May 25 , 1825
The stockholders of the James River and Kanawha Canal meet for the first
Jun 7 , 1825
The Marquis de Lafayette, touring America, arrives in Rochester, New York,
the Governor Clinton, via the Erie Canal.
Lafayette reaches Rome.
Lafayette visits Whitesboro, New York.
Jul 4, 1825
Construction begins on Connecticut's Farmington Canal, from Massachusetts
Long Island Sound, along the Connecticut River. ** De Witt Clinton and Ohio
governor Jeremiah Morrow preside at the ground breaking for the Ohio and
Canal, at Licking Summit, Ohio.
Construction begins on the Ohio and Erie Canal.
New York governor De Witt Clinton breaks ground for the Miami and Erie Canal.
Construction on the Delaware and Hudson Canal begins, at Wurtsboro, New
Clinton and Morrow preside at the ground breaking for the Miami and Erie
at Middletown, Ohio.
Construction begins on New Jersey's Morris Canal.
Sep 27, 1825
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company fires engineer and contractor
Oct 15, 1825
De Witt Clinton's party leaves Albany on the Erie Canal.
Clinton's party arrives in Buffalo. The first Erie Canal boat for New York
Clinton officially opens the Erie Canal.
Clinton's flotilla reaches Rochester.
Nov 4, 1825
Clinton's flotilla reaches New York City.
A canal settlement springs up at Knowlesville, New York, east of Medina.
Erie Canal Aqueduct at Rochester is completed. The locks at Lockport are
to traffic. ** The Ohio legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio
and the Miami and Erie canals. David Stanhope Bates is made Chief Engineer
Ohio River canal around the falls at Louisville. ** John Jervis accompanies
Wright as Principal Assistant Engineer on the Delaware and Hudson Canal.
Allen becomes a resident engineer. ** The U. S. Congress subscribes to the
of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. ** E. H. Gill becomes an assistant
on the canal, under Wright. ** William Roberts joins Sylvester Welch's engineering
staff on the Union Canal. Canvass White replaces Loammi Baldwin as Chief
** The Schuylkill Navigation is completed. The first tunnel in the U. S.
on the Navigation at Auburn, Pennsylvania, primarily for promotional purposes.
The route of the Cumberland-Oxford Canal is surveyed. ** Canada's Lachine
is completed. ** Construction begins on Canada's Carillon and Grenville
the Ottawa River. ** The Blackstone Canal Company corporation is formed,
Massachusetts. ** The Canal d'Aire opens, connecting the River Lys and the
de Neuffossé with the River Scarpe. Citizens of the Troy, New York,
a canal to Boston, through the Berkshire Mountains. ** The Seneca Lock Navigation
Company petitions the New York State legislature to purchase the canal.
will do so.
The Pennsylvania legislature authorizes a Main Line Canal, between Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh. ** A tunnel for the is completed on the Main Line Canal
Renssalaer student Asa Fitch joins the school's Erie Canal expedition.
The expedition leaves Troy aboard the Lafayette under the leadership of
Amos Eaton. DeWitt Clinton's son George W. Clinton is one of the participants.
The expedition leaves Buffalo for the return trip.
Construction begins at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on the Main Line Canal.
Erastus Bearcup is arrested in Rochester for shouting obscenities at ladies
on a passing
canal boat. ** Students from the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute make a
study tour on
the Erie Canal. ** Loami Baldwin proposes a Boston-to-Hudson River canal
the Berkshire Range to the Massachusetts legislature. The proposed cost
dooms the plan. ** The Hampshire and Hampden Canal Company merges with the
Farmington Canal Company. ** William Roberts becomes a rod-man to survey
MacAdam road to connect the two halves of the Pennsylvania Canal across
Mountain. ** E. H. Gill becomes an assistant engineer on Georgia's Savannah,
and Alatamaha Canal. ** Improvements on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal
** Construction begins on Canada's Rideau Canal. ** William Gooding begins
on the Welland Canal. ** Construction begins on the Millville, Massachusetts,
lock of the Blackstone Canal.
The State of Ohio begins the first voyage on the Ohio and Erie Canal.
