Stone mason work is still visible today!

R. McNulty, Pat Neals, Thomas Welsh and James Young were all listed as stone masons who worked on the Canal during the first attempt (1826 – 1831).   We can’t be sure but they may well have been on the Ship Corsair which arrived in 1827 from Scotland.  Also they may have been involved in the construction of the five locks which were located between the Harbour and Sullivans Pond.   We do know that a number of Irish workers and their families lived in the area of Sullivans Pond in the community known as Irishtown.  What is so exciting is that we can still see elements of their work as one of the Locks which they constructed, Lock 3, was later used to form the east and west walls of the Turbine Chamber on the Marine Railway.  Fortunately, these walls still stand and when the Power House is open to the public you will be able to look down into the Chamber where these walls still stand.  It is fascinating to try to visualize these men lowering one of the large granite blocks or, perhaps, applying wet mortar in the crevices. The back wall in the photo , thewest wall of the original Lock 3, was one of the walls of the Turbine Chamber used by the Marine Railway.   Not long after the Canal ceased operating in 1871, Starr Manufacturing used this same stone chamber to house their turbine to power the equipment used to manufacture over eleven million pairs of skates.  Little did the Irish workers know what would become of their handiwork and the uses to which it would be put. Remains of the other four locks are also buried on the site.

-Bernie Hart