“Canal side stores stocked anything a canal fleet needed in the way of potent medicine, cooking pots, tin ware, candy, food, shoes, clothing rain gear, and dry goods. Also available were supplies such as hay, oats, straw or shavings, harnesses, horse collars, whiffle tree, tow lines, horse bridges, fenders, pike poles, hardware, etc. It was also possible to replenish cooking and drinking water at these places, kerosene, or coal oil had to be obtained from these supply points as oil lamps were the only type of illumination to be had on the canal boats at that time.” Recollections of the Erie Canal, Richard Garrity. Published by the Historical Society of the Tonawandas, Inc., Tonawanda, N.Y. 1966
A sparse collection of shabby buildings is near the lock, foremost being the canal grocery, a squat, shingled structure with a portico in front. Here is gathered a pack of ill-favored fellow, vagabonds and idlers……The interior is gloomy, and has a very insalubrious atmosphere; but there is no article in the range of an ordinary boatman’s necessities that cannot be obtained from this mart. Dry goods, fresh meat, poultry, groceries, liquors and literature are combined attractions to purchasers.
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (1873:15)
|1950's before restoration. From the Clarke Blair Collection.|
*Thanks to D. Sweeney, T. Shaw & J. Fontanella for their previous research, interpretation and support.