Construction begins on a covered bridge over the Main Line Canal, above
** Captain William G. McNeill surveys the first all-water route over the
and Blue Ridge Mountains, for the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** Nathan
becomes Chief Engineer on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal between Pittsburgh
and the Kiskiminetas River. ** William Roberts works on inclined coal-car
on Pennsylvania's Mauch Chunk Canal. ** E. H. Gill is promoted to chief
engineer on the Savannah, Ogeechee and Alatamaha. ** Construction begins
on Pennsylvania's Delaware
Division Canal. ** The U. S. Congress authorizes the building of the Illinois
Canal and agrees to sell federal lands in Illinois to raise funds. ** The
Division of the Union Canal is completed, connecting it to the Schuylkill
The Millville, Massachusetts, lock is completed. ** The Ohio and Erie Canal
Ohio. ** The U. S. government hires James Geddes to examine routes for the
and Ohio Canal. ** Britain's Exeter Ship Canal is extended to a length of
John Quincy Adams breaks ground for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Georgetown,
District of Columbia, with Benjamin Wright as Chief Engineer. ** Nathan
appointed to the board of engineers. The C & O is completed 22 years
Oct 7, 1828
The Blackstone Canal opens for business. One official guest falls overboard
rescued with a boat hook.
The packet Orange leaves Kingston, New York, to be the first boat
on the Delaware
and Hudson Canal.
The Orange arrives at Honesdale, Pennsylvania.
Dec 10, 1828
The first shipment of Pennsylvania anthracite from the Delaware and Hudson
reaches New York City.
Newport, New York, on the Erie Canal, changes its name to Albion. ** The
River Canal reaches Maiden's Adventure, in Goochland County, Virginia. **
Construction begins on Connecticut's Farmington Canal. ** The Potomac Company
agrees goes out of business. ** The Union Canal is completed. ** Construction
on the North Branch Susquehanna Canal. ** Land for the Cumberland-Oxford
is cleared. ** Blackstone Canal resident engineer Edwin Phelps issues The
Canal Map Book. ** The Miami and Dayton Canal Company secures a land grant
from the U. S. Government. ** The U. S. Government sets aside 500,000 acres
land for general canal purposes. ** The Cayuga and Seneca Canal is completed,
Seneca and Cauga lakes to the Erie Canal.
Jul 1, 1829
Water is let into the Lehigh Valley Canal.
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is completed.
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company borrows $30,000 from Maine's Canal
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company borrows another $30,000 from the
Oct 17, 1829
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is opened as water is turned into the
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company borrows another $15,000 from the Canal
Nov 27, 1829
The schooners Annie and Jane and R. H. Broughton becomes the
first ships to use
Canada's Welland Canal.
A brawl between rival canal gangs breaks out in Rochester. ** The Pioneer
packet boats on the Erie on every day but the Sabbath, fails. ** Nathan
the Chesapeake and Ohio from Point of Rocks to Harpers Ferry. ** David Stanhope
Bates is made chief engineer of New York's Chenango Canal, linking Utica
Binghamton. ** The Glens Fall Feeder Canal opens. ** The Illinois legislature
the creation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal Commission. Nineteen-year-old
Ellet is turned down for a position on the ** Illinois and Michigan Canal
when it is learned
he is under twenty. ** The wooden Pittsburgh Aqueduct on the Pennsylvania
Canal is placed in operation. ** The Welland Canal is completed as far as
thus connecting with the Upper Niagara River, linking lakes Erie and Ontario.
Grenville canal is completed. ** The Illinois Canal Commission is reactivated.
engineer James Thompson to run detailed surveys. ** The Cumberland-Oxford
Company's funds run out and it petitions the Maine legislature for the authority
money for completion.
A post office is opened at Canal (later Memphis), New York.
The Delaware and Raritan Canal is authorized.
Congress approves a canal through Alexandria, Virginia.
Maine's Cumberland and Oxford Canal is completed.
The first freight boat from the interior arrives in Portland via theCumberland-Oxford
The trial run of an inclined plane boat-railway on the Morris Canal is made.
Students from the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute make a second study tour
on the Erie
Canal. ** A bridge is built across the Western Canal at Lowell, Massachusetts.
