We currently travel on the third generation of the Erie Canal, commonly referred to as the “Barge Canal” 2018 celebrates the centennial of the opening of this version of the Canal system. The fact that we travel today on infrastructure designed and built 100 years ago is a great testament to the engineers and builders of the Barge Canal and the foresight of NYS to embark of its construction
The Canal Society of New York State in conjunction with the New York State Canal Corp and in partnership with the Centennial Celebration Committee are hosting two events to mark the centennial opening of the Erie Barge Canal in 2018.
When: Saturday May 5th. Canal Conversation & Symposium
Join the conversation at this daylong public forum in which presenters discuss canal history and its continued value today and for the future. Registration $40, includes breakfast, coffee breaks and lunch.
Thursday May 10th. Centennial Celebration: Watering of the Erie Barge Canal
East Guard Lock just west of Kendrick Rd.
Witness the re-creation of the first inflow of water into the 20th century Erie Canal as “Teddy Roosevelt” sponsors, and other dignitaries greet the public and ceremoniously commemorate the event using the authentic shovel used 100 years ago on May 10th. 1918. Dignitaries will also unveil a bronze plaque to celebrate the designation of the NYS Canal System as a National Historic Landmark. FREE
Canal by Coach Tour: Following the festivities join Canal Society of New York State President Emeritus Tom Grasso and other experts for a guided tour by motor coach of the remarkable canal sites in eastern Monroe County Registration: $60. Includes lunch, bus, printed guide and more.
On the morning of May 10th. 1918 a group of engineers, contractors, workers and a few prominent citizens gathered on the east side of the Genesee River in Genesee Valley Park to inaugurate a monumental, audacious and revolutionary accomplishment in New York State’s long and storied canal history. Water for the first time was let into the newly completed expansion of the Erie Canal or “Teddy Roosevelts Ditch”. Five days later the new Erie-Barge Canal was opened for through traffic from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River. A new era had begun.
Sponsors: New York State Canal Corporation, Canal Society of New York State, Create a Brand, City of Rochester, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Bergman Associates, and John & Eve Graham.
For the second straight year fees for recreational boaters are being waived for all recreational boaters on the Erie Canal Season. That’s the good news, of course that notice came out right after the notification from the New York State Canal Corporation related to the once again shortened schedule for the 2018 navigation season. The revised schedule is posted here.
It is very important that the recreational boaters of the region get out on the water this year, the only way to the Canal Corporation and it’s parent the NY Power Authority will return to a full navigation season is by the boaters and the communities along the canal getting out on the water, attend the waterfront events, use the locks. A record is kept of every lock through done on the entire system. If you’re concerned because the locks in your community are only open to 5, get out and use them. The amount of locking’s in any specific lock is the only way the Canal Corp. can determine the boat traffic in a particular area.
Dates & Hours of Operation during the 2018 Navigation Season on the Erie Canal
The New York State Canal Corporation announced once again that the navigation season on the Erie Canal will be shortened to a schedule similar to the 2017 season.
Boaters are advised that, conditions permitting, the Eastern Erie Canal (locks E-2 Waterford through E-23 Brewerton will be opened on Tuesday May 15th. at 10:00
The balance of the New York State Canal System, including the Champlain Canal, Western Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and the Cayuga/Seneca Canal will be opened on Friday May 18th. at 7:00 a.m. conditions permitting.
The entire Erie Canal System will close for the season on Wed October 10th. at 5 p.m.
The standard hours of operation for the 2018 season are 7 a.m. to 5 pm. with the following locks and lift bridges having extended hours until 10 p.m. from May 18th. to Sept. 12th.
