Richmond Aqueduct

Richmond Aqueduct
Second Largest Aqueduct Built on the Enlarged Erie Canal (1856-1917)

Saturday, June 4, 2011


What happened to our canal town that was once bustling with small businesses and civic organizations that helped support the needs of the community?  The Erie Canal was the catalyst that led Montezuma to grow and prosper by providing a man-made flow of commerce, trade and activity for the town.  When it became time for the old canals to close and move to the outskirts of town,  I believe we lost a sense of place that held it together.  Was the old just really abandoned left to a pile of ashes, or is it ready to give rise to something new.  The new Erie Canal/Seneca River is still on the outskirts of the center of town. We are still connected to it by the parkland that holds our culture and heritage that gratefully has been preserved. We have an opportunity to bring this community alive again through it.   It's flowing and alive with possibility for the town.

When Dan Randolph and my husband, Stan were digging the holes for the sign, they hit ashes. Much of the town burned down with fires that year after year finally destroyed what once existed here.  I found it interesting that we discovered those ashes on the site and at a time where and when we have started to rebuild a sense of our identity and place lost so long ago.

In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage  It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes. It then has the ability to be reborn from its own ashes and become the offspring of the older one.

The Phoenix has long been presented as a symbol of rebirth, immortality, and renewal. The Belgian silver coin commemorating sixty years of peace, depicts the Phoenix as a representation of a new Europe, post 1945. The capital of Arizona was so named as it was built on the ruins of a civilization that had existed on the site centuries before. What endless possibilities are there ready for the Halls of Montezuma to rebirth and renew? As the offspring of the older Phoenix, what can we do to rebuild from the ruins of the past?

1 comment:

  1. Nice piece and important questions you're posing, Cheryl...for your community and our country, i believe.