Patowmack Canal closes, replaced by the Chesapeake and Ohio. ** Nathan Roberts
stationed in Washington, D. C., to supervise construction on the Chesapeake
The U. S. Government employs him as Chief Engineer to investigate a Muscle
canal on the Tennessee River. ** William Roberts is made resident engineer
of the feeder
canal between Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Water Works.
goes to France to study engineering. ** James Bucklin begins surveys for
railroad routes between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.
New Jersey's Morris Canal is completed to Newark Bay. Twenty-three inclined
are completed. ** The Camden and Amboy Railroad merges with the Delaware
Raritan Canal Company. ** The North Branch Susquehanna Canal is completed,
connecting coal fields at Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, with the Susquehanna
Canal. ** Construction begins on the Muscle Shoals Canal. ** Construction
Canada's Chambly Canal. ** The Welland opens from Fort Robinson (Chippewa
or Welland River) to Lake Erie's Port Colborne, forming the first direct
link between lakes
Ontario and Erie. ** 100 canal boats ply the Cumberland-Oxford Canal.
Ground is broken for Indiana's Wabash and Erie Canal, between the Ohio and
New Jersey's Morris Canal officially opens when the Walk-in-the-Water passes
The Ohio and Erie Canal is completed, open to the Ohio River.
The James River and Kanawha Company is created out of several small construction
projects, including the James River Company. ** The Indiana state legislature
the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal. Construction is begun on
Whitewater Canal, from Hagerstown, Indiana, to Cincinnati, Ohio. ** The
Division Canal is completed. ** The Rideau Canal is completed, connecting
Ontario, with the Ottawa River. ** Primitive artist May Keys paints Lockport
A second aqueduct over New York's Genesee River is begun. ** English canal
William Weston dies. ** John Jervis becomes Canal Engineer of the Chenango
** The Carillon Canal is completed. ** A Canadian commission is formed to
a Trent-Severn Waterway, to connect Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay. ** William
Gooding surveys the Erie and Wabash Canal. ** The Miami and Dayton Canal
secures another land grant from the U. S. Government. ** The U. S. Congress
$25,000 to build a harbor near Chicago to serve as a terminus for the Illinois
President Jackson orders Secretary of War Cass to use troops to quell workers'
along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal - the first use of federal troops in
The Delaware and Raritan Canal opens to traffic.
The Portage Railroad opens, using canal and railroad, between Pittsburgh
** Scottish canal engineer Thomas Telford dies. ** U. S. canal engineer
44, dies in Florida. ** Improvements on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal
** E. H. Gill becomes chief engineer of the Sandy and Beaver Canal, connecting
River (in Pennsylvania) with the Ohio and Erie Canal at Bolivar, Ohio. **
center around the canal vs. railroad issue, with canal proponents winning.
** A survey is
authorized for a Genesee Valley Canal.
Nathan Roberts is made Chief Engineer for the enlargement of the Erie Canal.
Jervis becomes a consultant during the enlargement of the eastern division.
Hotel at Medina, New York, opens. ** Pennsylvania grants a charter to the
Canal Company to build a joint canal with the Tidewater Company. ** Construction
the James River and Kanawha Canal resumes under the new James River and
Company, with Judge Benjamin Wright as Chief Engineer. He is assisted by
Simon, Charles Ellet, Jr., and Daniel Livermore. ** Illinois appoints a
commission with the power to raise funds and begin construction. ** The
Canal (Tennessee Canal), utilizing 17 locks, opens. ** Frederick C. Mills,
chief engineer of the Genesee Valley Canal, presents a report based on last
William Gooding is hired by the canal commission as Chief Engineer on the
The New York State Legislature authorizes the construction of the Genesee
Water is let into the first stretch of the Erie and Wabash Canal.
Construction begins on the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal. ** Ground is
the Illinois and Michigan Canal, to connect Chicago with the Illinois River.
