Richmond Aqueduct

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

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Spare Seat Picnic at the Richmond Aqueduct, May 5, 2012

Clouds gave way to warm sunshine as our  UK visitors rowed into the park arriving from their stay over in Lyons, NY. We enjoyed talking with them over a relaxing picnic lunch on the Richmond Aqueduct.  I couldn't help but contrast the day to an earlier picnic at this historic location. Built in 1854, the aqueduct had 31 arches. Today there are seven remaining arches left after the Erie Canal was rerouted and dredged out in the Seneca River in 1917. You might also notice our picnic was a bit more informal.

Their journey started on the Erie Canal in Buffalo and will end traveling down the Hudson River to New York City.  Traveling the Erie Canal must seem like a kiddie pool to both Richard Harpham and Glenn Charles who have kayaked in some amazing challenging waters.

The event's main sponsor was I Love New York, and Cayuga County's tourism executive director Meg Vanek helped me to coordinate the day's event.  Lori Solomon-Duell, the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor's director of tourism helped to organize it,  and is traveling to each community along the way to keep the trip on schedule and running smoothly. The event is bringing awareness to many upstate communities along the Erie Canal that are proud of our heritage, and to give visitors a chance to experience the rich natural and historic resources in our canal communities.

Called the Spare Seat Expedition, they are being accompanied on part of their journey in one of the spare seats by smiling Rosie Fuller who is an editor with UK’s Adventure Travel Magazine.  Others have been invited to join them for a ride along the route. Mark DeCracker traveled the 22-mile ride from Lyons to Montezuma. Taking the next twelve-mile stretch was Mike Riley, Trail boss for the Montezuma Heritage Park and canal historian took the spare seat to Weedsport.  (Although I will say, he was somewhat reluctant, but by the time he got to Weedsport he was very glad he went along for the ride.) From there Jeanne Baker opened the Old Brutus Historical Museum to visit the canal displays and exhibits there. They dined at Devaney's in Weedsport before heading to Seneca Falls for the rest of the weekend. Then it's back on the canal at Weedsport to continue their journey. You can follow the rest of their trip on their blog at: Spare Seat Blog

Thank you to everyone who helped to make it possible, those who came out to welcome our guests, and to Richard and Glenn for sharing this amazing journey with us. They told us they would be back again, this time cycling the Canalway Trail. We look forward to their return.

Mark your calendar to visit two National Historic Register sites at our next event on August 11, 2012, starting at 9:00 AM in Montezuma. Mike Riley will be back on land (Yes, he survived it!) to guide us with his popular Cayuga County canal site tour, "Following the Flow; A Tale of Two Erie Canals." . As Trail Boss for the Montezuma Heritage Park, Mike knows first hand plans for the development the park, and will lead a 1.6 mile walking tour sharing highlights of historic canal sites and new trails now open in the park. Mike will also meet anyone that wants to drive on to Port Byron to visit the Erie House with updates on the Canal Society's Erie Canal Heritage Park at the site of Lock 52. The Old Brutus Historical Society Museum will be open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM with displays of canal history. For more information on the tour, details on the sites and photos, visit our blog at  Cayuga County Canals Tour

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