The Travels of Tug 44

Oak Orchard Lock
Clay, NY

The Oak Orchard Lock was built in 1840, and its one remaining wall is now part of the south wall of the modern Erie Canal at Buoy G183, 2 miles west of Erie Canal Lock E-23. It can be reached via Oak Orchard Road, near Morgan Road, in Clay, NY. The historic marker sign looks like it hasn't had paint on it in 50 years.

The old lock wall looks like a pier wall in front of the house. The lock was part of the "Oneida River Improvements" which connected the Oneida River and Oneida Lake with the old Oswego Canal and the rest of the NY Canal System.

The curve on the western end of the wall is not typical of most locks of the old Erie Canals.

This detail near the western end of the wall shows that part of the wall has had its height increased at some point. The stones on the higher section still have wrought iron "staples" set into the stones, pinning them together, indicating this was original construction, or at least was done soon after. Oddly, the higher section of wall is at the lower end of the lock.

The lower level of the wall on the eastern end also has original iron work. Seen here are the straps that once held the door's hinge pin (quoin post) in place, which indicates this was original construction also.

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