"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 30, 2012

Aug. 29 – Mechanicville, NY

Just Another Day on the Water
Mechanicville City Dock
We woke to a beautiful day; clear blue skies and the temperatures were going to stay in the 70’s all day…a perfect cruising day. Between the last lock we went through yesterday (lock 7) and the first lock we were heading for today (lock 6) there were a lot of barges and work going on. We thought they were dredging the canal, but we found out from people in Mechanicville they were actually cleaning up PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyl) in the water. I guess I won’t be swimming again until we get back to the Chesapeake. Today’s trip took us through part of the Hudson River and through dug canals that went around the rapids. Some of the trees are beginning to change color…a sign that boaters need to be heading south. We are in Mechanicville tonight, not full of history like some of the other towns on the canal, but there are plenty of basic stores for provisioning. We walked around town a little this afternoon and then went by the grocery store to get a steak and a piece of salmon to cook on the grill.

Mechanicville History: The first listing for a settlement on Thenendehowa Creek is 1721 and the first documented occurrence of the name "Mechanicville" dates back to 1829. The name comes from the early settlers, who were independent master craftsmen such as millers, carpenters, or butchers, whose professions were commonly known as the "mechanicalarts" at the time.

When the Champlain Canal reached the settlement in 1823, and especially when the railway laid a track through the area in 1835, Mechanicville became an important commerce interchange. The first conspicuous casualty of the American Civil War, Elmer E. Ellsworth, was buried in Mechanicville in 1861. In 1898, a hydroelectric power plant was built on the Hudson River and is now the oldest continuously-operating hydroelectric plant in the United States. The Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. With the decline of the railroads and loss of industry in the area, the once thriving city is today a quiet residential city, whose residents work innearby communities.

We haven't seen this much barge traffic since we left the Gulf Coast
Digging up the contaminated dirt
The first covered bridge we've seen
Trees beginning to change colors
Low bridge ahead...they say it's 15 1/2' but we think it was just a little higher
Going slow just in case!
No problem...a whole foot or so to spare. The river is a little low this summer so there was a little more room.
The Volunteer Fire Department were out practicing this evening along the city dock

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