Chemung Canal Timeline

1829 The Chemung Canal passes the New York Legislature
1830 Construction on the canal begins with the ground breaking ceremony in Elmira on July 4th
1833 Canal completed and opens briefly only to be damaged by a flood in May; repairs are made and the entire canal opens in October
1840 The wooden locks are falling apart and constantly disrupting traffic. The legislature approves funds to rebuild the locks.
1842 Nearly all of the locks are rebuilt; the canal is extended 1.25 miles from Lock 1 in Havana (Montour Falls) towards Seneca Lake to alleviate problems with sandbars.
1850 The canal is extended all the way from Lock 1 to Seneca Lake as the sandbar problems continued to slow traffic
1857 One of the worst floods strikes the canal closing navigation for a month
1860 Locks 11, 21, 27, 31, 35, 37, and 41 rebuilt
1861 Bad flooding erodes away over 800 feet of towpath; Locks 19, 40, 43, 45, 46, and 48 rebuilt
1862 State Canal Board approves an increase in the draught allowed for boats on the Chemung Canal and the canal depth is increased to six feet; Locks 12, 14, 34, 38, 39, 42, 44, 50, 51, 52, and 53 are rebuilt.
1865 A March flood badly damages the canal and the feeder dam
1866 Locks 24, 25, 28, and 32 are rebuilt
1867 Another flood causes damage to the canal; Locks 1, 36, and 40, the last three unreconstructed locks, are rebuilt
1870 Spring floods destroy the feeder dam; it is rebuilt in 1871
1872 One mile of the canal is abandoned in Elmira and filled in to make a street
1876 Commissioners are appointed by the state to determine how to dispose of the Chemung Canal and the other lateral canals
1878 The Chemung Canal permanently closes after October 31st
1881 The stone and materials in the locks, bridges, and aqueducts to the canal are sold at auction
1884 The canal bed is drained at Horseheads
1885 The canal bed is drained at Havana (Montour Falls); today it is Canal Street