Local Motive Power

Local shipyards turned out an extraordinary array of watercraft that crowded onto the lake.  Steamers, ferries, canal boats, sloops, schooners and tugs all rolled off the “ways” of yards that have disappeared completely from the landscape.   A shipyard began operation at Chazy Landing in 1807, followed by others in Rouses Point, Plattsburgh and Champlain.  To look at the Great Chazy River today, one could not imagine that hundreds of canal boats launched from the workshops of Sylvester Alonzo Kellogg and James Averill, Jr, just a few rods downstream from the bridge.  They built traditional canal barges, designed to be towed by mule along the canal.  To navigate Lake Champlain, they had to be tied together into “tows” of a dozen or more and pulled by steamboats.  The same yard also built canal schooners, equipped with two gaff-rigged masts that allowed them to run up or down the lake under sail.  When the barges entered the canal, the crew stepped the masts, stowed the sails and proceeded by mule-power to their destination.

In the next century, the Lozier Auto Company made history with its top-of-the-line luxury touring car, manufactured in Plattsburgh between 1904 and 1914.  The Champlain Valley Transportation Museum in Museum Park on the “old Base” exhibits two restored Lozier touring cars.

the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Andrew Alberti

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