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.

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