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The Barge Canal is as much a modernization of the Erie Canal and its branches as it is an enlargement. In 1918, when the Barge Canal was completed, travelers saw things on the new canal they had not seen on the Erie: canalized rivers, movable dams, liberal use of concrete, mechanized locks, and barges pulled by tugs or traveling under their own power. No longer were boats pulled by animals walking along a towpath. The larger vessels of the Barge Canal transported a variety of products, but grain and oil made up the bulk of the traffic on the canal in its highest traffic years in the 1950s. The stories of the many people who worked ot traveled along the canal provide a colorful legacy to what today is a quiet waterway for tourists.
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Michele McFee is on the Board of Directors of the Canal Society of New York State and an archival assistant at Binghamton University. She is the author of Limestone Locks and Overgrowth: The Rise and Descent of the Chenango Canal and numerous articles in regional journals and newspapers. She lives with her husband and four children in Bainbridge, New York.Review:
"The Canal is... an intricate part of the natural landscape of New York...It's smooth sailing ahead." -- Thomas X. Grasso, President, Canal Society of New York State
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