The Canal Survey Map of Rome (1834)1 shows the layout of the area when the Rome Canal, the Mohawk River, James St., and Dominick St. as well as the site of Fort Stanwix, bridges, and buildings. The map (seen below) makes it clear how the intersection ended up looking the way it does today.
A contemporary description of the original Rome Canal site: At Rome a canal 5,352 feet long was proposed as a substitute for the ancient portage path; “apparently the mean depth of the earth to be removed for forming the Canal would be about twelve feet at the greatest depth, hence about 642,240 cubic feet of earth must be removed. The ground though soft is so much interwoven with the roots of trees, and the work will[Pg 30]
also be so much retarded by the influx of water into the Canal whilst digging, that it is supposed that one man could not remove above fifty cubic feet per day, hence 12,845 days for one man would be required; which at 4s. per day amounts to £2,569. In very dry times, such as the present, the water in the Mohawk is so little that none can be spared to increase the quantity in Wood Creek. A bulkhead must therefore be placed ... precisely of the height with the level of the water in the Mohawk, a boat then in this low state of the river coming up Wood Creek ... must unlade, and be drawn across the bulkhead into the Canal; there reloaded and proceed through the Canal into the Mohawk River; but when the Mohawk River rises so much as that a quantity of water equal to carry an empty boat is added to the water in the river, the water on the bulkhead will rise to nearly that height, and the empty boat will pass. If the rise be equal to the water drawn by a loaded boat, the boat and its cargo will pass the bulkhead into the Canal. It is evident by this arrangement the navigation of Wood[Pg 31]
Creek will be much mended whenever the water in the Mohawk is higher than at present. The whole expence at this place will probably not exceed £3,000.”3