Dry Docks

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Dry Docks

Empire Dry Dock and home of W. J. Wheeler

– from Paul Russell’s collection.

During the months that the Erie Canal was frozen in (December through March) life in our communities was busy.  Carpenters and craftsman would be feverishly repairing or building new wooden canal boats and barges during the short daylight hours for the coming navigation season.  Along the canal route between Cohoes and Schenectady there were more than 20 dry docks where these activities would be centered.  You can find some of the remnants of these dry docks at Crescent, Clutes (the eastern end of the Vischer Ferry Preserve), and one on either side of Ferry Drive in the Village of Vischer Ferry.  There is also one on the south side of the wide waters along the Cohoes Crescent Road.  This wide waters now forms a marsh and wet lands between the Crescent Dam and the Colonie Landfill.

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