You are here

Map of Mohawk Valley, Schenectady to the Hudson River, 1912

Barge Canal. Map of Mohawk Valley
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A7325
 
Document Description
Map of Mohawk Valley from Schenectady to the Hudson River, Showing railroads, Barge Canal, old Erie Canal, Crescent and Vischer Ferry dams, and cities. Prepared by the State Department of Public Works, 1912.
 
Questions
What does this map show?
Waterford is located at the junction of what two rivers?  
What canal system would you go into if you traveled north from Albany on the Hudson River to Waterford?
Can a boat connect between the Champlain Canal and the Erie Canal?
 
Historical Challenges
How were all the workers who constructed the canal paid for their hard work? Research the life of a canal construction worker. What were some health concerns that developed while the canal was being built?
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: How do dams control the water level on the canals?
 
Resources
American Canal Society. The Canals of New York State. American Canal and Transportation Center, 1995. ISBN: 0933788827
Harness, Cheryl. Amazing Impossible Erie Canal. New York: Bradbury Press, 1995. ISBN: 0689825846, 0027426416
Hurst, Carol Otis. Through the Lock. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. ISBN: 0618030360.
Larkin, F. Daniel, Julie C. Daniels, and Jean West, eds. Erie Canal: New York's Gift to the Nation, A Document-Based Teacher Resource. Cobblestone Publishng Company, 2001. ISBN: 081267555X
Stein, R. Conrad. The Erie Canal. New York: Children's Press, 2004. ISBN: 0516242431.
 

Historical Context
The Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Seneca-Cayuga Canals make up the divisions of the Barge Canal.  The Champlain Canal runs from Waterford north to Fort Edward.  The Erie Canal runs from the Hudson River through the Mohawk River to points west that include Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo.  In order for the Barge Canal to operate successfully, it needs a constant and adequate supply of water.  Vischers Dam and Crescent Dam were built to control the flow of the water along the canal and are examples of fixed dams.  The dams keep the surface of the water at a fixed elevation above streams.   Dams can also make the rivers into artificial lakes. 
 
Essential Question
How does technology impact the geography and economy of a society?
 
Check for Understanding
Identify the three key characteristics of the canal system in New York and evaluate the impact of the canals on the geography and economy of local communities.