The Susquehanna is a shallow river that flows about 440 miles, from Cooperstown to the Chesapeake Bay. Nearly 200 years ago, canals were used to transport goods and people instead of the river. Canal boats would use the river where it was deeper, or where dams had raised the water level. The Susquehanna, stretching approximately
The transportation of goods, services and people was a rough and inefficient undertaking in the Susquehanna Valley in the early 1800s. This would change with the advent of the West Branch Canal in the 1830s. Colonial and later state officials envisioned the idea of canals as far back as the mid-18th century.
The times of the West Branch Canal from the 1830s to approximately the 1880s contain many interesting and colorful events. One of the most colorful was the "Canal Riot of 1833."