A Link in the Great Chain: A History of the Chemung Canal . Gary Emerson. From 1833 to 1878, the Chemung Canal served as one to the laterals of the Erie Canal through the Cayuga and Seneca Canal. The Chemung Canal connected the Chemung River in Elmira, NY, to Seneca Lake and Watkins Glen. A navigable feeder supplied water to the canal from the Chemung River near Corning. Although the canal had a short life, it did a great deal to change the landscape and the economy of the local area as part of the great chain of canals that once criss-crossed New York State. Purple Mountain Press, 2005, 100pp.