Author to present at Town of Madison Historical Society

The Town of Madison Historical Society & the Chenango Canal Association welcomes the public to attend a presentation and book signing by Wade A. Lallier on his newly released book, “Chenango Canal: The Million Dollar Ditch” at the Madison Historical Society, 3606 South St, Madison at 7 p.m. Friday, July 21.

Chenango Canal: The Million Dollar Ditch chronicles the story of a Central New York State canal and how it changed the region. In 1825, the Omnibus Canal Bill had called for a survey of a canal linking the Susquehanna River at Binghamton to the Erie Canal in Utica.

The idea of a canal was well received in the Chenango Valley but was opposed by many outside it. After eight years of legislative battles, the canal was finally authorized in 1833 with a proposed million-dollar budget. Against seeming insurmountable odds, the 97-mile canal was completed in 1836. Touted as “the best built canal in New York State,” the canal was never profitable for the state, but it did bring a measure of prosperity to the communities along its length, delivering cheap coal from Pennsylvania to emerging steam-powered factories.

Refreshments will be served after the presentation. Wade will have copies of his book for sale. This is a free event but donations are welcome for the historical society.

Call Diane Van Slyke at 315-729-8323 for directions or information.

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