Lock C-1, Halfmoon
Lock E-7, Niskayuna
Lock E-23, Brewerton
Lock O-1, Phoenix
Lock O-2, Fulton
Lock O-3, Fulton
Lock E-24, Baldwinsville
Main Street Lift Bridge, Fairport
Lock E-32, Pittsford
Lock E-33, Henrietta
Spencerport Lift Bridge
Adams Basin Lift Bridge
Park Avenue Lift Bridge, Brockport
Main Street Lift Bridge, Brockport
Holley Lift Bridge
Hulberton Lift Bridge
Ingersoll Street Lift Bridge, Albion
Main Street Lift Bridge, Albion
Eagle Harbor Lift Bridge
Knowlesville Lift Bridge
Medina Lift Bridge
Middleport Lift Bridge
Gasport Lift Bridge
Exchange Street Lift Bridge, Lockport
Lock E-34/35, Lockport
Lock CS-1, Cayuga
Lock CS-2/3, Seneca Falls
Lock CS-4, Waterloo
In addition to the structures listed above, Locks E-2 through E-6 and Guard Gate #2 in the Waterford Flight will operate on demand from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Thursday through Monday from May 18th to September 12th. During the same period, the hours of operation for the Waterford Flight will be 7:00 am to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Due to roving operations, some delays may be experienced during certain periods in the Waterford Flight.
Vessels are required to arrive at a lock at least 15 minutes prior to closing to ensure being locked through, and at a lift bridge at least 5 minutes prior to ensure an opening.
If there is any positive information out of the Canal Corporations continued reduction in the length of the navigational season it’s the fact that they have once again suspended the fees associated with recreational boating.
We welcome your comments on this years schedule. All comments will be forwarded to the Canal Corporation.
No matter how you visit Seneca Falls, the iconic Trinity Church is a landmark you can’t miss. With it’s history dating back to the mid 1800’s we pick it’s history at the time of the creation of Van Cleef Lake and the current day Erie Canal, The content below was taken from the history page of the Church’s website
The rebuilding of the Seneca-Cayuga Canal by New York State in the 1910s impacted the Trinity Episcopal Church. The State’s choice to construct two consecutive locks within the village of Seneca Falls necessitated the creation of an artificial water body—that would later be named Van Cleef Lake. This lake would raise the water level approximately 49 feet. Interestingly, numerous newspapers throughout the state in mid-May 1915 printed an article like what appeared in the Lowville Journal and Republican on May 18, 1915: “Trinity Episcopal church at Seneca Falls is to be razed to make room for barge canal work.” The Seneca Falls Reveille reported that the State of New York had taken possession of the property “by the reason of the construction of the barge canal. This arbitrary action on the part of the State leaves the parish without a church in which to worship, and there seems to be no immediate remedy. It might have been otherwise had wise councils prevailed.
The church itself is a model structure and its loss will be keenly felt. It was built with great care and is regarded as one of the most attractive houses of worship in the diocese, with its elaborate and expensive memorial windows, its fine altar equipment and its general architectural appearance. It seems like sacrilege and profanation to destroy such a structure with all of its tender and sacred associations.”
Fortunately, these articles were wrong. The congregation fought the state takeover of this property. It took a while, but the beautiful church was spared to the extent possible. The Church basement was filled with dredged rock. The State paid the Church $25,000 (plus $800 interest) to help compensate for the impact. This money was used to build a new heating plant, and Sunday school rooms on the west side of the church.
The new parish hall proved to be a timely addition as a base of operations of area churches providing food for many sick families in the great Influenza Epidemic of 1918.
According to Liza Merriam, this interchurch effort was the basis of the formation of the Seneca
County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The lawn of the Trinity Church was the location for an elaborate pageant that was part of the village’s 1923 75th anniversary celebration of the 1848 woman’s rights convention. A cast of
500—including Elizabeth Delavan and her sister Gertrude Garnsey—performed in this pageant that was directed by Clare Booth. (This 20-year-old woman later married Henry R. Luce and became a playwright and still later the American ambassador to Italy during the Eisenhower administration.) The village hosted a reception for 500 visitors on the church lawn. This was perhaps the largest anniversary celebration of the 1848 convention that has ever been held. 49
The present organ was installed in 1924.50 It was made by the M.P. Moller Company. It has two manuals, 35 registers and 9 ranks.
In 1954-55, the parish house was renovated. The stage was removed, Sunday school rooms were enclosed, and a second floor was put in.
