erie canal

This photo from the 1880s shows boats on the Columbus Feeder Canal right before its terminus at the Scioto River near West Main Street, formerly Friend Street.
Columbus Disptach / Ohio History Connection

Before highways or even railroads were the preferred means of transportation in Ohio, canals were considered the cutting edge of travel technology.

The first shovels to dig the Erie Canal went into the ground on July 4th, 1817. When it was completed in 1825, the canal transformed the nation’s economy, allowing goods to move from the Hudson River to cities along the Great Lakes.

To mark the occasion, David Alan Miller, the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s music director, dreamed up the plan to commission and perform original works at seven stops along the route.