Research


New York State Department of Transportation Western Division Canal Maps and Plans

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series contains maps and plans that document work done to enlarge, improve, and maintain the channel and structures in the Western Division of the canal system. The series includes maps, drawings, tracings, and blueprints relating to Western Division work.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
approximately 175 cubic feet (circa 3,900 items of which circa 1,200 are maps): col. ink, pencil, watercolor, folded blueprints, annotated; 44 x 39 cm or larger folded to folder size of 90 x 112 cm.
Inclusive Dates:
approximately 1848-1925
Bulk Dates:
bulk 1896-1912
Series Number:
B0380

Arrangement

Numerical by map number.

B0380-18: Unarranged.

Scope and Content Note

This series contains maps and plans (often made up of drawings, cross sections, profiles, diagrams, and other related representations) that document work done as part of the effort to enlarge, improve, and maintain the channel and structures in the Western Division of the canal system over a period of many years. The series is a mix of original manuscript maps and drawings, tracings, and blueprint copies.

Most sheets are annotated and some were apparently used as working copies. It is likely that several sheets relating to a single project, created by various hands at differing stages of work, were brought together after having been kept in the field offices of the State Engineer and Surveyor. The State Engineer had responsibility for planning, construction and maintenance of the state's canals. This series apparently represents the main file for Western Division work.

Both the form and the articulation of the representations vary with the work being depicted; most often several distinct but related pieces are found together. For example, sheets of draft plans done in pencil are followed by inked versions, tracings, or blueprints of the same depiction. Some of these appear to be duplicate copies. At other times all pieces of a group are tracings or blueprint copies. Similarly, a general plan may be accompanied by several sheets of separate details. In other cases several different representations appear on one sheet or on accompanying sheets in combination (e.g., profiles, cross sections, elevations). Sheets are grouped according to a specific job or feature, and sometimes according to a distinct work contract. At least one sheet showed work completed, work in progress, and work to be done under a certain contract, but this seemed to be a rare instance.

Very occasionally typed forms are present that considerably postdate the sheet to which they are apparently related (e.g., a 1953 discharge data report prepared upon measurements taken in 1948, attached to a blueprint dated 1902). Such forms may be evidence of the fact that these documents remained in use over an extended time period, or for a very late collation date for the series.

It is difficult to generalize about such diversity, but the following characteristics are normally present.

Most representations are separately titled, some briefly and others more elaborately. Some maps and drawings have no title or identification other then the name of a preparer and the date.

Scales are usually present, and one is often given for each representation on a sheet. They vary but are usually given as a relation of feet to inches, and often both vertical and horizontal scales are present.

Maps and plans, especially blueprints, are often dated; the range of dates varies widely and does not influence or determine filing arrangement. Many drawings are undated, or have been cut at the edges where a date may have originally been given.

Size varies dramatically and many sheets (especially blueprints) are folded, often several times. The largest size is not determined, but must easily double the folder length of 122 cm. Most sheets are bordered by neat lines, but many others have been cut and pasted onto paper.

Annotations are found on all copies, usually in colored inks or crayon. There are sometimes individual legends or explanations as to color representations (e.g., red means "excavation completed"). Some drawings are done in ink with a watercolor wash. There are a few brownprints present.

In general maps are location maps that sometimes also include sketches or profiles, or elevations on the same sheet. They depict the general work area and/or specific sites of proposed enlargement or improvement. Some maps include topographic contour lines.

There are a wide range of identifiers and attributions. Some items' origins are identified, such as a print of a tracing from a specific place (in crayon on blueprint). Others list production statements such as "traced from Erie Co. Book of Maps...on file in the office of the Division Engineer" (in ink on tracing). Occasionally map tracings have certifications of accuracy from the State Engineer and Surveyor, usually dated and often with a seal affixed. Most blueprints have a standard printed certification block that has been filled in, and dated, stating they were examined and approved by some official (State Engineer, Chief Bridge Designer, Division Engineer, etc.). Some other blueprints have a block certifying that modified plans were submitted to the Engineer and Surveyor and approved by the Canal Board.

Additional notes are common and may include references to field book numbers, pages and dates; name of surveyor and/or date of survey; names of preparer, plotter, or division engineer, also often with dates; year and chapter number of authorizing legislation; and other extensive remarks on the specifics of work.

