Richmond Aqueduct

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Park Plans to be Unveiled at Public Presentation on December 5, 2013

Doug Gerber, LA, with EDR Companies, discusses plans being designed for Montezuma Heritage Park at the August 2013 Canal Splash community picnic
The public is invited to a presentation on the final schematic design and phasing plans for the Montezuma Heritage Park on Thursday, December 5th, 7 PM at the Town Hall, 8102 Dock Street.

Doug Gerber, LA, with EDR Companies, a landscape architect firm well known for development of park master plans that integrates landscape architecture, community planning, environmental and visual assessment for communities, will give the presentation. He will show the results of a year-long planning project teaming with the Town of Montezuma Heritage Park Committee, the Center for Community Design and Research and students from the SUNY College of ESF School of Landscape Architecture.

The project was funded by an EPF Grant awarded the Town of Montezuma through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Heritage Park Design Committee chose EDR Companies because of their experience and community-centered approach. The project has involved cultural, social, safety, economic, ecological and aesthetic impacts. EDR's understanding of the importance of community participation has opened the door for citizen ownership and long-term success for the Town of Montezuma.

EDR has worked very closely with the Heritage Park Design Committee applying a natural resource-based approach toward development to help realize the vision of creating lasting amenities for the community that include:
  • Providing places for people to play, exercise, and relax and a place for plants and wildlife to thrive. 
  • Imparts enduring benefits on a community through environmental and natural history education, and respite
  • Preserves historic landscapes, protects and promotes regional and state history
  • Offers open space, preservation, safe accessible, affordable outdoor recreation and linkages to the communities and waterways.
An important component of the design is that the park must connect to the hamlet and bring users to the river. The December 5th presentation will unveil a vision showing how we've accomplished this, and are very excited to present to the community. Please join us for this important meeting.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Aqueduct 5K Run/Walk a Success!


A beautiful fall picture was painted in the park with 121 runners/walkers for the historic first annual Montezuma Aqueduct 5K held October 12, 2013. As runners and walkers entered the park from Chapman Road, they stepped back in time glancing at of pieces of history along five different trails nestled in wooded areas along the scenic Seneca River/Erie Canal.

Almost a year of planning went into the event with a tremendous amount of team effort to benefit the Montezuma Heritage Park.  Volunteers also spent countless hours grooming the trails and making sure the course was marked and safe as possible.  My husband Stan, built this bridge with supplies donated by 84 Lumber and Banner Doors, across a small brook on the Seneca River Trail, and installed it with the help of Dave Calvin and John Potter.

Our MC for the day was Bryan Rubenau from Baldwinsville announcing the kick off of the race and cheering the participants as they returned to the finish line along the Byron Lapp Memorial Trail.

The overall top winner was Tyler McDevitt of Syracuse in 20:26 minutes. 

We also want to recognize that the small business community is what came through for us to make this event possible. Small business is what helps keep a community alive and growing. By their willingness to partner and invest with us, they contributed to enriching the life of our community to bring about this event. Below are the major sponsors of the event.

Of course, the shining star of the day was Jacob, a miniature donkey on loan to us by his owners, Sally and Cam Stuart of Throop. We all fell in love with Jacob. He played Sal the Mule for the day, representing the mules that pulled the boats along the towpath He seemed to know how to make everyone smile and when to let out a bellow just at the right time – even at the start of the race. 

To set the tone for the race, we had two local bands that donated their time to entertain us and cheer the participants on. Lock 52 Band, led by Dave Thomas started the race off. 

As the last of the adults came in, the Kids Fun Race was kicked off by Director, Angie Hargreaves, Athletics teacher at Port Byron Central School. 

A couple of our young finishers are cheered onto crossing the finish line!

Later on, we were able to celebrate the finish of the race following the Awards Ceremony with a delicious Chicken BBQ Dinner made by the VFW while listening to the Flock of Free Range Children led by Ron VanNostrand. Co-Director, Margaret Sullivan relaxes and joins the band for a song as the day's festivities wind down.


To round out the day as a fun family event, the kids enjoyed a Bouncie House provided by Funtastic Inflatables. Volunteer PBCS students gave their artistic talents for face painting.

Probably the youngest person at the event was Co-Race Director Kristen Decker's new granddaughter, Zuri Alexandra poses for the camera. Later on the whole Decker family, Jim, Kathy, Brendan and Mason, who where all involved as volunteers, gathered for a family photo, while Zuri napped from enjoying the all that wonderful fresh air. 

Helping to relax and loosen up those tired, aching muscles following the race, Rose Borza, Rose M Massage works her magic by offering massages.

Our neighbors from out on Route 20, the Montezuma Winery joined us for the day.

Grandson, Ben #96 and his friends enjoying some time together.

Under the tent supplied for the day by Auburn Party Rental are Bunny Baker and Barb Black at the Montezuma Historical Society Table.

A BIG THANKS goes out to the Montezuma Fire Department, Assistant Fire Chief Steve and wife, Kelly Thurston, Fire Chief Mike Dailey, June Smith, and the Port Byron Rescue volunteers, Bob and Lucy Ware.  They helped manage and coordinate the traffic, parking, and most importantly were there on hand to handle any emergencies. Also, to all the volunteers who were out on the trails, helping runners stay on course, and ready to give a hand if needed, A BIG THANKS!