A canal boat arrives in Rochester, New York, carrying the first locomotive
Tonawanda Railroad. ** The first grain shipment from Chicago reaches Buffalo
shipped down the Erie Canal. ** The Chenango Canal joins the Erie Canal.
improvements on the Erie are begun. ** A five-mile extension joins the Morris
with the Bay of New York. ** The New Haven and Northampton Company is formed
out of the Farmington and Hampden companies. ** Work begins on the James
and Kanawha Canal with Charles Ellet, Jr. as Chief Engineer.
The Miami and Erie Canal opens to navigation.
Construction begins on a new aqueduct over the Genesee River at Rochester.
** A second
covered bridge is constructed across the Main Line Canal near Harrisburg.
** The Michigan legislature authorizes a Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal. ** The
U. S. financial panic halts work
on the Sandy and Beaver Canal and slows work on the Illinois and Michigan
Canal. ** The
Portage Canal Company is formed to connect Wisconsin's Fox and Wisconsin
** A survey is prepared for a new canal along Maine's Georges River. **
Shoals Canal is abandoned due to low water during summers. ** Contracts
are let for
construction of the Genesee Valley Canal.
Construction begins on the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal.
U. S. canal engineers Loammi Baldwin II and James Geddes die. ** Edward
Hall is hired
to run surveys for the western section of the James River and Kanawha Canal.
Roberts is made engineer in charge of construction on the Monongahela Navigation
Company, supervising the building of slackwater dam-lock combinations. **
E. H. Gill
joins the James River and Kanawha Canal engineering team and runs a survey
Lynchburg to the headwaters of the James. ** 2,000 men are employed on the
Michigan Canal. ** The idea of a Portage Canal is abandoned, after $10,000
is spent on
U. S. troops prevent the state of Michigan from digging a canal at Sault
The Tidewater and Susquehanna Canal is completed. ** U. S. canal engineer
Bates dies. ** E. H. Gill becomes Principal Assistant Engineer on the James
Kanawha Canal, in charge of construction above Lynchburg. Charles Ellet,
Jr. loses his job
as Chief Engineer for refusing to compromise with others and is replaced
by Judge Wright.
** The Genesee Valley Canal reaches Mount Morris.
The first boat to use the Genesee Valley Canal, traveling from Rochester
Morris, stops at Cuylerville's National Hotel for a celebration.
The Richmond-to-Lynchburg section of Virginia's James River and Kanawha
naugurated by the William Henry Harrison. ** The Susquehanna and Tidewater
completed, replacing the Susquehanna Canal.
Judge Wright takes a three-month leave of absence from the James River and
Canal. E. H. Gill fills in for him. ** Construction begins on Canada's St.
Anne Canal on
the Ottawa River.
Medina, New York's Eagle Hotel burns down. ** The Morris Canal is widened.
Beecher Stowe travels on the Main Line Canal-Railroad line. ** Nathan Roberts
E. H. Gill surveys Virginia's Rivanna River west to Charlottesville. **
assists on improvements to Canada's Welland Canal. The government buys out
private interests. ** The Dansville Branch (Side-cut) of the Genesee Valley
Dansville with Shaker Settlement (Sonyea). ** Macedon's Lock 60 is built.
The aqueduct over the Genesee River at Rochester is completed. ** The first
for the Auburn and Rochester Railroad arrives by canal. ** The Miami and
connects up with the Wabash and Erie Canal. ** Charles Dickens travels from
to Pittsburgh on the Pennsylvania Canal. ** The Cincinnati-Toledo canal
** Much of the James River and Kanawha Canal is damaged by major flooding.
U. S. canal proponent Elkanah Watson dies. ** U. S. canal engineer Benjamin
dies in New York and is succeeded by E. H. Gill.
Water is let into the extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, created
by an aqueduct
across the Potomac River.
The Alexandria Canal, running between Georgetown, District of Columbia,
Virginia, is completed with the construction of a 1000-foot aqueduct across
River. ** Canada's Chambly Canal begins initial operations until faulty
techniques force its closing. ** The Wabash and Erie Canal is completed.
** William Roberts assists in the completion of the Erie Extension Canal,
between Beaver and Erie. ** The
St. Anne Canal is completed. ** Construction begins on Canada's Cornwall
enlargement of the Welland Canal is begun.