A few years ago, a new concern arose about the erosion of the bank by the Seneca- Cayuga Canal. Where there had been as much as 30 feet of lawn separating the church from the water, the continued erosion had reduced the distance to about 5 feet. Because of the pledge that the State had made at the time the canal was rebuilt (see earlier paragraph), the church was successful in getting state and federal funding to build a new retaining wall along the canal bank to prevent any further loss of church land to the flowing water.53
On June 14, 1981, the Trinity Episcopal Church celebrated its 150th anniversary at a festival service of the Holy Eucharist. Three former rectors of the parish—the Rev. Frederick W. Kates, the Rev. Charles Sykes, and the Rev. Robert Shackles—were present. Also attending were the Rev. Leo Dyson and the Rev. Jeffrey Knox, both of whom were “raised” in the Trinity Church.54
In 1993, the present rectory was purchased. It is located at 45 E. Bayard Street. This is the 15th different location at which rectors of this church have lived. The first rectory was at 70
Cayuga Street and was built in 1863.
The church is currently making use of a grant funded through the Environmental Protection Agency 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air program. It is a program with a cost of over one million dollars. It has included repairs to the tower and some of the stained-glass windows.
Twenty-First Century History
In winter 2006-07, the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry used the Trinity Episcopal Church as the subject of its 2nd Annual Winter Painting Contest. Kate Hathaway was winner of the 1st Prize. Reflecting on her award, she said, “Painting makes me happy and gives me peace
The Erie Canal, the eighth wonder of the world is currently celebrating the bi-centennial of its creation. It is one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world and it might be the most underutilized recreational resource within New York State. Organizations such as Canal NY actively work to promote the system as well as the businesses within the Erie Canal Corridor.
Erie Canal Floating homes is a program designed to
1)Promote increased use of the Canal
2)Enhance economic impact throughout the communities within the Erie Canal Corridor.
It’s all about the water right, and getting out on the water is the number one way to experience the canal.
People utilize the canal in three ways.
Boaters travel the Canal on their own boats, they visit communities along the Canal, on vacations and long weekends,
They spend time on their boats at their home port marinas, or they use their boats as day boats for being out on the lakes, for activities such as fishing, tubing, raft ups at swim areas, or visiting dock & dines
People looking to visit the Canal can take advantage of day trips provided by tour operators, or even rent a boat for a week or more and chart their own course on the Canal.
The biggest challenge to boating the canal is time, the time necessary to experience the Canal.
The idea of encouraging the use of floating homes along the Canal system to allow for more tourists to travel to and experience the Canal is exciting.
There are basically two different types of docking opportunities available to transient boaters, the first are from the communities along the Canal System that offer boaters the opportunities to spend the night, visit the community and avail themselves of the resources within these communities. The second docking opportunity comes from the marinas that are in close proximity to the communities, this dynamic sometimes puts these two entities in direct competition with each other and in some communities has forced the elimination of the amenities normally available to the boater
What if these marinas had the ability to fill their slips, maybe even utilize areas of these facilities that have proved difficult in the past, such as those areas that have access issues or low water depth.
What about marinas located in areas where transient boaters typically have passed them by? What about areas of the Canal that have been totally ignored by companies investing in similar businesses. Are there portions of the Canal that the State would like to see economic impact improvements within? Are there locations which once housed marinas that could be re-opened. These marinas could be much simpler to construct. They wouldn’t need fueling infrastructure, they wouldn’t even need to be constructed with travel lifts, the floating homes could be easily lifted out of the water after the season by the use of a crane hired for a day to lift out all the boats and place them on shore, same process could be done in the spring. Boats could be built with lift points built in place to simplify the process.
These boats could also be placed in areas that have been identified as flood plains and other areas where construction has proved to be challenging!
Sanitation for these boats could be built using a site wide pump out system connected to either a municipal sewer system or onsite treatment plant. The technology even exists to install a system that incinerates all liquid and solid waste and the results are a small amount of sterile ash that can be removed once a week or so for those areas that are truly remote.