There are often cross references to maps or cross sections, often with specific roll numbers. The location of these referenced items is unclear. Similarly, statements may appear citing specific claim numbers, probably referring to canal damage claims (e.g., "maps produced to accompany the claim of...claim no...").

Stamped numbers appear in the lower right corner of most sheets; sometimes there are handwritten letters next to the stamped numbers signifying different parts of the same group or set (e.g., 1607 A, 1607 B, etc.). Several sheets within the group may be assigned a single number. In addition, sometimes the word "Indexed" is separately stamped above or next to the main number. This clearly indicates that the item was indexed in a separate card file (series A4290, Card Index to Western Division Canal Maps, Plans, Estimates, and Related Structures). Sheets that are not marked as being indexed have not been located in the index file, but it is by no means certain that all original cards are extant or that selected items that are not stamped cannot be found in the index. Many sets of blueprints are packaged in brown paper envelopes which have handwritten titles which were later inked over. These packages sometimes contain stray annotations (e.g., "built 1918-1919").

The series is arranged in folders according to the sequential "map" numbers (from 1 to 4015). These numbers also pertain to plans and related representations. Many numbers are missing. Each folder has a typed or handwritten label giving the span of numbers included in the folder, as well as a list of those numbers missing.

B0380-18: This accretion consists of 119 maps and plans depicting structures, reservoirs, and properties along the Genesee Valley Canal. Several of the items cover portions of the Erie Canal in the Lockport and Buffalo regions.

Items Online

A small portion of this series has been scanned and is available in the New York State Archives Digital Collections.

Digital Collection

Link to items online Browse items online

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this material.

Alternate Formats Available

Scanned images of a small sample of canal drawings are available at the New York State Archives.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A4290 Card Index to Western Division Canal Maps, Plans, Estimates, and Related Structures, indexes this series in part.

Other finding aids

A list of map numbers contained in each drawer is available at the repository.

B0380-18: Items 1 through 24 still bear stamps with catalog numbers from the original collection now in B0380.

Custodial History

B0380-18: This accretion was part of the Canal Society of New York State's Emily and J. Hayward Madden Collection. The Maddens apparently obtained the maps and plans from the Rochester canal office of the NYS Department of Transportation in 1970. With their special interest in the Genesee Valley Canal, the Maddens primarily obtained maps and plans related to structures, reservoirs, and properties along that route.

Acquistion Information

B0380-18: This accretion was transferred to the New York State Archives by the Canal Society of New York State.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
Function(s):

Detailed Description

Dates Contents Item Folder

Accretion: B0380-18
1896 "Plan showing repairs to be made to dyke between west bank of Genesee River and Abandoned Genesee Valley Canal in the City of Rochester... 1896", blueprint (281)

1 1
circa 1860 Plan of Cornelius Creek (?) Culvert, paper with watercolor (484)

2 1
circa 1855 "Cornelius Creek Culvert - Elevation - Plan", paper with watercolor (496A)

3 1
1956 February 8 "Cornelius Creek Culvert", foundation plan, paper with watercolor (496B)

4 1
circa 1855 "Cornelius Creek Culvert Plan", paper with watercolor (496C)

5 1
circa 1855 "Cornelius Creek Culvert - Section 367", paper with watercolor (496D)

6 1
undated Genesse Valley Canal or feeder survey at "guard lock" and "rapids lock" (769)

7 1
circa 1870 Genesee Valley Canal at junction with Erie Canal, with watercolor (772)

8 1
circa 1850 Survey of Genesee Valley Canal at Allens Creek, linen, watercolor (948)

9 1
circa 1920 "Sketch showing location of Oil Creek, and Rockville Reservoirs", linen, watercolor (950)

10 1
1881 "Map of the lands of Thos R. and Uriah Leet in the town of Caneadea... showing land washed away by Genesee River...", linen, watercolor (953)

11 1
1848 "Guard Lock and Guard Gates // Sulphur Springs", paper with watercolor (1098)

12 1
Sheet including "Claim of Hamilton Cherry in the Town of Tonawanda", 1860; map of "New Channel" and drydock (Lockport?), c1870; map of lot in Tonawanda, 1879; map of Genesee Valley Canal at "Milgrove", c1860; "Plan for Extending Pier at Black Rock Harbor", c1860; "Proposed Plan of Constructing a Crib to protect the Erie Canal from encroachments of Lake Erie...", 1885; "Map of Evans St.... Buffalo", 1882; "Elevation of Bridge over Feeder on Lewiston Road", c1870 (1232)

