Copies of 1817 Maps Available at Museum

In the Museum are copies of the original maps used in support of the building of an interior canal from the Hudson River to Lake Erie.  The bill in the legislature was passed and the Erie Canal was built.

Building of the canal was first proposed in 1768 to open the country west of the Appalachian Mountains to settlers and to carry produce to market. It was not until1808 that the state legislature funded a survey for the canal. On July 4, 1817 Governor Dewitt Clinton broke ground for the construction of the canal. In those early days, it was often sarcastically referred to as "Clinton's Big Ditch". When finally completed on October 26, 1825 some it was an engineering marvel and some called it the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Maps 13 and 14 of the 1817 maps by James Geddes, showing the proposed canal route across the Town of Perinton will be on display in the Museum.  They were acquired for the museum from the NYS Archives by Bill Keeler, Museum Director and Curator, and are part of a set of maps tracking the western part of the proposed Erie Canal.

Bill notes: "These are copies of the original maps used in the printing of the 175 page report for the NY State Assembly as part of a bill introduced to the legislature in support of building an interior canal from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. This is the first time these maps have been seen outside the State Capital." The proposed plan on the maps was approved in 1817.

Stop by the Museum to get a view of these maps first hand.  For more information on the Erie Canal visit


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