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Erie Canal Lock 32, Fort Plain Oddity

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:38 pm
by Jeduthan
While on a bike ride I happened to notice what looked like an abandoned stone lock structure. As there were no readily apparent traces of the Erie Canal I was a bit startled to see the lock stonework spring up from the ground from 'nowhere'. Curious I stopped to take a few pictures. Unfortunately at the time I angled the camera view to try to hide some of the debris and trash that had collected in the old lock chamber.

Peering through the underbrush surrounding the old lock I got the impression that a structure was built straddling the lock, but the brush blocked a clear view. I thought I was being utterly ridiculous. Who builds a house directly atop an old lock?

In researching for some information about this lock I found I couldn't have been more wrong. Someone did indeed build a house on top of the former lock chamber walls. Had I taken a picture directly down the chamber - trash and all - I would have more readily seen the building on the lock.

The picture attached is the one I took of the lock itself. But if you want better pictures and the history of this particular lock I suggest you visit:

I've read accounts of bankrupt canal auctioning off locks to people who carted the stone away to build a house elsewhere. But I've never hear or read anywhere on the Erie Canal or any of its subsidiary branch canals where someone built their home directly atop a lock using the lock walls as part of the cellar.

Re: Erie Canal Lock 32, Fort Plain Oddity

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 7:36 am
by Kelly
Wow! That is quite a find. The structure and the story! Had I been around during that era, I think I may have wanted to build on one. :up:

Re: Erie Canal Lock 32, Fort Plain Oddity

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:20 am
by Brenda
That is very interesting!

Re: Erie Canal Lock 32, Fort Plain Oddity

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:50 pm
by Matt
Very interesting! A shame it's not being kept up. The structure could made an interesting landscape feature for a hours (hanging garden or even a mural).
I was wondering about canal-front properties (the parts of the modern canal that still have water)-- are those in demand and fetch a higher price?