13 1
1891 "Map of Lands overflowed by Genesee River in 1889 and 1890 in the towns of Caneadea and Hume", linen, watercolor (1239)

14 1
circa 1860 "Plan of Bridge for Oil Creek Reservoir at Sam'l Morgan's, G. V. Canal", c1860, linen, watercolor (1328)

15 1
Sheet including "Profile of State Ditch at Scottsville Genesee Valley Canal", linen, c1879; (1408) "Plan of Wrought Iron rolled Needle Beam with cast iron shoe for Floor Timber", c1870, linen, watercolor (1409)

1 2
circa 1870 Map of Genesse Valley Canal on border of Towns of Hume and Caneadea showing bridge built by the State", linen (1412)

2 2
1896 Sheet of several manuscript maps, two of Black Creek Culvert on Genesee Valley Canal, 1896 map of Fay property in Rochester near Fitzhugh Street, WNY and P RR right of way between Exchange Street and Plymouth Avenue in Rochester, WNY and P RR on GVC near Allen's Creek (1569)

3 2
undated Genesee River Feeder?, faint pencil sketch, paper (3065)

4 2
circa 1870 "Grate for... pipe across Genesee River", paper (3065D)

5 2
undated Very faint penciled survey of unknown location (3065E)

6 2
"Plan for lengthening Spillway of Cuba Reservoir", with 1929 annotation stating as existing then, 1895, blueprint (3077E)

7 2
Sheet including - (A) "Map of part of the G. V. Canal at Sand Hill... June 1871", paper, watercolor; (B) "Plan of Foundation Wall for New Weigh House" (Rochester?), c1849, paper, watercolor (3410)

8 2
Sheet including - (A) Profiles of aqueduct and arched bridges over the Genesee showing elevations, c1870, paper, watercolor; (B) "Map showing the location of Bridges built by the State across the Genesee River in the town of Hume", c1879, paper, watercolor (3416)

9 2
circa 1918 Map of Griffin Creek at junction with Genesee Valley Canal with annotations of proposed work, blueprint, three copies with different annotations (1 of 3)

10 2
circa 1918 Map of Griffin Creek at junction with Genesee Valley Canal with annotations of proposed work, blueprint, three copies with different annotations (2 of 3)

11 2
circa 1918 Map of Griffin Creek at junction with Genesee Valley Canal with annotations of proposed work, blueprint, three copies with different annotations (3 of 3)

12 2
circa 1853 "Map of the Genesee Valley Canal from the City of Rochester to the Rockville Reservoir" (photostat copy)

13 2
1851 "Waste Weir Near Cuba G.V.C.", manuscript contract drawing with watercolor

14 2
1918 "Map of Outlet from Cuba Lake Reservoir", linen, watercolor

15 2
1934 "Map of Rockville Reservoir", with annotations, blueprint

1 3
circa 1920 "Bridge over Spillway Outlet of Cuba Reservoir", three sheets, sections, blueprint (1 of 3)

2 3
circa 1920 "Bridge over Spillway Outlet of Cuba Reservoir", three sheets, sections, blueprint (2 of 3)

3 3
circa 1920 "Bridge over Spillway Outlet of Cuba Reservoir", three sheets, sections, blueprint (3 of 3)

4 3
1919 June "Bridge over Spillway Outlet to Cuba Reservoir", showing property and structure, brownprint

5 3
circa 1879 Maps of Oil Creek (Cuba) Reservoir, surveys and structures, four sheets, blueprint (1 of 4)

6 3
circa 1879 Maps of Oil Creek (Cuba) Reservoir, surveys and structures, four sheets, blueprint (2 of 4)

7 3
circa 1879 Maps of Oil Creek (Cuba) Reservoir, surveys and structures, four sheets, blueprint (3 of 4)

8 3
circa 1879 Maps of Oil Creek (Cuba) Reservoir, surveys and structures, four sheets, blueprint (4 of 4)

9 3
1896 "Map of Outlet of Cuba Reservoir", blueprint

10 3
circa 1850 "Map Showing the Lands appropriated for Oil Creek Reservoir", two sheets, photostats (1 of 2)

