The Schoharie Creek Aqueduct spans Schoharie Creek four-tenths of a mile south of its confluence with the Mohawk River, and between locks No. 30 and No. 31. Consisting of 14 stone arches for the towing path and a timber trunk for the boat channel, and 624 feet 3 inches in length, it was designed in part by John B. Jervis and built by Otis Eddy. It replaced the slackwater crossing of the creek afforded by a series of dams, all of which proved inadequate to cope with the annual flooding of the creek. Construction of the aqueduct was begun in 1839 and completed in 1841, and it was put into service in 1845. A new timber trunk was built in 1855 and again in 1873.
The aqueduct is now only partially intact -- all but the nine arches at the southwest end were demolished in 1915 to reduce impedance to stream flow when the canal was abandoned upon completion of the Barge Canal. Since that time, due to collapse, the number of arches has been reduced to six, the latest collapse occurring on August 16, 1998.
|The Schoharie Creek Aqueduct (1841) and the site of the Schoharie Creek Dam (1820), looking north -- from: A Preliminary Proposal for a New York State Canal Museum and Lock Restoration Project, 1955 -- facing leaf 7.||The aqueduct in 1960 (unknown source).||Google Earth view of the Fort Hunter area, showing the position of the Schoharie Creek Aqueduct in relation to the current Erie Canal Lock No. 12.|
Remains of the Schoharie Creek Aqueduct, Fort Hunter, N.Y.
Photographs to the left
and below are from the
National Park Service site
Those below were taken Oct.
1983 by Charles H. Ashton,
Heritage Studies, Inc.
|"Erie Canal - NHL, Montgomery County, NY, Schoharie Aqueduct" -- Looking east from the west bank of Schoharie Creek ; taken Oct. 9, 1960.||"Schoharie Aqueduct - Erie Canal - extending east from west bank of Schoharie Creek" -- taken in 1975.|
|Particularly evident in the 1975 photograph above is the poor condition of the aqueduct. As can be seen in the photograph below left taken in 1983, the easternmost arch collapsed between 1975 and 1983, and the next arch was in danger of following it.|
|"Erie Canal National Historic Landmark, [Towns of] Glen and Florida, Montgomery Co., NY, ... View E across Schoharie Creek of aqueduct."||"Erie Canal National Historic Landmark, [Towns of] Glen and Florida, Montgomery Co., NY, ... Detail of aqueduct, W end."||"Erie Canal National Historic Landmark, [Towns of] Glen and Florida, Montgomery Co., NY, ... View E across top of aqueduct."|
For more recent pictures of the aqueduct (taken in 2004+), go to the Second Schoharie Creek Aqueduct page.