Skip to main content
Top

Erie Canal: 200 Years in Pittsford

Erie Canal 200 Years in Pittsford

 

We’re celebrating 200 years of the Erie Canal in Pittsford! 

The original Erie Canal was constructed from 1817 – 1825. The portion coming through Pittsford was completed in 1822 - this year marks the bicentennial of the Erie Canal in Pittsford!  The Pittsford Town Historian Office has planned a series of events and programs in the month of August to commemorate this milestone in our community’s history. They’ve partnered with the Pittsford Community Library, the Pittsford Recreation Department, Historic Pittsford and the Village of Pittsford to offer fun and informative activities to help you learn more about Pittsford’s canal history.  See the schedule below, and for ongoing updates, visit our Erie Canal: 200 Years in Pittsford webpage at www.townofpittsford.org/canal200pittsford.

 

Erie Canal 200 Years in Pittsford

 
Erie Canal: 200 Years in Pittsford Programs and Activities Schedule
Free, unless otherwise noted. If online registration is required, register here.

 

 

Wednesday, August 3, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Sam Patch Canal Packet Boat Twilight Tour with Pittsford Town Historians $20 per person, register online here.


Saturday, August 6, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Historic Schoen Place Walking Tour with Bob Corby - free. FULL - second tour available Saturday, August 13. Register online here


Wednesday, August 10, 4:00pm - CANCELED

Lemonade on the Lawn at Village Hall canal-related children’s stories has been CANCELED due to Main Street Bridge construction.


Thursday, August 11, 9:30am

Canalside Storytime – stories, songs and fun for ages 1 – 6, Pittsford Community Library program in Carpenter Park at the Port of Pittsford, no registration needed. 22 North Main Street.


Saturday, August 13, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Historic Schoen Place Walking Tour with Bob Corby - free, register online here.


Tuesday, August 16, 12:00pm

Seniors lunch featuring canal songs with John Dady at the Spiegel Pittsford Community Center VanHuysen Community Room; $6.00 per person, call Pittsford Seniors Office to register at 248-6235.


Friday, August 19, 6:30pm

Canal history table at Town Summer Concert by the Pittsford Fire Department Band, in Carpenter Park at the Port of Pittsford


Monday, August 22, 7:00 – 8:00pm

The Conception of the Erie Canal – program by museum educator Derrick Pratt, at the Pittsford Community Library, 24 State Street; no registration needed.


Wednesday, August 24, 5:00pm

Picnic & Program: The Erie Canal, The Early Years – King’s Bend Park,  with Canal scholar and historian Craig Williams, also featuring historic canal music by Pete Morrissey; free, but advance registration required; register online here.


Saturday, August 27, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Erie Canal Cemetery Tour at Pittsford Cemetery with Town Historians Vicki Masters Profitt and Audrey Johnson. Free, but registration is required. Register online here.


Tuesday, August 30, 12:00pm

Seniors lunch featuring Canal trivia with the Town Historians, at the Spiegel Pittsford Community Center VanHuysen Community Room; $6.00 per person, call Pittsford Seniors Office to register at 248-6235.


All month long: August 1 – 31

Schoen Place Scavenger Hunt. Correct entries returned will be entered in a prize drawing. Find the Scavenger hunt list here.


All month long: August 1 – 31

Historic Pittsford Self-Guided Tour of Schoen Place. Look for signs with QR codes, and use your phone to scan them and hear audio files to learn about Erie Canal history in Pittsford.


Program Highlights:

Historic Sam Patch Twilight Boat Tour
with Pittsford Town Historians

Wednesday, August 3, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Departing from Schoen Place

Enjoy a twilight cruise on the Sam Patch with the Pittsford Town Historians as we celebrate the bicentennial of the Erie Canal completion through Pittsford. Passengers will receive a Pittsford history book, water and a snack during this 90-minute narrative cruise; tickets are $20 per person. Registration is required through Pittsford Recreation: www.townofpittsford.org/recreation.


Historic Schoen Place Walking Tour
Saturday, August 6, 10:00am – 12:00pm - FULL

Saturday, August 13, 10:00am – 12:00pm - spots available
Begins at Veterans Monument at Port of Pittsford Park, 22 North Main Street
Led by Bob Corby

Celebrate the bicentennial of the Erie Canal completion through Pittsford with a walking tour of Schoen Place led by Bob Corby. Bob, a multi-generational Pittsford resident and former Village Mayor, will discuss the history of canalside landmarks and explain how and why the canal was integral to so much of Pittsford’s history. Free, but advance registration is required. Register online here. Limited to 25 participants.