The Baltimore and Philadelphia Steamboat Company is incorporated, to ship
through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. ** Work on the Trent-Severn Waterway
is suspended when funds run out. ** The enlarged Erie Canal opens to traffic
An inclined plane is introduced on the Morris Canal, but does not work properly.
** John Jervis does consulting work on the Boston Aqueduct. ** William Roberts
becomes canal engineer and Trustee's Agent for Ohio's Sandy and Beaver Canal.
** Charles Ellet becomes a publicity agent for the Schuylkill Navigation
** The wooden Pittsburgh Aqueduct on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal is
by John Roebling's cable-suspension version. ** Canada's Beauharnois Canal
is completed, avoiding rapids in the St. Lawrence River above Montreal.
** The enlarged Welland Canal
opens with 27 stone locks replacing 40 of wood. ** Full-scale work on the
Michigan Canal resumes. ** Estimates are published for locks on Maine's
The Maine legislature enacts Chapter 334, approving a Georges River Canal
William H. Seymour and Dayton S. Morgan open a factory on the Erie Canal,
Brockport, New York, to make McCormick reapers. ** Covered Bridge #2 over
Main Line Canal is destroyed by floods and an arsonist. Bridge #3 is built
to replace it.
** Walter Gwynn takes over from Joseph C. Campbell as president of the James
and Kanawha Canal. ** The U. S. Congress grants Wisconsin land along the
to build a canal.
The first boats use the Illinois and Michigan Canal.
The Caledonian Canal opens. ** Walter W. Gwynn is hired as Chief Engineer
James River and Kanawha Canal, with Edward Lorraine as his assistant. E.
H. Gill is
offered the position of principal assistant engineer but turns down the
John Roebling builds an aqueduct to carry the Delaware and Hudson Canal
Delaware River at Lackawaxen. ** The Georges River Canal is completed.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal officially opens.
The Blackstone Canal ceases operations.
Connecticut's Farmington Canal is completed. ** The New Haven and Northampton
Canal Company is supplanted by the railroads. ** A successful inclined plane
used on the Morris Canal. ** The Illinois and Michigan Canal is completed.
Gooding becomes secretary to the Canal Trustees. ** Traffic on the South
comes to an end. The canal is to be used only to supply water power to local
James B. Francis, Massachusetts chief engineer of locks and canals, builds
a dam on the
Merrimack River canal system at Lowell, to control flooding. It's dubbed
Construction begins on Wisconsin's Portage Canal.
E. H. Gill accepts an engineering position on the James River and Kanawha
Canal, is put in
charge of the Tidewater Connection at Richmond.
Plans for a second Erie Canal culvert at Holley, New York, are drawn up,
but never built.
** The Santee and Cooper Canal ceases operations. ** The Baltimore and Ohio
reaches Cumberland, Maryland. ** The U.S. and Great Britain sign the Clayton-Bulwer
Treaty, agreeing to promote a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama. **
River Canal ceases operations. ** The enlargement of the Welland Canal is
Water is let into the Portage Canal for the second time.
The Wisconsin River floods, breaking into the Portage Canal.
The 379-mile Wabash and Erie Canal, connecting Evansville, Indiana, with
Ohio, becomes the longest main line canal in the U.S.
U. S. canal engineer Nathan S. Roberts dies in Lenox, New York. ** E. H.
canal work to become superintendent of the Virginia Central Railroad. **
The St. Mary's
Falls Ship Canal Company receives a grant of 750,000 acres of U.S. Government
Michigan signs a contract with the Fairbanks Scale Company to build a canal
at the Soo.
Ground is broken for a U. S. canal at the Soo.
The Wisconsin state legislature incorporates the Fox and Wisconsin River
The Middlesex Canal ceases operations. ** The U. S. Government grants Michigan
right to build a canal through "The Soo" (St. Mary's River - Sault
Ste. Marie), between
lakes Superior and Huron. ** The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company begins
on its mortgage payments.
The Erie Canal is enlarged. ** A plan is devised to supply water for the
Canal summit level.
St Mary's Falls ship canal opens at the Soo (Sault Ste Marie), in northern
connecting lakes Michigan and Superior. The schooner Illinois becomes the
through the Soo.
