Walk on the Old Erie Canal

20 Stops
Duration: 01:30:00

This mobile tour guides you along the original route of the Erie Canal in downtown Rochester. It starts at the newly renovated Rundel Library terrace. The library stands above the Johnson & Seymour Millrace, dug in 1817. As you walk on the old canal, you’ll see and hear about historic photos taken more than a century ago. To reach the library, take RTS bus number 1 along South Avenue to the Broad Street Bridge, or park at the South Avenue or Court Street Garages.

The Erie Canal is America's most famous, and most important, man-made waterway. It helped open the American frontier. Rochester, like many other cities, towns, and villages, grew along its route from the Hudson Valley to Lake Erie. For almost 100 years, the Erie Canal was a key transportation artery in downtown Rochester. This tour features stories and buildings from Rochester’s earliest days until 1918, when the canal was moved south to Genesee Valley Park, and the canal bed was drained and converted into a subway.

The tour is narrated by Brenda Tremblay, Classical Morning Host at WXXI. It features geo-located historical images from the Rochester Public Library's Local History & Genealogy Division and the renowned Albert R. Stone Negative Collection at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. It was developed in collaboration with the Office of the City Historian and the Rochester Public Library.

For a detailed history of the Erie Canal in Rochester, tap the link: https://www.libraryweb.org/~rochhist/v37_1975/v37i3.pdf

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