Richmond Aqueduct

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

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Erie Canal Heritage Corridor Point of Interest Sign Arrives Today!

ECNHC Point of Interest Sign
In 2010, the Town of Montezuma was selected as a Point of Interest by the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor along with other canal-related museums and cultural heritage sites as part of the  Erie Canalway Partner Program. The program is intended to advance the goals of the Erie Canalway Preservation and Management Plan by facilitating coordinated and sustained collaboration between the commission and staff and canal-related sites. 

As a part of the program the twenty-five partner and point of interest sites were offered a high quality semi-custom exhibit panel to display. The new panel will be installed on one of the new kiosks designed for the park. It will showcase the park as one of the valuable "gems on the necklace" along the canal system, so that visitors can explore our site and become motivated to visit others along the Corridor. 

The panel, 24" x 36", arrived today, and is it ever a beauty.  I'm so thrilled to see the Richmond Aqueduct portrayed on this panel for the significance it held in Erie Canal history. It is an engineering marvel, the second largest built in 1849. Building this Aqueduct proved extremely difficult as the site was bottomless muck. Wooden pilings were driven over 90 feet deep and no rock was found. Eventually, a "mattress" built of logs was sunk to the bottom of the Seneca River and the stone construction was built on top of this base. The Aqueduct remained in use until 1917, when all but nine arches were dismantled on the east side and three on the west side of the river. The aqueduct was named after Van R. Richmond, the engineer who directed its construction. Today eight arches remain located within the Montezuma Heritage Park.

The US Congress designed the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in 2000 in recognition of the nationally-significant history, scenery, culture, and natural resources of the NYS Canal System and communities along its shores. The National Heritage Corridor includes the present day canal system and its historic alignments. It encompasses 234 municipalities; 4,834 square miles; home to 2.7 million people. It includes over 800 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Montezuma's site listed as the Seneca River Canal Historic District.

The Corridor ties together significant canal sites and communities within the consistent framework that highlights the uniqueness and diversity of individual sites. It brings federal  recognition and resources that serves as a bridge between for local initiatives. 

Thank you Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor -- we're proud to be a Point of Interest and have this beautiful sign!

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