Low Bridge, Everybody Down

A Hundred Miles on the Erie Canal by Rachel Dickinson
The Atlantic, October 2009

Every time I steered my boat past a stone bridge abutment, I’d begin to whisper-sing, “Low bridge, everybody down / Low bridge, for we’re coming to a town.” Certainly that irrepressible song is what comes to most people’s minds when they hear mention of this historic waterway, even if they’ve never “navigated on the Erie Canal.” As a native upstate New Yorker, I had decided it was time to broaden my canal repertoire, and get on the water.

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Video

Just In