Tonawanda Creek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the creek in Ontario, see Tonawanda Creek (Ontario)
Old mill dam at the Big Bend of the Tonawanda, downtown Batavia, New York. The choice of this site for Ellicot's headquarters for the Holland Land Company's NY headquarters was probably influenced by a good mill site.

Tonawanda Creek is a small river in Western New York, in the United States.

Description[edit]

The length of Tonawanda Creek is 90 miles (145 km). Its drainage basin is nearly 650 square miles (1,700 km2) in area.[1] It flows on a meandering course for most of its length, first northerly until Batavia where a sweeping bend takes it westerly.

Tonawanda Creek rises in Wyoming County and enters the Niagara River between Niagara County and Erie County, forming a boundary between them. Tonawanda Creek passes through the Village of Attica, the City of Batavia, and flows between the City of North Tonawanda to its north and to its south the Town of Amherst, the Town of Clarence, the Town of Tonawanda, and the City of Tonawanda. Just after being joined by Ellicott Creek, it enters the Niagara River.

The creek has a small 30 foot high waterfall at Indian Falls[2] where the stream descends from the Onondaga Escarpment. The Log Cabin Restaurant overlooks the falls from the south.

During the spring of each year, some sections of Tonawanda Creek flood to varying degrees. These floods are more of an inconvenience than a danger, but can be more serious, especially when ice jams dam up the water. The larger flooding can cause property damage.

Tonawanda Creek is also part of the Erie Canal, which joins the creek southwest of Lockport and allows canal traffic to proceed into the Niagara River. In its upper reaches, Tonawanda Creek and the Little Tonawanda, which is tributary, are trout streams.

History[edit]

The name Tonawanda (Te-ni-wun-da)[3] or (Ta-na-wan-deh'),[4] derives from the Iroquois (Ho-de'-no-sau-nee) language meaning swift water.[3]

Tonawanda Creek flows through the ancient lake bed of Glacial Lake Tonawanda, a prehistoric lake that existed approximately 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age; many of the swamp lands surrounding Tonawanda Creek also date back to this lake.

Downstream of Indian Falls, Tonawanda Creek flows through the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, and where is an NYS historical marker where George Washington made a troop fording across the river.[4]

When the Erie Canal was first built, the Tonawanda Creek was the source of water for the western section of the Canal

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], Friends of the Buffalo Niagara Rivers
  2. ^ Town of Pembroke (A Mini-History)
  3. ^ a b Morgan, Lewis (1901). LEAGUE OF THE HO-DE'-NO-SAU-NEE or, IROQUOIS. VOLUME H (A NEW EDITION, WITH ADDITIONAL MATTER. EDITED AND ANNOTATED BY HERBERT M. LLOYD ed.). NEW YORK: DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY. p. 129. 
  4. ^ a b THE AMERICAN REVIEW; A WHIG JOURNAL DEVOTED TO POLITICS, LITERATURE, ART AND SCIENCE. VOL. VI NEW-YORK: GEORGE H. COLTON, 118 NASSAU STREET, Published 1847, Wiley and Putnam, p. 488.[2]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°1′25″N 78°52′54″W / 43.02361°N 78.88167°W / 43.02361; -78.88167