Rochester Daily Democrat
February 4, 1854
Canal Feeder to Wellsville
Submitted by Richard Palmer, with our thanks.
The citizens of Amity, Andover, Independence, Scio, Wirth and Bolivar, extreme southern towns of Allegany County, are petitioning the Legislature for a navigable canal feeder from Belfast to the village of Wellsville, in the town of Scio, a distance of eighteen miles.
It is already known that some difficulty is anticipated in securing a sufficient quantity of water for the Genesee Valley Canal, in the vicinity of Belfast, and it is urged that the proposed feeder would afford an ample supply in the most dry seasons.
For this reason the navigable feeder may be indispensable, but it is not the only reason for its construction. The towns above named are densely covered with valuable timber, which it is not impracticable to send to market.
The lumbermen in the vicinity of Wellsville have now on hand 50 million feet of last year’s cutting, because they have no facilities for sending it to market; and the opinion is entertained that at least 100 million feet may be annually sent through the proposed feeder, which would traverse the entire length of the canal from Belfast to this city, and here find a market, and of course swell the tolls upon the Genesee Valley Canal.
Some of it, it might, and probably would, pass on to Troy and Albany. It is estimated that the total increase of tolls from this source would reach $75,000 annually.
At or near Belfast the canal leaves the valley of the Genesee River, and takes a southwestern course to Olean. The proposed feeder continues up the river, and would bring to the main canal a never-failing and ample supply of water. The petitions ask for a survey under the direction of the Canal Commissioners, and it is to be hoped that will be readily granted.