This is a record of our plans and development of a public park on 140 acres of historically and ecologically significant open space land along the Seneca River/Barge Canal in Montezuma, NY. Along with plans for the park, local history and events are shared as it relates to our Erie Canal heritage.
Second Largest Aqueduct Built on the Enlarged Erie Canal (1856-1917)
I started this blog over three years ago when the Montezuma Historical Society began making plans for an archaeological dig near the Lock 62 site on Clinton's Ditch. I remember the walk back from the site when Dave Babson, archaeologist and my friend, Margaret Sullivan, suggested a blog could be started to document the dig. "Hum, a blog?" I said. "I guess I better find out what one is." This marks my 100th post, and we now have had over 10,800 views. I've enjoyed keeping readers up-to-date on the progress that has been made over that time. Like any development of this scope, there have been plenty of ups and downs, and what at times seems like slow progress, or even no progress. Looking back, I can see how far we've come. I've been privileged to work with wonderful dedicated volunteers, and the Highway Department that have made the difference in what you see here, and that's what keeps me motivated and inspired to carry on. There has also been wonderful support from Parks and Trails, New York; the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor; Mural Mania; Cayuga Community College; SUNY, ESF; and the County Planning Department. With the financial help of the Montezuma VFW, Cayuga Community Foundation, A-Verdi Containers, Cayuga County Creating Healthy Places Grant, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and Parks and Trails, New York, we've come a long way.
WOW -- what progress! THANKS EVERYONE!
Last weekend was one of our scheduled Fall trail work days in the park. Heavy winds and rain were predicted. A handful of workers came out to help: Mike Riley, Town Councilman Tom Fitzsimmons, Jim Decker, Stan and myself. With the sky threatening to open up any time, we decided to stay close to our cars in case we needed to take shelter quickly. Mike suggested we work on clearing in the Enlarged Erie Canal site on High Street next to the fire house. So off the guys went with chain saws and weed wackers into the canal bed. We ended up with a huge pile of brush, garbage, and stacked wood. It was amazing what a small group can do in a short time. It started raining late morning, but they made great progress in clearing the area. Denny and Dustin from the Highway Department brought the chipper down and cleared the pile of brush on Monday. We put a "free" sign on the stacked wood, which someone claimed this week.
The "before" and "after" photos show how much this site has changed in a year and a half. Gone are the two old trailers, old shed, and piles of junk, since the Town Board voted to buy this historic site. Now we have a nearly completed mural, kiosk, memorial marker for the Byron Lapp Memorial Trail, and a historic roadside marker that honors this very important historic site in our community.