These boats could be purchased by individuals for docking in existing marinas or waterfront campgrounds, or by the marinas themselves to be placed in rental fleets
The Canal systems could easily accommodate 100 boats or more throughout the 524 miles of waterway. Each of these boats could generate thousands of dollars annually to a marina from docking and storage revenues. Organizations which wanted to own and operate rental units could be placed in systems such as Airbnb or VRBO. Boats placed in marinas could generate additional revenue such as pontoon or fishing boat rentals, or create opportunities for marinas to update their facilities like adding a workout room or maybe even a pool.
Another version of a floating community is located in Clinton Ohio at a marina just off of Lake Erie, these floating homes are set up a little different and allow each owner the ability to park a boat adjacent to their floating homes as part of their monthly slip fees.
Floating Homes originated on the west coast in cities like Seattle, and a company call eco-sea cottages has created a product that can be delivered to any city or town in the country and will even locate a slip for your boat should you wish to purchase from them. They too offer outboard engine and steering packages which would allow you to move a boat in limited situations. For more info visit their web site www.eco-seacottages.com
A classic movie that first appeared on the big screen in 1946 is now about to celebrate it’s 71st year and Seneca Falls, considered to have been the community that the Frank Capra directed movie is based on celebrates the classic film once again on December 7th 8th, 9th and 10th. with a weekend full of events located throughout the town.
An Old Time Radio Theatre Broadcast performed by the Seneca Community Players at the “Bedford Falls Bijou Theatre” kicks off the celebration on Thursday night Dec. 7th. and the weekend closes with the Ringing of the Bells by the churches of Seneca Falls in honor of those who made a difference in our lives. Remember every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings!!
The weekend is packed with events on each day including It’s A Wonderful Life participation movie on Friday night where there will be opportunities for Singing, Dancing, and Laughing. Before the movie take in the Mrs. Martinis Pasta Dinner & Movie Trivia from 5:30-7:30
On Saturday Join in on the Taste of Bedford Falls, wonderful food & drinks from many of the fine establishments from “Bedford Falls” from 5pm-7pm and then walk over to the Party in Pottersville being held each night of the event in a heated tent, with Beer, Wine, Soda, Cider, DJ, Dancing with two bars and light snacks available.
On Sunday take the “Bedford Falls” express a 90-minute train ride from Academy Square across Cayuga Lake to the Cayuga train station and back to Seneca Falls. These are just a few of the long list of events happening in Seneca Falls during the weekend. A full schedule of events can be found at www.therealbedfordfalls.com
While visiting Seneca Falls don’t miss the opportunity to visit the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum located at 32 Fall St. As you travel around Seneca Falls, think about how Frank Capra used his visit to Seneca Falls as a backdrop to Bedford Falls. Whether it’s the steel truss bridge, or the Partridge Building, Mr Partridge was the name of the high school principle in the Film. Seneca Falls had a very prominent family of bankers and merchants named Partridge. Visit the museum to learn about all the similarities between the movie and the town of Seneca Falls.
Seneca Falls located in the heart of the finger lakes surrounded by wineries and breweries, as well as being a prime location on the Cayuga / Seneca Canal is also the birthplace of the Women’s rights movement being the home of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park
Seneca Falls was the place to be on Saturday Oct. 7th. for their first annual Locktoberfest. A little rainy weather in the morning didn’t keep visitors away from the Canal Harbor for a day of food, crafts and music.
Great BBQ was on the menu from 3 different vendors, Craft beers and local wines were served, pumpkin decorating, four great musical acts which played throughout the day. When the sun went down the party didn’t end when barrels were loaded with wood and lit on fire along the canal wall.
40 boats had cruised into the harbor starting on Wed and the boaters were there to celebrate the end of the boating season.
All had an enjoyable day and with the first Locktoberfest being such a great success, it was announced that the event will be back and hopefully that means a multi-day celebration.
The Erie Canal, often referred to the NYS Barge Canal includes 524 miles of navigable waterways throughout NYS. The Canals that make up the Erie Canal System include the Cayuga / Seneca, The Champlain, The Oswego and the Erie itself. These 4 Canals allow for travel from inland NY to anywhere in the world.
