The Venues

WEEDSPORT – JUNE 26 & 27, 2017

This mural is on the north side of the exterior of the Old Brutus Historical Society building. The image represents traveling down the Erie Canal during the early 1900’s, which is where Erie Drive (Rt. 31) is now located. The bridge connecting Brutus Street is long gone but several buildings can still be seen.

DEVANEY’S WATERFRONT GRILL

Devaney’s’s will be the host site for the premier performance of the Clinton’s Ditch outdoor drama on June 26 and 27, in Central New York situated along the scenic waterfront of the NYS Barge Canal and Seneca River

Location: 9347 Stickle Road, Weedsport New York 13166, 1/2 Mile North of Thru Way Exit 40 in Weedsport, New York.  http://www.devaneysriverside.com/

Centerport Aqueduct, north side — looking south

Historic Canal Sites: Just west of the Village along Route 31 is located Centerport Aqueduct Park in the Town of Brutus. It was named “Center Port” Aqueduct because it was located almost in the exact middle of Section 7 of the Erie Canal. It crossed Cold Spring Brook, which gives it its other name, the Cold Spring Aqueduct. At 75 feet 6 inches long, it is the eighth smallest on the Erie. It was completed in 1857 at a cost of $36,000. There are several picnic tables and small grills available.  The Park includes access to a section of the New York State Canalway Trail, a network of almost 300 miles of multiple-use trails across upstate New York going west crossing Centerport Road to Port Byron. Traveling east from the Park on Route 31 the trail connects again off-road trail just east of the Village of Weedsport.

Old Brutus Historical Society Museum, at 8943 N. Seneca Street on Route 34,  has displays to reflect the area’s history as a former canal town before the canal was rerouted through the Seneca River on the outskirts of the Town. To help the visitors better understand the construction of the Erie Canal as it passed through the Town in the 1800’s, the Museum has models of both a lock and an aqueduct. The extensive Erie Canal Resource Center contains slides, books, pictures, and other pertinent items.

Montezuma – June 29 & 30, 2017

The mural is located on High Street at the site of the original Clinton’s Ditch where in 1828 the Cayuga-Seneca Canal connected to the Erie Canal.

GIARDINA PARK

The Montezuma Historical Society will host the second premier performance in Central New York.

Location: 8102 Dock Street, Montezuma, NY 13117, east of State Route 90 and approximately 10 miles west of NYS Thruway Exit 40 in Weedsport.

Giardina Park is located where the original Clinton’s Ditch passed through the Town. When the Canal was enlarged this historic site became a 600′ by 600′ boat basin used for the Enlarged Erie Canal between 1849-1917.

Today the property is the location for the Town Hall and contains a basketball court, running/walking track, youth playground equipment, baseball field and pavilion.

Montezuma is not only rich in history, but also culture connected to the historic trade route that shaped New York State. It became the western terminal when the first section of the Erie Canal opened in 1820. The first portion of the canal began on July 4, 1817 in Rome, NY digging their way to Montezuma by 1819.

Historic Sites: Montezuma Heritage Park consists of 168 acres of parkland acquired by the Town of Montezuma in the 1960′s to be preserved and protected. It holds many significant natural and historic resource sites along the Seneca River/Erie Canal that tell the story of New York State’s Canal System from 1819 to today.

There are now eleven nature trails located along interpreted historic sites of the Erie and Cayuga-Seneca Canal in various stages of development. The remains of the magnificent Richmond Aqueduct, second largest aqueduct on the Enlarged Erie Canal, can be visited along the original towpath trail. Enjoy walking, biking, cross-country skiing, bird watching, and fishing.

The Cayuga/Seneca Canal was connected to the Erie Canal, and in 1828 it opened up 80 miles of lakes to navigation on our two largest Finger Lakes. shown in the mural above located today at the Trailhead on High Street.

Montezuma was a bustling village becoming the head of navigation while the building of the Erie Canal proceeded westward. The first passage boat was built and launched here by Comfort Tyler. The sketch on the right was done by John Henry Hopkins while he traveled the Erie Canal just days after it officially opened in 1825.  Hopkin’s sketch gave a view of the scene where the elevated towpath, a 1,300-foot-long timber structure crossed the Seneca River. It is here that the Clinton’s Ditch Play will tell the story of the canal workers suffering from much illness while building the canal in the Montezuma swamp area. The pilings from the foot bridge remain along the River Trail a short distance from where the remains of the Richmond Aqueduct (above) are located today