Richmond Aqueduct

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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Good News for our Neighbors to the East

The Canal Society of New York has received some really exciting news.  This is a project some had long ago given up on, but the Society didn't throw in the towel and fifteen years later it looks like it's going to pay off. The New York State Thruway Authority has announced it will partner with the Society to become a major sponsor of the Port Byron Erie Canal Heritage Park Project which now raises the hope the dream will become a reality.

Founded in Buffalo on October13, 1956, the Canal Society is a not-for-profit educational organization that enables people to visit canal sites in New York State and beyond through regular, organized field trips, to share information and ideas about preserving canal history and traditions, and to advocate for canal renewal and development.
Erie House
Peter Van Detto built the Erie House in the early 1890's. After the Erie Canal closed in Port Byron in 1917, the Erie House was abandoned as a tavern and hotel and became a family residence for the Van Detto's. It remained in the family for more than 70 years. His daughters Theresa and Marie served as teachers at the local schools for many years. Peter also ran a similar tavern near the trolley at Stop 69 in Montezuma. 
The Society's vision is to create  a canal history destination alongside the New York State Thruway in Port Byron.  Within the former canal-side village in Central New York is the well-preserved and very visible Lock 52, a nearby canal prism and dry dock, the Erie House -- which served as a canal-era tavern and boarding house -- a mule barn and a blacksmith shop.

When completed, the site will provide a new and important cultural visitor facility interpreting New York State canal heritage with particular emphasis on America’s most famous canal, the Erie Canal. Because the site will be accessible from the Thruway, the Heritage Park will educate many people who might not normally come alongside a canal. In addition, the project will serve as a point of orientation and introduction to travelers on the New York State Thruway to canal destinations and attractions in other communities across New York State including it's neighbor to the west.

Congratulations Canal Society!  And, kuddos to the New York State Thruway Authority for recognizing the potential this project offers for all of us in New York State. 

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