The Maine legislature forbids further funds for the Georges River Canal.
Erie Canal mule and horse driver, and composer (I'm Fix O'Grady) Tom Kilroy
in West Troy, New York.
The Chambly Canal, closed for 15 years, reopens. ** Charles Ellet is rehired
by the James
River and Kanawha Canal to plan reservoirs for the navigation of the Kanawha
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company goes bankrupt and is sold to Portland
businessman-politician Isaac Dyer. ** U. S. canal engineer George Washington
is born in Brooklyn, New York. ** The New York State legislature proposes
Lime Lake into Ischia Creek, at the cost of $160,000, to provide water for
Ferdinand de Lesseps begins construction of the Suez Canal. ** Several sets
of horses fall
into the Erie Canal at Scenectady on the same day.
The New York canal town of Canal is renamed Memphis.
The enlargement of the Erie Canal, to carry 270-ton boats, is completed.
Cost - $31,000,000.
U. S. canal engineer Charles Ellet, Jr. dies in Memphis, Tennessee, of battle
The Genesee Valley Canal reaches the upper Allegheny River.
Illinois and Michigan Canal revenues top $300,000 for each of the next two
Illinois passes an enabling act to use the Illinois and Michigan Canal as
for Chicago's sewage.
Ferdinand DeLessups builds the Suez Canal. ** The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
retains William Roberts to make recommendations for evening out the water
for the Ohio River. ** The Lac La Belle Ship Canal Company receives a grant
100,000 acres of U.S. Government land.
U. S. canal engineer E. H. Gill dies in Richmond, Virginia.
The Suez Canal is completed.
The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad buys out the Schuylkill Navigation.
Roberts presents his Ohio River plan to Colonel William E. Merrill's committee.
'Francis Folly' dam on the Merrimack River canal system is reconstructed.
** Despite the
failure of the Duluth Harbor Bill in Congress, financier Jay Cooke founds
Canal and Harbor Improvement Company and begins construction on a canal
Minnesota Point, opening the Port of Duluth directly to Lake Superior.
Superior, Wisconsin, obtains an injunction against the completion of the
harbor canal. Before the papers can arrive from Leavenworth, Kansas, the
citizens of Duluth complete the construction.
The Pennsylvania Railroad buys out the Camden and Amboy Railroad, acquiring
Delaware and Raritan Canal. The D&R loses its use of the Schuylkill
Navigation. ** Net
earnings of the Delaware and Raritan Canal - $1,202,419. ** Chicago completes
cut necessary to convert the upper sections of the Illinois and Michigan
Canal to a sanitary
canal, reversing the flow of the Chicago River. ** Michigan's St. Clair
Construction begins on the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, connecting Green Bay
Maine's Cumberland-Oxford Canal ceases operations. ** The steam-powered
William Newman is built in Buffalo, New York.
The William Newman makes a record run between Troy and Buffalo -
four days and
12,424,705 barrels of wheat and corn are shipped on the Illinois and Michigan
Once again work begins on Wisconsin's Portage Canal. The U.S. Government
rebuilding the Fort Winnebago lock. ** Colonel Merrill recommends Congress
thirteen locks and movable dams on the Ohio, between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Wheeling, West Virginia. ** Macedon, New York's Erie Canal Lock 60, is converted
a double lock.
The Portage Canal is completed.
The Boscobel becomes the first boat to use the Portage Canal.
U. S. canal engineer William Gooding dies.
The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal opens; currently for small craft only.
France obtains a Columbian charter to build a canal across Panama.
The Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique de Panama is formed.
The Portage Company's lock at the junction with the Wisconsin River is rebuilt
U. S. Government.
French work forces arrive in Panama but are delayed by politics and contractor
The Soo Canal's Weitzel Lock, named for the District Engineer in charge
of the construction,
opens. ** A French company attempts to build a canal through Greece's Isthmus
but abandons the project. ** The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal is fianlly open
for large craft.
