Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | April 13, 2017

Cornwall’s Historic Canal (1842-1958)

One of the current exhibits at your Cornwall Community Museum deals with the historic Cornwall Canal.

Canal work_1898_91-15.676_CRThis photo postcard shows some of the 1898 Canal work under examination.

Canal_postcard_88-32.34_front_300.jpgThis Valentine & Sons postcard gives a view of the front of the Canal and the office.

Canal_trolley_87-100.13_300Land and water transportation appear to meet; note the trolley car to the left.

In this colourized postcard, a Canada Steamship Lines vessel is in Lock 19.

This next series of images is taken from an engineering drawing labelled: “Cornwall Canal: Sketch of Gate and Protection, south end of culvert, east of Lock No. 18.”

Front elevation.

Canal_sketch_e of Lock 18_Top View of Protection Timbers.Top View of Protection Timbers.

Sectional View.

Top of Gate.

Some Post-Confederation Cornwall Canal milestones 
1869 350′ addition to upper entrance pier at Lock 21, waste weir at Lock 17, dredging above Lock 20
1871/72 Dredging below Lock 21
1874 Recommendation to deepen the St, Lawrence canals, placing Lock 21 abt 1/4 mile above then existing lock
1877 New entrance and work affecting Locks 17 & 18
1884/85 The 1874 recommendations were implemented
1891 Five locks (21) added to Cornwall Canal
1893-98 Sheek’s Island Dams construction
1894 New Locks 18, 19, 20 in use
1897 Original entrance docks converted to dry docks
1899 Improvements at Upper Entrance west of Lock 21
1902-04 Strengthen & widen north bank east of Pitt St
1904 Cedar Rapids Manufacturing & Power Co was incorporated
1905 Improvements affecting Lock 17
1908-06-23 165′ of bank washed out above Lock 18 collapsing ONYR span
1910-11 Construction of cribwork and 660′ concrete approach wall north side upper entrance Lock 17
1911 Level high areas esp. near upper dam below Lock 21
1912-14 Removed 300′ of old north entrance wall below Lock 15 & constructed new wall in new location, tore down & rebuilt south entrance call
1920- Constructed Powerhouse & head race for Cdn Cottons Co
1924-25 Raised banks, roads, walls abt 18″ to 2′ above the Guard Gate to Lock 21
1934- Constructed 14′ canal to by-pass the Long Sault Rapids
1958-06-30 Officially closed after rapids drowned and Seaway opened
1967 Harbour opened
1971-11-01 Parts of the Canal were filled in

This is but a sampling of the many Cornwall memories preserved at your Cornwall Community Museum and Archives.

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In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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