Lemonade on the Lawn - CANCELED
Wednesday, August 10, 4:00pm

Village Hall, 21 N. Main Street

Due to ongoing Main Street Bridge construction, the canal-related children’s stories program on the lawn at Village Hall has been canceled.


Canalside Storytime
Thursday, August 11, 9:30am

For ages 1 – 6.
Carpenter Park, Port of Pittsford, 22 North Main Street

Stories, songs and fun with Miss Sarah at the gazebo in Carpenter Park at the Port of Pittsford. A Pittsford Community Library program. Free; no registration necessary.


John Dady Sings Canal Songs
Tuesday, August 16, 12:00pm

For seniors.
Spiegel Pittsford Community Center, VanHuysen Community Room

Seniors lunch featuring canal songs with John Dady at the Spiegel Pittsford Community Center VanHuysen Community room; $6.00 per person. Call the Pittsford Senior Programs Office at 248-6235 to register.


The Conception of the Erie Canal
Monday, August 22, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Pittsford Community Library, Fisher Meeting Room

Derrick Pratt, Museum Educator at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, looks at the early efforts to harness New York’s interior waterways and the political wrangling that almost kept the “Eighth Wonder of the World” from happening. This event is free. No registration necessary.


Picnic & Program: The Erie Canal, the Early Years – King’s Bend Park
Wednesday, August 24

King’s Bend Park, North Lodge
Erie Canal Scholar and Historian Craig Williams, music with Pete Morrissey
5:00pm entertainment, 5:30pm picnic dinner, presentation at 6:00pm

Join us for a summer picnic and learn about the early history of the Erie Canal – including the King’s Bend.  Part of the original – and somewhat meandering! – route of the Erie Canal, the King’s Bend eventually became what is now King’s Bend Park. Enjoy music by Pete Morrissey and a picnic dinner (sandwich, chips, cookie and beverage), followed by a wonderfully informative presentation by Erie Canal scholar and historian Craig Williams. View seldom-seen manuscripts from the New York State Archives from the first days of "Clinton's Ditch" – the less-than-complimentary phrase often used to describe the Erie Canal in those early days.  Williams, retired senior historian at the New York State Museum, will provide an illustrated overview of how the people of New York State learned to  survey, design, construct and operate the unparalleled engineering achievement. Who took the first shovel and where? Who did the rest of the shoveling? Once built, who was going to maintain it and how? New Yorkers were the first to undertake such a massive public works project. Presented in partnership with the Pittsford Recreation Department, the event is free but advance registration required – register online here or call 248-6280 for more information. King’s Bend Park is located at 170 Jefferson Road. 


Erie Canal Cemetery Tour
Saturday, August 27, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Led by Pittsford Town Historians Vicki Masters Profitt and Audrey Johnson

Join Pittsford Town Historians Vicki Masters Profitt and Audrey Johnson as we celebrate the bicentennial of the Erie Canal completion through Pittsford with a canal-theme walking tour of Pittsford Cemetery. Hear about a canal contractor and boat captains. Discover those who traveled to Pittsford on the canal and others who lost homes to canal expansion. Free, but advance registration is required. Register online here. Limited to 25 participants.


Canal Trivia with the Town Historians
Tuesday, August 30, 12:00pm

For seniors.
Spiegel Pittsford Community Center, VanHuysen Community Room

Seniors lunch featuring Canal trivia with Town Historians Audrey Johnson and Vicki Masters Profitt. $6.00 per person. Call the Pittsford Senior Programs Office at 248-6235 to register.


Schoen Place Scavenger Hunt
All Month: August 1-31

Explore Schoen Place along the canal and you may win a prize basket from our Town Historians! Pick up a canal-themed scavenger hunt list at the Pittsford Community Library or at the Spiegel Community Center. You can also find one online at www.townofpittsford.org/canal200pittsford. Fill it out and return it to the Spiegel Community Center by September 8. All correct entries will be entered in the prize drawing. Find the Schoen Place Scavenger Hunt questions here.


Historic Pittsford Self-Guided Tour of Schoen Place
All Month: August 1-31

Use your phone to scan the QR codes located near the canal at Schoen Place. Then play the audio file to learn about the important role the Erie Canal has played in the history of Pittsford.


 

Pittsford on the Erie Canal – George Harvey, 1837

 

Pittsford on the Erie Canal – George Harvey, 1837
Image courtesy of Fenimore Art museum, gift of Stephen C. Clark, photograph by Richard Walker