Relaxing after the race are Jeff Dawson, Highway Superintendent, and Town Board member, Tom Fitzsimmons. 

And, me -- I enjoyed getting lots of lots of hugs and seeing smiling faces as we celebrated watching it all come together; months of planning and praying for a beautiful sunny day with everyone having a safe, and fun time -- that's what makes this job so special. 

And, we gratefully appreciate our volunteer photographer of the day, Beth Thackrah, Beth of all trades. You can check out the rest of her 5K photo album at:
or visit her website at:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Montezuma Aqueduct 5K Run/Walk - October 12th

The Montezuma Aqueduct 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 12, 2013, was created as a fun family, community event and to further develop the Montezuma Heritage Park. Whether joining the race to run, for a leisurely nature walk or just cheering the participants on, there will be something for everyone to enjoy at this event.

The race is named for the famous Richmond Aqueduct built in 1849 that carried the Erie Canal waters over the Seneca River. It was the second largest aqueduct on the Enlarged Erie with 31 arches, 894 feet long. When New York State changed the route of the canal to the Barge Canal System in 1917, it was dismantled. Seven beautifully preserved arches remain on Montezuma’s east side of the river, and three on the west side in the Town of Tyre as a testament to this engineering marvel.

The course for the race begins at 9:30 AM near the firehouse on High Street, and continue from High Street to Chapman Road before entering the Park. Trails consist of natural covered nature trails under development including cleared earthy path surfaces within wooded areas and along the Seneca River. It also includes areas of varying drumlin elevations along the trail paths.

In addition to the 5K Run/Walk there will be a Free Kids Fun Race starting at 10:30 AM directed by Angie Hargreaves, Port Byron Central School athletic coach and teacher. Youth five to eleven years will enjoy running a one-mile race along the towpath and everyone will receive a participant ribbon.
MC for the event will be Brian Rubenau, with local bands, Lock 52 and Flock of Free Range Children. Following the race the Montezuma Winery will have a wine tasting booth and there will be a Chicken BBQ sponsored by the VFW; the Montezuma Fireman’s Auxiliary will have breakfast pizza, beverages and a cake sale. Funtastic Inflatables will provide a bouncing inflatable fun house and there will be face painting for the kids.

The Race Mascot for the event is none other than a guest appearance of the famous Erie Canal, Sal the Mule’s lineage.

The 5K Committee has been planning the event for almost a year and has asked local businesses to join in sponsoring the event. The local business community has responded with their generous help to make this event possible, and they are listed on the Aqueduct 5K website. For online registration visit:

Hope to see you at the 5K on the Erie Canal October 12th!

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's  Time
  mark your calendar....

 Enjoy History, Beauty and Culture of 19th Century Sites of the Original Erie
and Enlarged Canals, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, Featuring Locks,
Drydock, and the Second Largest Aqueduct on the Enlarged Erie Canal

Followed by Dish to Pass Picnic
Entertainment by the Muckland Crooners Band
Special Presentation on Montezuma Heritage Park
Development Plans & Volunteer Recognition

Starts at 9:00 AM 
Byron Lapp Memorial Trail, High Street off Route 90 in Montezuma
(next to the firehouse)
Picnic to Follow in Pavilion Next to Town Hall, Dock Street

For More Information about Mike Riley's Cayuga County Canal Tours Visit:

Sponsored by:


Montezuma Historical Society
Town of Montezuma
New York State Canal Corporation

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Special Heritage Park Community Presentation

THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013 - 3-5 PM
Montezuma Town Hall 

The Heritage Design Committee has been very busy the last few months meeting several times with 
edr Companies, the Landscape Architectural firm hired by the Town through funding from an Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) Planning Grant.  Doug Gerber, Landscape Architect, from edr has been working with Maren King, Director of the Community Center for Design Research and SUNY-ESF students Olivia Bennett, Peng Xu, and Kiva VanDerGeest who have quizzed us on our vision for the park.

It's been an exciting time as we discussed treating the hamlet as the central focus with a strong visual and physical connection to the park. One of the main considerations was to develop a Town of Montezuma identity that would include the historic Erie Canal and aspects of human development of land use to compliment the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge's environmental development land use.  Their work up to this point has been to perform an inventory and analysis, develop project goals, and program options, develop alternative conceptual approaches, and prepare a conceptual master plan.  There have also been to onsite visits to the park to identify important historic resources, and ideas for the plan. Now that the first phase of this project is completed, the edr and CCDR Project Design Team are ready to present their ideas to the Community.
Kiva VanDerGeest presents conceptual ideas to the Montezuma Heritage Park Design Committee. 

Peng Xu, SUNY-ESF student show drawing of a turn around area near the Richmond Aqueduct and the Seneca River.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013



Montezuma Heritage Park Appreciation Day

Dedication of the Historic Mural, Historic Markers and Park Enhancements


Guest Speaker, Mark DeCracker, MuralMania

with a Special Walk in the Park by Tour Guide Mike Riley


SATURDAY,  MAY 4, 2013 AT 2 PM

Off Route 90, High Street North of Firehouse 

sponsored by Montezuma Historical Society and

Cayuga County Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play


Park Appreciation Day is being created to recognize and thank

 Muralist, Dawn Jordan, the funders and volunteers that have enhanced the park.

Thank you for the support the Town of Montezuma has received to make the Park a great place to visit and enjoy nature, walking trails and historic Erie and Cayuga-Seneca Canal sites.