Chenango Canal

One of the "Streets", past and present, of Downtown Utica's CoLa Neighborhood.

The years 1833 to 1836 mark the start and completion of the north-south, "Utica-to-Binghamton", Chenango Canal [Ref.].

For much of the course, it followed the Chenango River. As talks about its creation were started, some 1,830 residents of the Chenango Valley wanted the canal.

At the time, final canal cost was over $2.5M, covered 97 miles and utilized 116 locks. At it's northern terminus it connected with the Erie Canal in Utica.

Today the canal is long filled-in and replaced by the North-South Arterial forming a new western boarder of Downtown Utica's CoLa Neighborhood.

The completed Chenango Canal offered Utica a big advantage over mills in New England, as Utica became connected to Pennsylvania coal fields, as reported in, Steam Becomes Savior of Area Mill Industry.

This postcard from 1910 commemorates the consolidation of the Utica Steam Cotton Mills (1848), one of the first manufacturing plants in the Valley to use steam instead of water power, and The Mohawk Valley Cotton Mills (1880) [Ref.]...

... the old Mill on State St. between Court and Columbia streets actually represents the consolidation of several mills, the oldest of which was opened in 1848. By 1866 the firm employed 1,800 workers and was one of the world's largest manufacturers of sheets and pillowcases, with 138,000 spindles and 3,500 looms.

The peak of the 19th-century industrial expansion was reached about 1910. After that, there began a long decline that was postponed by World War I orders, masked by the national prosperity in the 1920s, by the depression of the 1930s and postponed again by World War II demands. In the late 1940s, global textile giant J.P. Stevens & Sons acquired the Utica-Mohawk brand name.

By the mid-1950s, most of the textile mills in Oneida County were gone. The former mill building at 502 State Street is now home to many businesses, including anchor tenant Brodock Press, a full-service graphic communications company. [Ref.]

In 1878 the Chenango Canal ceased operation, thus ending a significant link in the water transportation system of the northeastern U.S., which had connected the Susquehanna River to the Erie Canal.

The Chenango Canal Association Inc (Bouckville, NY) is dedicated to preserving, maintaining, and improving the historic Chenango Canal and its towpath.

We're not opposed to a new hospital, just do not bulldoze Downtown Utica's Historic Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood... "Build It At St. Luke's!"

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