U. S. canal engineer William Milnor Roberts dies in Brazil. ** 1,011,287
tons of wheat
and corn are shipped on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. ** The French begin
U. S. Army colonel Orlando M. Poe is made Superintending Engineer of the
** Canada resumes work on the Trent-Severn Waterway.
U. S. canal engineer John Bloomfield Jervis dies in Rome, New York. ** U.
Land Office commissioner Sparks reports that the Portage Lake 'canal' was
only a fraud,
committed to gain control of copper-rich Wisconsin lands.
Canada lets contracts for a canal on its side of the Soo. ** Work on the
Waterway is halted. ** The dike for the Minnesota Canal, having all but
is demolished by the U. S. government when it takes over the operation of
The Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique de Panama goes bankrupt.
A vertical boat lift on France's Sensée Canal at Les Fontinettes
replaces five locks. **
Macedon's Erie Canal Lock 60 is lengthened to accomodate double tows.
The New French Panamanian canal company goes broke.
U. S. canal engineer Horatio Allen dies. ** A new French Panamanian canal
is formed. ** Construction begins on Tennessee's second Muscle Shoals Canal.
Illinois passes an act to create the Sanitary District of Chicago and begins
on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
The Maritime Canal Company begins work on a canal through Nicaragua.
Construction begins on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. ** The Maritime
Company goes broke.
A Greek company completes a canal through Greece's Isthmus of Corinth.
Queen Victoria opens England's Manchester Ship Canal. ** The Muscle Shoals
New York City's Harlem Ship Canal, creating a deeper navigation between
River and Hellgate, on the Harlem River, is opened for commerce.
The Cleveland Steel Canal Boat Company begins running a fleet of six steel
insurable for travel on the Great Lakes, from Cleveland to New York City.
Canada opens its Soo Canal. ** Work resumes on the section of the Trent-Severn
Waterway between Lakefield and Port Perry.
The State Lock on the Soo is replaced by the Poe Lock, named after Colonel
A deepening of the Erie Canal in Pittsford, New York, into the following
black shale and interbedded dolomite, which will be named Pittsford Shale
The U. S. Army begins improvements on the Minnesota Canal.
U. S. president McKinley appoints a nine-man commission to investigate all
routes across Central America.
The Chicago Canal opens.
The United States and Great Britain sign the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, giving
exclusive rights for an Isthmanian canal across Central America.
Nicaragua cancels its canal concession. with the U. S.
McKinley's commission recommends a Nicaraguan canal.
The United States and Great Britain ratify the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty.
The U. S. canal commission report is sent to Congress.
The Susquehanna Canal shuts down commercial operations. ** The Chicago Sanitary
and Ship Canal reaches Joliet, Illinois. ** London's Paddington Canal is
The U. S. House of Representatives authorizes a Nicaraguan canal.
The Walker Commission recommends a Panamanian canal to Roosevelt.
The U. S. Senate passes the Panamanian canal bill.
The U. S. House of Representatives passes the Panamanian canal bill.
President Teddy Roosevelt signs the Spooner Bill, authorizing construction
Columbia refuses to permit a canal through her Panamanian territory.
A Panamanian revolution takes place, with one fatality - a Chinese national.
The U.S. officially recognizes the Republic of Panama.
Paleontologist Clifton James Sarle names a shale-dolomite mixture Pittsford
the town where the formation was uncovered as the Erie Canal was deepended,
Roosevelt signs a treaty granting Panama independence.
The Lakefield-Port Perry section of the Trent-Severn Waterway is completed
opening of the Peterborough hydraulic lift locks. ** An electric engine
is used to pull canal
barges on France's Canal de la Senseé.
U. S. engineer John Stevens is hired to supervise construction of the Panama
John Stevens resigns, leaving the Panama Canal project.
George W. Goethals becomes Chief Engineer and General Superintendent of
Panama Canal. ** The electric railway used to pull barges on France's Sensée
extended to reach from Béthune to Le Bassin Rond.
The State legislature votes to improve the Cayuga and Seneca Canal(s): junction
Seneca and Clyde rivers to Cayuga Lake (Cayuga Canal); the Cayuga Canal
Seneca Falls (Seneca Canal).
The U. S. Congress approves the canalization of the Ohio River.
The temporary Gamboa Dyke is dynamited by President Wilson, via remote control,
joining the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at Panama.
