Saturday, March 21, 2009

The City Ship Canal

Caption for Figure 3.

“The Canal Harbor, Buffalo, New York.” The entrance to the City Ship Canal, circa 1920. From the left: part of the Great Eastern; all of the Dakota; a wooden marine tower (part of the old Frontier Elevator) that would soon after be demolished and replaced; part of Washburn-Crosby’s unique cylindrically shaped marine tower; and (behind the raised bridge) the Great Northern.

Courtesy the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company.

First excavated in 1850, the Blackwell Ship Canal, later known as the City Ship Canal, cuts into the strip of land that separates Lake Erie from the mouth of the Buffalo River. Grain elevators have stood along its banks ever since the 1860s.

Made of steel in 1901, the Great Eastern was demolished in 1948. Also made of steel in 1901, the Dakota was demolished in 1966. Photographs of the Frontier Elevator (demolished in 1923) are hard to come by, but I will try to locate one and post it here. A clearer view of the Washburn-Crosby's unique marine tower can be had in Figure 4.

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