Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #39

This article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) is about the aqueducts that carried the Erie Canal over the Genesee River. The second one (in his drawing) is still there but covered over with Broad Street. In the fall underneath is usually open for a weekend for visitors to tour the former bed of the canal.

The first canal aqueduct over the Genesee River was commenced in 1821, by William Britton, with thirty convicts from Auburn prison who were kept upon the island, with ball and chain, where Kimball’s Tobacco works were afterwards located. The aqueduct was built chiefly of red sandstone from the bank of the river at Carthage. It was 804 feet long, and was built on eleven arches. It was commenced on the 17th of July and completed in September 1823. Its cost was $83,000.

The new aqueduct was commenced in 1842, and was nearly 2 years in building. It is built of stone from Split Rock Quarry in Onondaga County. Its total length is 800 feet. It consists of ten spans; two of 25 feet, 7 of 52 feet and one of 30 feet. Width of waterway 43 feet. Depth seven feet eight & ¼ inches. Height from bed of river to coping 27 feet. Its original cost was $445,387. the supt. of mason work committed suicide in this city soon after the work was completed. It was last used as a waterway in 1919. Broad Street with the subway underneath now occupies it.