The story first appeared as an article in The New York History Blog. Brooks is education coordinator at a state Erie Canal history site, Schoharie Crossing in Fort Hunter.
The Little Falls Journal and Courier proclaimed in a banner headline on their July 4th, 1916 edition that the celebration for the completion of Lock 17 “will go down in history.”
The paper stated that the pageantry and parades of the previous Friday and Saturday were a tremendous success. “Nothing so elaborate, so gorgeous, so successful from an historic, an artistic and idealistic point of view was ever before undertaken in this city… The crowd on Friday was conservatively estimated at four thousand and on Saturday it was as large or larger.”
Featured throughout the festivities were the recently arrived immigrant communities, the “New Americans” that Governor Whitman especially recognized in his remarks that Friday. [Read more…] about Little Falls’ Lock 17: Engineering Marvel, Opened 100 Years Ago
The Wolfert’s Roost Country Club in Albany maintains a small dam, pond, and pump house to provide water for their golf course. In the 1980s workers excavating the pond, which is fed by the Maezlandtkill, discovered several sections of ancient wooden and very early cast iron pipe along with iron bands. The pipe and other artifacts were placed in the woods near the club’s tennis courts and forgotten.
Benjamin Prescott, engineer of Albany’s first municipal water system and the man responsible for those pipes, is all but equally forgotten, despite an illustrious career in engineering. Prescott served as an Engineer in the American Revolution, Superintendent of the Springfield Armory, and was the designer of several notable projects, including one of this nation’s first inclined planes (on the Connecticut River). He also conducted a 1790s survey of Niagara Falls, consulted on the Erie Canal, designed the Troy Sloop Lock (the Federal Dam) and more. [Read more…] about A Short Biography of Engineer Benjamin Prescott