Richmond Aqueduct

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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Does Apple Pie, Church and the Erie Canal Have in Common????

Historic Mentz Church, Montezuma, NY (Circa 1825)
I came across an interesting article about a 1968 Canal Society of New York group tour of the historic canal sites in Port Byron and Montezuma. This organization is dedicated to keeping canal heritage alive, and plans are that Port Byron will house its large collection of canal history at the Port Byron Erie House complex once completed. According to the article written by Betty Auten for the Geneva Times," this  is no small job because progress demands that the old must give way to the new."  I guess that's true, but sometimes those  "old ways" are worth carrying on.  The following legend was shared in the Geneva Times  article:
At 11 a.m., the sightseers left by way of Route 31 for Montezuma. About a quarter of a mile east of the village, the motorcade of 39 cars stopped to see the remnants of the Crane Brook Aqueduct. The prism of Clinton's Ditch curves as it crosses the Thruway and approaches this area; legend has it that this area was called Apple Pie Bend. Whenever the gate-keeper's wife heard a boat approaching in the distance, she would pop an apple pie into the oven so by the time the boat arrived, the men could have a tasty treat.

 This reminds me of a story I heard today about three riders on the "Cycling the Erie Canalway bike ride. These gentlemen seen the sign on Route 31 for the Historic Mentz Church, and decided to take a side trip to check it out.  They stopped and asked Paul Baker how much farther to the church. Paul showed them it was "just up the road a-piece" and asked if they would like to see the inside. So Paul dropped what he was doing in this garden, and gave them the grand tour.  I can only imagine that Paul's wife, Bunny could have been the gate-keeper's wife.  I can see her making apple pie and greeting the travelers along the Canal.  

Paul & Bunny Baker -- Good Ambassadors for our Community
So this was the impression our visitors had as they passed through our town, whether by boat or bike, we can still appreciate those that share their time for others passing through town. Would you want to come back -- I sure would!

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