The Panama Canal is formally opened to traffic.
The Davis Lock of the Soo opens. ** Construction begins on the Severn division
Trent-Severn Waterway. ** Macedon's Erie Canal Lock 60 is abandoned to make
for the Barge Canal.
The Lake Rice-Bay of Quinte section of the Trent-Severn Waterway opens.
** The New
York State Barge Canal is completed.
The Sabin Lock of the Soo opens.
The motor-launch Irene makes the first passage through the completed
The Severn division of the Trent-Severn Waterway is completed.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal shuts down commercial operations.
New Jersey's Morris Canal ceases operations.
Forty-six locks and dams are completed on the Ohio River.
The U.S. Congress approves construction of 28 dams and locks along the Mississippi
River between Minneapolis and the mouth of the Illinois River.
The Schuylkill Navigation shuts down commercial operations.
The Welland Canal is rebuilt.
The Illinois Waterway is completed. ** Construction begins on seven dam-lock
combinations on the Tennessee River.
The Merrimack River floods. "Francis Folly' saves Lowell, Massachusetts,
Madden Dam is constructed on Panama's Chagres River to provide additional
The U. S. Congress grants funds for strengthening the Panama Canal's defenses.
France's Compagnie Génerale de Traction sur le voies Navigables absorbs
the Sensée Canal.
Construction begins on a third set of ship locks for the Panama Canal.
The Lehigh Canal shuts down commercial operations.
The Soo Canal's MacArthur Lock replaces the Weitzel Lock. ** The Chambly
completed, connecting the lower St. Lawrence River with Lake Champlain.
The seven dam-locks on the Tennessee River are completed.
The Portage Canal is shut down.
The Canadian Parliament passes the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Act.
Four crewmen are killed when a freighter and a tanker collide in the Chesapeake
The U. S. Congress passes the Wiley-Dondero Act, establishing the St. Lawrence
Seaway Development Corporation, to build a 27-foot channel around the international
A modernization of locks on the Ohio River is begun, to accommodate longer
Egypt nationaliwes the Suez Canal.
The Canal Users' Association is founded, in London.
Britain bombs Egyptian airfields.
A British armada arrives at the north end of the canal.
The Suez Canal is reopened enough to permit medium-sized ships through.
Egypt's Gamel Nasser bars Israel from the use of the Suez Canal.
A passenger ship transits the Suez Canal - the first since last fall.
Great Britain pays its first toll for use of the Suiez Canal.
The U. S. S. McGowan is the first military ship to use the reopened
The St. Lawrence Seaway opens for traffic.
Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower officially dedicate the St. Lawrence
A new lock is added to Wilson Dam on the Tennessee River.
Extensive improvements on the Sensée are begun.
A new dam and lock are built on Tennessee's Clinch River.
The Potomac Heritage Trail opens, along the former route of the Chesapeake
and Ohio Canal.
** England's restored Lower Avon Canal reopens.
The Soo Canal's Poe Lock is replaced by the New Poe Lock.
The Georges River Canal System is placed on the State of Maine Register
of Historic Sites.
The Georges River Canal System is placed on the National Register of Historic
The Soo Canal reports 91.5 million tons of shipping passing through the
U.S. locks during
the year, 1.5 million through the Canadian.
Construction begins on the Tenn-Tom Waterway.
A Barge Canal break at Bushnell Basin, southeast of Rochester, derstroys
a home and damages forty others.
President Reagan signs an appropriations bill to complete the Tenn-Tom Waterway.
The Tenn-Tom Waterway is completed.
The 234-mile Tenn-Tom Waterway, connecting the Tennessee River's Pickwick
the Tombigbee River at Demopolis, Alabama, opens to traffic.
The Tenn-Tom Waterway is officially dedicated.
The Lock #60 Locktenders Association is formed to maintain Macedon's Erie
Canal Lock 60.
A historic plaque, sponsored by the New York State Canal Society, is placed
harbor on the Niagara River, to commemorate the city as the Erie Canal's
Eagles Byte Historical Research
Present version completed July 1996
C. 1996 David Minor / Eagles Byte