Thanks for joining us in the celebration of the 54th anniversary of Datiko’s Haberdashery and the 192nd birthday of the Erie Canal.
You remember the Erie Canal? I do. In elementary school we sang the “Erie Canal song”. At least I think we sang it; I cannot confirm it but I know it to be true. The Erie Canal song - “Ive got a mule and her name is Sal, fifteen years on the Erie Canal” = was one of those songs foisted on us during elementary school like “This Land is My Land”, “Jimmy Crack Corn”, and “Winchester Cathedral”. The latter song was a favorite of my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Adams. On rainy days when we could not go outside for “recess” she would have us stand by our desks and she would lead us in calisthenics while she played this song on the record player. A bizarre but vivid memory for me and, I’m certain, my fellow bright-eyed classmates. Mrs. Adams also told us that by the time we were able to drive there would be flying cars. I think she watched too many Jetson’s episodes, I am still waiting.
Where was I? Oh yes, the Erie Canal. It opening on October 26, 1825 provided a much-needed path over the Appalachian Mountains and enable westward movement and growth of the United States. “From end to end, Hudson River to Lake Erie, the canal would be 363 miles long. (Andrist, Ralph K.. The Erie Canal (Kindle Locations 362-367). New Word City, Inc., Kindle Edition.) The success of the Erie Canal spawned many similar canals especially in the new states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Ohio developed hundreds of miles of canals which brought people and business to cities such as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, and Dayton.
My great, great, great grandparents emigrated from Germany in 1851 settling in Cleveland, Ohio. There could be many reasons for this but I have to believe that the promise of Cleveland (and Ohio) were a main attraction. Their arrival in 1851 would make them early adopters of Cleveland, a city poised to explode in size due to the industry fueled by Ohio’s canal system. (Cleveland’s growth would not begin to wane until 100 years later.)
Fast forward a few years, my mother is born, and my maternal grandparents settle in Toledo, Ohio. In 1956 my father’s search of adventure and a job brings him to Toledo, Ohio where he meets my mother. Datiko’s Haberdashery opened a few years later, in 1963.
Thanks for sharing our anniversary with us and remember to heed the warning, “Low Bridge, Everyone Down”.