11 3
circa 1850 "Map Showing the Lands appropriated for Oil Creek Reservoir", two sheets, photostats (2 of 2)

12 3
undated Rockville Reservoir, pencil sketch, photostat

13 3
1918 "Plan and Description of Bridge over Outlet from Cuba Lake Reservoir", linen

14 3
1918 "Map showing Spoil Banks and Land for which releases must be secured along Griffin Creek, Cuba, N.Y.", linen, watercolor

15 3
1917-1918 "Final Estimate // Tannery Creek, Cuba N.Y.", cross sections, four sheets, graph paper (1 of 4)

1 4
1917-1918 "Final Estimate // Tannery Creek, Cuba N.Y.", cross sections, four sheets, graph paper (2 of 4)

2 4
1917-1918 "Final Estimate // Tannery Creek, Cuba N.Y.", cross sections, four sheets, graph paper (3 of 4)

3 4
1917-1918 "Final Estimate // Tannery Creek, Cuba N.Y.", cross sections, four sheets, graph paper (4 of 4)

4 4
1918 "Cross Sections of Griffin Creek, Cuba N.Y.", seven sheets, graph paper (1 of 7)

5 4
1918 "Cross Sections of Griffin Creek, Cuba N.Y.", seven sheets, graph paper (2 of 7)

6 4
1918 "Cross Sections of Griffin Creek, Cuba N.Y.", seven sheets, graph paper (3 of 7)

7 4
1918 "Cross Sections of Griffin Creek, Cuba N.Y.", seven sheets, graph paper (4 of 7)

8 4
1918 "Cross Sections of Griffin Creek, Cuba N.Y.", seven sheets, graph paper (5 of 7)

9 4
1918 "Cross Sections of Griffin Creek, Cuba N.Y.", seven sheets, graph paper (6 of 7)

10 4
1918 "Cross Sections of Griffin Creek, Cuba N.Y.", seven sheets, graph paper (7 of 7)

11 4
1916 July 18 "Map of Survey of Griffins Creek // Cuba, N.Y.", paper

12 4
1918 "Plan, Profile and Sections Showing Proposed Improvement of Tannery and Griffin Creeks at Cuba", blueprint

13 4
1918 "Map of Proposed Griffin Creek Improvement // Cuba, N.Y.", with red pencil annotations of property releases, blueprint

14 4
1918 "Map of Proposed Griffin Creek Improvement // Cuba, N.Y.... Laws of 1918", showing proposed structures, blueprint, one of two copies (copy 1 of 2 - copy 2 is located in folder 5)

15 4
1918 "Map of Proposed Griffin Creek Improvement // Cuba, N.Y.... Laws of 1918", showing proposed structures, blueprint, one of two copies (copy 2 of 2 - copy 1 is located in folder 4)

1 5
1918 "Map of Proposed Griffin Creek Improvement // Cuba, N.Y.... Laws of 1918", showing profile, blueprint

2 5
1918 "Map showing Spoil Banks and Land for which releases must be secured along Griffin Creek // Cuba, N.Y.... Laws of 1918", blueprint, three copies (1 of 3)

3 5
1918 "Map showing Spoil Banks and Land for which releases must be secured along Griffin Creek // Cuba, N.Y.... Laws of 1918", blueprint, three copies (2 of 3)

4 5
1918 "Map showing Spoil Banks and Land for which releases must be secured along Griffin Creek // Cuba, N.Y.... Laws of 1918", blueprint, three copies (3 of 3)

5 5
1917 "Cuba... copy from County Atlas... 1869", pencil on paper

6 5
1913 February 10 "Sketch Showing Location of Griffins Creek, and Feeder to Genesee Valley Canal at the Village of Cuba, N.Y.", linen, watercolor

7 5
1918 "Map of Cuba... showing proposed improvement along Tannery and Griffin Creeks", brownprint

8 5
1864 May "Map of Black Rock Harbor as Surveyed and Drawn for Messrs. Pratt and Co. by Henry Lovejoy"

9 5
undated Chart, "Fluctuations of Lake Erie at Buffalo", showing changes from 1887 to 1950, blueprint

10 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (1 of 14)

11 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (2 of 14)

12 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (3 of 14)

13 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (4 of 14)

14 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (5 of 14)

15 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (6 of 14)

16 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (7 of 14)

17 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (8 of 14)

18 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (9 of 14)

