Stand at the Lock 7 Dam overlook at the foot of Sugar Hill Road. Can you visualize what this view must have looked like to native peoples? You would see Goat Island in the middle with rapids cascading down shale bedrock on either side of the island. Many of our present day town roads follow old trails used by native peoples. There is reason to believe that Riverview Road follows one of these pre-European historic trails west and Sugar Hill Road follows another north.
Glacial ice and meltwater played a major role in the geologic and landform development of the Mohawk Valley. Prior to the last glaciation, the Mohawk drained south from Schenectady and joined the Hudson River near Coeymans, NY. Following glaciation, this route was buried by glacial sediments and a much larger ‘Iromohawk’ river drained through the valley. For a period of a few hundred years, while the St. Lawrence Lowland was blocked with ice, the Iromohawk conveyed the drainage of the Great Lakes and the meltwater of the eastern Laurentide ice sheet through the valley. The Iromohawk cut wide channels across the Hudson-Mohawk Lowland, deposited cobble-sized gravels in many locations east of Little Falls, and eroded bedrock between Rexford and Cohoes, forming the route the modern river follows today. – The Mohawk River Action Agenda, NYSDEC, 2012
Under Chapter 532, Laws of 1922, the Superintendent of Public Works was authorized to develop the potential water power at the Barge Canal dams located at Crescent and Vischer Ferry. All Contract work at both plants was completed in 1925. The equipment at each plant includes two 2800 Kw, 0.8 power factor, 3 phase, 60 cycle, 2300 volt, 90 rpm vertical generators, each directly connected with a 4.000 hp, reaction-type, Francis turbine. The generators were furnished by General Electric. Both power plants were officially conveyed to the Power Authority of the State of New York on 13 March 1984 by the New York State Department of Transportation. In 1987 the Power Authority added 6,000 kilowatts of capacity to each plant, more than doubling their capacity. The additional electricity replaced about 3,200,000 gallons of oil annually. The vertical turbines were purchased from Voith Hydro of York, Pennsylvania. Both the Crescent and Vischer Ferry dams and powerhouses were rehabilitated at this time.