Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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September 29, 2012

CANAL DISCOVERIES: A few words about the canal

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

Packet boat: Passenger boat

Prog: General term for food

Tuble bays: Carried water around the locks

Runners: Used to seek out passengers on packet boats

Sidecut: Waterway connecting the canal with a stream, river or another canal

Rhino: Cash

Rhino fat: Rich or well-off

Scalpers: Primarily relating to shipping of freight; scalpers would assign cargo to boats

Shanty: A houseboat

Shunpike: Avoiding tolls by detouring around the toll booth

Skimmagig: Buttermilk

Squeezer: A two sectioned boat or “double barge”

Trippers: Long haul workmen, often troublemakers; most often individuals with a love for the canal

Tow side: Side of the boat closest to the towpath

Waste weirs: Channels used to dispose of excess water from the canal

This list was compiled from sources on folklore including Lionel Wyld’s “Boaters and Broomsticks” and Marvin Rapp’s “Canal Water and Whiskey.”

Doug Farley is the director of the Erie Canal Discovery Center. His column appears every Saturday. The Erie Canal Discovery Center is a great place to start your Erie Canal adventure. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Please join us for a free, public program on Saturday, October 13 at 11 a.m. titled, "Jeremiah's Hunger," offered by regional author Elizabeth Osta who will explain her new historical fiction about the Irish famine in County Cork and the resulting mass migration to America in the 19th century.

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