17 June 2023 – Black Walnut Trees, Corduroy Roads, the Erie Canal and the Invention of the Steamboat

Jun 16, 2023 | Uncategorized

Children are naturally curious creatures and with so many under one roof coupled with the fact that we homeschool, we are frequently looking things up to answer the various questions that arise. For instance, the children found that one of the chickens had laid an egg the size of a cherry tomato. We looked it up and found out that such an egg occurs on occasion, that there is no yolk inside and that they are called – by some – fairy eggs.

  • We got a new book on trees and my decision to purchase it was based entirely on the sample page that featured the beautifully illustrated Black Walnut and reading about Black Walnut tree thieves.
from The Tree Book by Gina Ingoglia
  • We learned about one of the first type of roads built in the colonies. They were built of logs laid down side by side in swampy/muddy areas in order to make it easier to travel by wagon, the main mode of transportation back then. They were called corduroy roads because they looked like the textured cloth.


  • We also learned about the Erie Canal. The canal was a huge project that successfully linked the east to the west (west being the land on the western side of the Appalachian Mountains) making it easier for them to exchange food and supplies. It also lead to New York City becoming the country’s biggest port. It was a massive building project that bore a lot of fruit for New York State and the country at large.
from Our Pioneers and Patriots by Rev. Furlong


  • We also learned about the invention of the first successful steamboat. This was a very informative video on that historical achievement.

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1 Comment

  1. John Handrahan

    Loved the video !
    Our specialty at Frank Purcell was black walnut.We had the largest bandsaw in the country to cut it at 75′ and got the highest yield per trunk because of the way we moved the carriage as we cut.

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