The Champlain Canal had a tremendous impact on the area.
The Champlain Canal was proposed in 1812.
The original canal opened in 1823 and connected Cohoes and Whitehall trough 23 locks.
On Land, a team of mules could pull a wagon loaded with 2 tons of goods. The same
team could pull a canal boat loaded with 75 tons of materials. Plus the canal provided a
smooth ride as opposed to the rough roads of the day.
The Effect of the Canal on Schuylerville's Growth (Brandow)
The growth of Schuylerville was very slow till after the opening of the Champlain canal in 1822.
Through the influence of Philip Schuyler, 2nd, with the State authorities, and as part payment for
the right of way through his extensive estates, a commodious basin, with ample dockage, was built
at this point. Now a basin in a canal is equivalent to a bay along the sea-coast, a boat can turn
around, as well as load and unload at its docks. Possessed of this boon, Schuylerville was at once
raised from the obscurity of a wayside hamlet to the dignity of an open port and an important
Before the opening of the canal the farmers, as far north as Lakes George and Champlain, had to
draw their produce in wagons or sleighs down to Waterford. Judge then what a boom the opening
of this waterway gave to the farming interests everywhere within reach of it. Whitehall, Fort
Edward, Schuylerville and Stillwater at once became shipping points and depots for supplies.
Schuylerville rapidly sprang into importance and became the most important place between
Whitehall and Waterford, and the outlet for a large district of country both to the east and west of
Large warehouses were built for the storage of grain and mercantile goods, many of which are yet
standing as reminders of the epoch when the packet boat was queen.
Besides the vast quantity of grain shipped from here in those early days, when later Washington
and Saratoga counties became great potato producing sections, as many as sixty and seventy canal
boat loads of this product have left these docks for market in the fall of the year. This means a
great deal when one considers that each boat load was equal to a train load of freight cars of the
size in vogue at that time. Of course all this business centering here made an opening for merchants
and mechanics and innkeepers and laborers, which they were not slow in entering. Stores and
shops, hotels and residences rapidly multiplied, until not many years had elapsed before the citizens
began to talk of incorporating their thriving village. This was done by special act of Legislature in
Warehouses in Schuylerville
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Old Lock 10
Champlain Canal Lock C5
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