The 4 individual canals today total 524 miles of navigable waterways. There are currently 55 locks and 18 lift bridges amongst the Canals. Total lift is 568’ and the largest lift is lock at Little Falls with 49’of lift. It is also the only lock on the system that uses a drop door instead of the standard swing doors used elsewhere. The flight of 5 which consists of locks 2-7 just west of Waterford is the greatest elevation change on any navigable waterway in the Western Hemisphere. The Erie Canal is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is also a National Park Historical Site.
The Erie first envisioned in the early 1800’s by NY’s then governor Dewitt Clinton was first dismissed as crazy and was referred to early on as Clinton’s Follies. Hope was that the Federal Government would help fund the project, but that never happened and New York State went it alone. Construction began in 1817 and was completed in 1825 at a cost of $8 million dollars, the Canal ended up paying for itself in less than 8 years. New York City soon became the largest port in the United States as a direct result of the construction of the Erie Canal. The opening of the canal in 1825 allowed for goods and people to be shipped in half the time and at one tenth the cost of the conventional methods of the time.
The Canal has evolved throughout the years from what was originally referred to as Clinton’s Ditch where mules walked the tow path towing barges and boats up and down the canal. The advent of mechanically powered vessels allowed for the use of the lakes and river sections which continued to speed travel along the Canal. The final version of the Canal was opened in 1915 and is what we travel on today. The infrastructure visible along the Canal today is the same technology that was designed and built back in 1915 and still amazes visitors to the Canal each day.
New York State understood the value of the Canal when it guaranteed its continued existence by amending its constitution in 1938 during a constitutional convention.
The Canal Today:
Continues to be used for commercial shipping albeit in a limited fashion. It is used as a source of water for agricultural purposes, it is used to generate electric through it’s more than 2 dozen hydro-electric power plants scattered throughout the Canal System. The Canal is also used as a very important means of flood control. Today the greatest use of the Canal System relates to tourism. The Erie Canal passes through 5 of NYS’s travel regions. Whether Boating, Bicycling, Hiking or Road Tripping through the Erie Canal System, the opportunities are virtually limitless. The Canalway trail is now more than 75% complete, NY has committed to completing 100% of the trail by 2020. Boaters have access to the 524 miles of waterways, with marinas throughout the system available for transient and seasonal docking or the many communities that open their doors to boaters many with free docking, free electrical, wi-fi, bathrooms and shower facilities. The Cayuga/Seneca connects the Erie Canal to the two largest Finger lakes. From Fishing to Wine tasting those lakes offer boaters and visitors alike world class opportunities for enjoyment.
The Oswego Canal connects the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario and beyond. The Lake Ontario region offers visitors World Class Fishing, and the ability to travel by water to Canada and beyond.
The Champlain Canal region is steeped in history dating back to the formation of the United States. Allowing travelers to transit from the Hudson River to Lake Champlain and onto the Chambly Canal.
The Discover the Erie Canal site has been designed to be the most comprehensive online resource on the Erie Canal. It not only provides travelers who wish to experience the Erie Canal with all the information they need to maximize their trip, but also provides visitors with information on the history, news and events and information on the more than 200 communities that surround the Erie Canal
Locktoberfest is a NYS Canal Corporation sponsored series of events located throughout the Erie Canal corridor. This year is no different with events located in five communities on all 4 sections of the Canal
Lockport located on the western section of the Erie Canal. Locktoberfest in Lockport is scheduled for Sept. 30th from the hours of 12 noon – 6 pm. A celebration of their local heritage, their farms, food, crafts, and community all built on the shores of the Erie Canal. For more info on the event in Lockport visit their web site at www.locktoberfest.org.
Seneca Falls hosts there first annual Locktoberfest celebration on Oct. 7th. The event is scheduled to last all day with vendors, music, food, and boats.
