Saturday, July 19, 2014


This is what's left of an old Erie Canal lock in Pittsford, New York. The original canal opened in 1825 and was only 40 feet wide and four feet deep. This lock operated for about 100 years until the canal was improved, enlarged and rerouted to bypass Rochester's downtown.

Although much of the old canal pathways have been repurposed and carry interstate highways, this section has only been disturbed by the return to nature, and is largely unknown and hidden behind Pittsford Plaza. But to those that know, it also provides a rustic walking trail along the former tow paths.


  1. Thank you for photographing and discussing this lost piece of history. The Erie Canal was an application of 17th Century technology to commercial transportation equivalent to the Interstate Highway System. It was one factor that helped the North win the Civil War, and it opened up the Midwest.

  2. Nice photo and history, John. I've driven along the New York Thruway and have seen another abandoned lock near the road, but it's very well marked. I wonder how many other signs of the old Erie Canal are left out of sight like this one.