In the 19th century, New York’s canals included weighlocks–locks in which barges were weighed to assess a toll–in a number of communities, including Syracuse. The person responsible for weighing barges and collecting tolls was the weighmaster. Weighmasters were employed by New York State from the Canal’s earliest days until the mid-1880s. when tolls ended.
Historian and genealogist Pamela Vittorio will share details about the duties and personal lives of weighmasters during our final final Peggy Lou Feldmeier Lunchtime Lecture of the year, scheduled for 12 p.m. Friday, October 25 at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. Her discussion about weighmasters, who often worked long hours during the navigation season, will focus on the Erie Canal and the lateral canals of New York State.
Vittorio is an educator in New York City and a native of Chittenango, New York. Her research topics include the Erie Canal, the Civil War, migration, and cartography.
Admission to the Ways of the Weighmaster lunchtime lecture is free for Museum members and just $5 for the general public. The Museum and its galleries are handicap accessible, and free parking is in Museum-designated spots in the lot across the street under routes 81 and 690. Join us for this fascinating presentation!