Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

May 25, 2013

CANAL DISCOVERIES: Canal shortened time and distance

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The fact that fresh ocean seafood could now be shipped inland to as far as WNY without spoiling was a demonstration of how time and distance had been reshaped by the Erie Canal. Perishables, such as oysters, would never have survived the several weeks journey by wagon prior to the Erie Canal, but soon became plentiful and affordable after 1825. The trip from the ocean to the Great Lakes had been reduced to a matter of days instead of weeks. 

This scenario was repeated with every creature comfort that was needed by these now-connected settlers. The Erie Canal was used to import nice furniture, fine clothing, perishable foods, and other items that the early settlers thought they had given up for good.

Doug Farley is the director of the Erie Canal Discovery Center, the best place to start your Erie Canal Adventure. His column runs every Saturday. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Mark your calendars for Sat. June 1 when The ECDC will celebrate "Strawberries & Antiques" at all three History Center sites in Lockport, with a full day of activities.

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