Sunday, April 7, 2013
Yes...I know I having posted in a very long time. And there is still so much to research and family history to discover. Unfortunately, I am in a time and place where my materials are packed in boxes and my files are inaccessible! So I am using my time to research genealogy on line. From time to time I come across something new to me. Recently I discovered an image to share with you....
Many of the FrancoAmerican ancestors who are the subject of this blog emigrated from the Richelieu Valley to Cohoes in the mid 19th century (see Mapping the Route) because this little town was beaming with commerce and employment at the dawn of the industrial revolution. Cohoes and Waterford are strategically located at the junction of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers where water power energized transportation and manufacturing. There was a little area on the south side of Cohoes called "Juncta" where the Old Champlain and Old Erie Canals came together and then went on to Albany. Present day Juncta doesn't reflect the lively times it once enjoyed as the social and commercial gathering place of canalers and their families, tavern keepers, horse stablers and business people. After the expansion of the canal system in 1918 and the dominance of the railroads, Juncta fell into a decline but if you search present day Juncta, vestigaes of it remain.
Below is a low resolution image of Juncta from the New York Public Library's digital gallery. A more detail view can be seen at NYPL image of Juncta. This was probably illustrated in the early days of the canal - taking a guesstimate it is probably 1840s just before it's heyday.
The rural nature of Juncta stands out in this image and I can't help recall that this spot is close to the area of Green Island we called "the prairie" in the 1950s. On the northern side of Green Island, the prairie was full of woods and marshlands - and the island's dump. Today the area is not as desolate as I remember and many new small industries have been built in the woods and prairie. Still....behind the new industrial buildings, glimpses of the the Hudson River remain. Below is a Google map with the present locations of Juncta and Green Island's prairie.
The New York Public Library and the New York State Education Department both have digitalized images of maps, engravings, stereoptic views and more of the canals and locations where ancestors lived and work and are worth exploring.