This will be the last weekend of boating on the Canals and Seneca Falls will be the place for boaters as Seneca Falls welcomes boaters with more than 900’ of docking available. Free electric, wi-fi and boater amenity center all make for a great experience while visiting Seneca Falls
Rome, where the first shovel for construction of the canal 200 years ago went into the ground celebrates Locktoberfest on Oct. 7th from 11 am. – 8 pm. Rome celebrates Locktoberfest on the waterfront in Bellamy Harbor. Craft Beer and Wine Tent, Food Trucks, Pony Rides, and celebrate the grand opening of the Navigation Center and the lighting of the Water Tower at 6pm. More info at [email protected]
Phoenix home of the bridge house brats celebrates Locktoberfest on Oct. 7th. Their event runs from 11 am – 8 pm. Visit the Stage Street Food Court which will be featuring over 30 food trucks & vendors offering $1.00 samples and full menus of festival favorites.
Two full Beer & Wine Gardens including NY’s finest craft beers, ciders, wine, slushies, smoothies and more!
Live music will be featured during the event on the Great Outdoors main stage along with acts appearing on their new second stage located on the northern end of State Street.
Countless Crafters and artisans will be on hand selling locally made unique creations!!
Fort Edward on the Champlain Canal celebrates on Oct. 14th. with an all-day event.
The Ultimate Finger Lakes Wine and Dine Tour Road Trip
Set in the heart of the Finger Lakes, Cayuga County is no exception to the presence of wine and great culinary bounty. Enjoy a day of experience quality wines made by quality people who you’re sure to meet along the way!
Start the day on a quest for the perfect wine glasses at Mackenzie-Childs. Tour the restored Victorian Farmhouse overlooking Cayuga Lake, and see the beautiful hand-decorated ceramic tableware and home furnishings. Watch a video of the production process at the Visitor Center, browse through the retail shop and enjoy the country gardens.
Next visit the quaint Village of Aurora for shopping in it’s unique stores. Be sure to stop into Bet the Farm Winery & Gourmet Market, a charming, specialty shop featuring their own wines, plus a quality selection of other Finger Lakes wines and gourmet foods from the region.
For lunch, enjoy the refined American cuisine inspired and influenced by fresh regional products and produce at the Aurora Inn Dining Room. Dine lakeside – inside their lively dining room, or outside on their beautiful veranda.
Or opt for Pumpkin Hill Bistro’s peaceful storied setting for a meal prepared with locally sourced ingredients. For a memorable experience try a fine selection of wonderful Cayuga Lake wines and delicious farm fare while enjoying a beautiful setting.
After lunch, head just up the hill to Long Point Winery. Overlooking the lake, the awe-inspiring views take a back stage only to the medium to full-bodied award-winning wines you’ll experience in the expansive tasting room.
Finish touring for the day at King Ferry Winery, a small farm winery known for award-winning Treleaven wines, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Meritage aged in French and Bavarian oak barrels.
Before dinner enjoy some drinks and good times while taking in historic downtown Auburn, at Prison City Pub & Brewery. Then head off to Oak & Vine at Springside, a modern gastro-pub for dinner with a view. Enjoy a drink on the terrace and try an array of American cuisine featuring locally-sourced products.
After dinner, enjoy Broadway musical theatre at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse located in Emerson Park on the shores of Owasco Lake. Finish your evening at Green Shutters Restaurant for a delicious ice-cream cone and walk on the Owasco Lake Pier.
Start the day at Izzo’s White Barn Winery: set on 14 acres of old farm land blessed with its own pond fondly named Lake Lorraine after the co-owner Lorraine Izzo. Enjoy their signature “White Barn” wines as well as traditional Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.
Next stop at CJS Vineyards & Aurelius Winery. Established in 1995, this small vineyard and winery is the pride and joy of the Scholomiti Family, producing fine Finger Lakes table wines, specializing in Riesling and Chambourcin. Visitors to their relaxed tasting room enjoy the personal touch of their friendly, helpful hosts. Their winemaker loves to share wine stories and helps many homemaking wine visitors with their craft.
Break for lunch at the Refinery in Auburn. This recently renovated restaurant conveniently located adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn, serves a mix of traditional pub fare with a new school twist, and takes inspiration from the gastropub concepts.
For a unique spin on wine, finish Day Two of your tour with a stop at The Apple Station. Known for many years as a great place to pick and buy apples, the Apple Station now produces and features apple, grape and blended fruit wines.