Quincy Square Museum
East Main Street
Earlville, New York

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Earlville - Past, Present, Future.
Historical and Prophetic Sketch Being Prepared by Mr. John R. Parsons.

John R. Parsons Historical Writings Revisited


Chapter Three

The Chenango Canal - Part II



The old canal storehouse on East Main Street was operated for many years by Geo. M. Page and after his death by his
son, Caleb Page. It burned a few years after the canal ceased to function. Mr. Caleb Page was the first station agent at
Earlville for the N.Y. & Oswego-Midland R.R. At one time there was an ashery on the back end of the Page lot where
potash was manufactured and Bill Brown, with his mules and ash wagons, was a familiar sight around Earlville. The
Pages at one time owned three boats on the canal and the canal storehouse in Norwich and did a large business
buying farm produce and selling farm supplies. The Page family were leaders in the affairs of our community. Miss
Charlotte Page, the present owner of the beautiful old-time Page home, is the last one of the Page family. The Page
stands today exactly as it was built and the stone walk in front was the first of its kind in the village.



A boat passing through the locks just north of the
canal bridge was an interesting sight that often
entertained a crowd on the bridge. To walk across the
top of the gates was a boyish dare and to open and
close those gates as did the lock tender, John Hall,
was the secret ambition of every boy that ever saw it
done.

Boats for passenger service called "Packets" were
operated upon the Erie Canal between Albany and
Buffalo. From a picture of one I judge their capacity at
one hundred people. They were built light and of
shallow draught and were drawn by three horses
hitched in tandem. Tradition has it that these horses
were driven on a trot. An attempt was made to
operate them on the Chenango Canal but it was not a
success. Captain Charles E. Tucker organized a
company of soldiers in this vicinity and they went
from Earlville on a Packet boat to take part in the Civil
War. The 114th regiment went out of Norwich on
Packet boats.

Page Family Homestead
52 East Main Street
Built in 1856


The canal cost $2,316,186. (These figures were recently obtained from the Canal Bureau, Albany, NY-JR Parsons'
note). It was ninety-seven miles long; forty feet wide at the top and five feet deep. The summit level at Bouckville was
three miles long and two miles of this was through a cutting twenty-five feet deep. This level was 706 feet higher than
the Erie Canal at Utica and 303 feet above the Susquehanna River at Binghamton. There were 116 locks, each ninety
feet long and fifteen feet wide. It was of great value to the Chenango valley and did a good business until the coming
of the railroads. It was officially abandoned in 1878. It brought a pretty name for our village and I regret exceedingly
my inability to list the boys born in Earlville who have been named Earl.

Chenango Canal Boats.
Note. From The Chenango Canal (p. 11), by Barry K. Beyer,
1954, Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie-Mellon University.
Reprinted 1984 under the auspices of the Chenango County Historical Society.
One arch of an original two-arch aqueduct
Which carried the Chenango Canal across the
Chenango River About a mile south of Earlville,
off Rte. 12 B. Today there is little evidence that
this impressive stone structure ever stood.