19 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (10 of 14, 11-14 are located in folder 6)

20 5
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (11 of 14, 1-10 are located in folder 5)

1 6
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (12 of 14)

2 6
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (13 of 14)

3 6
undated Portfolio of photostat copies of Hutchinson survey at Buffalo (14 of 14)

4 6
circa 1920 "Barge Canal Data", listing structures with water elevations and clearances between Buffalo and Lockport, original linen

5 6
circa 1925 List of contracts from Lockport west through Buffalo including Thomas Indian School, c1925, blueprint

6 6
1854 "Maps of the Enlargement of Erie Canal from Sections 330 to 337 Inclusive and from Sections 360 to 367 Inclusive also Guard Lock Section at Black Rock and Mechanical Structure on Same", manuscript title page only with extensive calligraphy (Bisgood)

7 6
circa 1870 Map of the "Village of Lockport" between Vine and Exchange Streets, showing adjoining property owners and buildings, paper with watercolor

8 6
circa 1870 Map of the "Village of Lockport" below flight of lock, paper with watercolor

9 6
1899 Map of the Erie Canal in Tonawanda, photostat copy

10 6
1899 Map of the Erie Canal in Tonawanda, detail between River Lock and dam

1 7
1945 June "Sketch Showing Location of Boat Houses Along Barge Canal // North Tonawanda", blueprint

2 7
1938 "... a True Copy of Pages 5 and 6 of Map of Erie Canal through the County of Niagara... 1868 and 1873 by Thomas Evershed", section west of Lockport / Pendleton line, photostat

3 7
1901 Map of western Lockport, "traced from Evershed Atlas 1868 and 1873", photostat

4 7
circa 1920 Map of Lockport at Main and Niagara, blueprint (two copies) (copy 1 of 2)

5 7
circa 1920 Map of Lockport at Main and Niagara, blueprint (two copies) (copy 2 of 2)

6 7
1931 "Map of Hawley St. and Vicinity // Lockport... Drawn by Julius F. Frehsee", portion, blueprint

7 7
1914 "Map Showing Encroachments over the Blue Line of Property owned by L. E. Huston", west of Exchange Street

8 7
circa 1909 Map, "Showing Encroachments of Michael Enrights property"

9 7
1909 January 6 "Map Showing Encroachments within Blue Line between Lake Ave. and Adams St."

10 7
1909 October 22 "Sketch Showing Drainage Ditch from Sta. 5746+30 to Sta. 5750 // Contract No. 66"

11 7
circa 1909 "Drainage Ditch // Sta. 5719+50 - 5723"

12 7
1909 "Map showing Alteration of Highway in the Town of Lockport... made necessary by the Barge Canal Improvement"

13 7
1910 February 17 "Sketch Showing Proposed Method of Filling in Old Culvert at Morgan's Drydock. // Contract No. 66"

14 7
circa 1910 "Map Showing Encroachment of Niagara Cooperage Co.... Sta. 5824"

15 7
1910 May "Contract 66 // New Culvert at Sta. 5791+90 as Constructed"

1 8
1909 November "Sections of Bank on Berme Side - Contract 66 Near Lock"

2 8
circa 1910 "Location Sketch Showing Proposed Dry Docks", west of Young's Bridge

3 8
1909 October "Contract No. 66 // Sketch Showing Drainage Ditch // Sta 5765+50 - 5780"

4 8
circa 1910 "Contract 66 // Layout and Profile of Proposed Drain from McCabe's Farm to Culvert 123"

5 8
circa 1910-1912 "Contract 66 // Youngs Highway Change. // Made in 1912"

6 8
1915 September 1 "Claim of Frank L. Young Traced From Map Made By Freshee and Olmsted"

7 8
circa 1910 "Showing pave openings in Youngs Tile Drain for stream entrances and for flushing", "Showing Paving and Concrete Headwall"

8 8
1906 November "Chapel St. Culvert // City of Lockport", survey map

9 8
1910 February Drydock sluice design

10 8
undated Map of Lockport to Gasport, Contract 66, with water surface elevations

11 8
1914 "Map showing alteration of Highway in the Town of Lockport... 1909" 812
"Map of lands to be appropriated by the State of New York from H. H. Bugbee in the Town of Royalton", January 9, 1901, traced 1914 813
undated Photostat copy of Map 87 814