Turnpike Canals & Rivers

The 150-mile path to the Susquehanna River

With Milan’s two major east/west roads named “Salisbury Turnpike” and “Salisbury Road” (now known as Turkey Hill Road), it is clear that Salisbury was an important location.

Iron deposits were discovered in Salisbury in 1728 and the industry was active for almost 200 years.  Salisbury iron was the celebrated choice of Connecticut’s early nineteenth-century arms industry as well as the preeminent source of cast iron railroad car wheels until they were superseded by steel.

On August 26, 1802 the Ulster and Delaware Turnpike Road was created to link Salisbury CT with the town of Jericho (now Bainbridge) on the Susquehanna River 150 miles due east.  The Susquehanna runs south for 300 miles where it meets the Atlantic in Maryland.  With countless more connections through the rapidly growing canal-system, the possibilities would be endless.  This road is today known as Salisbury Turnpike.

The 1802 map

The three images below show the 1802 map that was formally submitted in creating the Ulster and Delaware Turnpike, it is part of a map that runs from Salisbury CT to Rhinebeck shore of the Hudson River.  Courtesy the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office.  Far left, unannotated.  Middle shows how a connector created Route 199 and shifted the western part of the town’s main thoroughfare from the south to somewhat north.  The far right annotations shows names used today.

Other related items

The Barge “Milan”

From “Historic Old Rhinebeck,” Howard H. Morse, 1908, page 328.

The poster reads: “The elegant and commodious barge MILAN, Capt. Wm. S. Cramer, will leave the Slate Dock for New York every Tuesday at 6 p.m.  Carries freight and passengers.  Returning every Saturday, leaving at 5 p.m.”

The barge had two decks and a hold.  In the hold at the stern with a room for men, with a bar, table and seats.  Around the sides were berths.  In the rear were the washroom and lavatory.  On the main deck above was a fine cabin, with a few sleeping rooms and berths for women in front.  A dressing room on the end: windows along the sides. The center was a saloon or sitting room, provided with chairs, sofas and small tables for the use of passengers.  Here quite games were played: books and papers read: conversation enjoyed.  At the upper end of this cabin was a long table at which meals were served.  A kitchen, with China and linen closets, adjoined.  The meal was a feature of the trip.  The table was bountifully supplied.  The food well cooked.  And the passengers as a rule hungry.  The captain was seated at the head; he directed the serving and was a great entertainer.  The meal hour was thoroughly enjoyed.  It was anticipated with pleasure.  Expectations were realized. The fifty cents charged for the meal was well invested.

The Milan after years of service was succeeded by the Rhinebeck and then by the Enterprise [Note: Enterprise was a hamlet on the Milan/Rhinebeck border].  These were the Slate dock barges.  The Long dock barge was the Clinton.

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