Old Brutus Historical Society

8943 N. Seneca St., Weedsport, NY 13166 (315) 834-9342 www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycayuga/obhs
The Old Brutus Historical Society was chartered in 1968. The building at 8943 N. Seneca (Rt 34) once housed the Cayuga Chief Newspaper. This solid building became the Old Brutus Historical Society museum and archives, providing a place to safely store and display artifacts. Just behind the museum was the route of the Erie Canal. Look for the canal mural. As well as providing a place to store and display local history, the Society endeavors to make the public aware of their heritage. This is accomplished through displays in the main gallery and large front windows. These displays are changed a twice each year. A permanent display is set up on the lower floor. This area features an old time kitchen, a rural one-room schoolhouse, a cabin of a canal boat, craftsman tools, farm tools, and items that were once manufactured in the area. The Society also maintains extensive genealogy files. The Society presents programs from March to November, at 7:30 PM, on the third Monday of the month. The museum is also open to the public Monday and Tuesday mornings, 9:30 am to Noon for history and genealogy research, and by appointment year around. For more information, call the Society at the number above.

Lock 52 Historical Society of Port Byron
73 Pine St, Port Byron, NY 13140 (315) 776-4027 www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycayuga/Lock52
Chartered in 1978, the Lock 52 HS is named for the enlarged canal lock that sits on the edge of the village. The Society maintains a small building on Pine Street, located just off the downtown area. The building has some historical displays and files of family history. The Society is open May to November, Thursday mornings 10-1pm and Friday evenings 6-8pm, and other times by appointment.

The Old Brutus, Lock 52 and Montezuma Historical Society’s Present:

Following The Flow; A Tale of Two Erie Canals August 11, 2012

Montezuma Historical Society
POB 476, Montezuma, NY 13117 (315) 776-4656 http://montezumahistoricalsociety.wordpress.com/
The Montezuma HS was chartered in 2006. It began as a group of folks who wished to preserve the Historic Mentz Church. Since that time, the Society has been working with the Town in the creation of the Four Canals-Richmond Aqueduct Heritage Park on the banks of the Seneca River. The Society holds monthly programs from May to October. The schedule can be found on the web site.

See our Cayuga County Canal Tours blog at:

www.canalsplash.blogspot.com

Following the Flow; A Tale of Two Erie Canals
A Tour of Cayuga County Canal Sites
These days, it seems that every one is using the old Erie Canal as an shining example new technology and progress, or what they like to call, “The of the internet of its time”. It is also a great example of a massive public works project that did what it was suppose to do. Yet what do you know about the old Erie Canal? Well, you don’t need to travel far and wide to learn about the old canal. Within the borders of Cayuga County, you can find the remains of three Erie Canal eras. The first canal, constructed between 1817 and 1825; its enlargement, which was finished in 1862; and the barge canal, which was opened in 1918. By following State Route 31, you can easily follow the old canal and find accessible remains and structures within a quick walk.. Within the 12 miles from the county line near Jordan in the east to Montezuma at the west, you can find Lock 51, Lock 52, the Centerport Aqueduct, the Montezuma Aqueduct, the Erie House, the sites of four dry docks, the routes of two of the Erie canals and more. But wait, there is more! This route is also unusual in that the flow of water in the canal was westward from Jordan to Montezuma. (Most of the canal water flowed from west to east) This tour explores this unique bit of canal history and gives the tour its name. So we invite you to come with us to “Follow the Flow” and learn about the history of the Erie Canal, the “internet of its time”, and the villages of Weedsport, Port Byron and Montezuma.. We will take you on a two hour walking tour of the fantastic sites in and around Montezuma and then we will invite you to visit the Old Brutus Historical Society in Weedsport, and if this isn’t enough, we will also make a stop in Port Byron for a short visit.. If you are not able to make our tour, we make it easy for you to visit on your own. By visiting our blog and webpage, you can find the information you need to take your own tour.

List of Stops, Where to Find Them and What You Will See
Stop 1- (9 am) A 2 hour walking tour of Montezuma. Park at the fire house and join the tour to the Richmond Aqueduct. This tour will cover the junction of the Cayuga Seneca Canal, Meil’s Drydock, the route of the two canals, the Exchange Hotel, the old village, Lock 62 on the old canal, the first canal crossing of the Seneca River, a paper mill and the Richmond Aqueduct. The tour covers about 1.6 miles (round trip). Parking is at the Fire House on Erie St, just off Rt 90. From Port Byron, head west on Rt 31 and turn left at the Rt 31 and 90 intersection, and then look for Erie St in the Hamlet. If you cross the bridge over the river, you went too far! Stop 2- (11:30 am) A stop at the Erie House and Lock 52. Port Byron was once a very busy canal town. Here you will find out about Beach’s Mill, the largest mill in the state in 1830, see the site of one of the village’s three drydocks, learn about the high speed trolley system that once carried passengers from Syracuse to Rochester, and learn about canal side businesses. The Erie House can be found at the end of Maiden Lane. Turn north onto Route 38 (Canal Street) and then left onto Maiden Lane. If you cross over the Thruway, you went too far. Stop 3– (9-3) Old Brutus Historical Society. (OBHS) The building once housed the Cayuga Chief Newspaper and now is the home of the Old Brutus Historical Society. It was described by a Canal Society member as a “little gem”. The building contains museum quality displays and artifacts on two floors. It is located between Routes 31 and 34 in the village. A sign stating Old Brutus Museum can be seen on the back of the building from Rt 31, or look for the canal mural. The entrance is on Rt 34, across from the post office. Parking is in lots behind building, or along Routes 31 and 34 in village. A couple more suggested stops- (on your own) Centerport Aqueduct. This small aqueduct carried the enlarged canal over the Cold Spring Brook. Pick up information at OBHS. The park is on Rt 31, west of the village line, about .9 mile from OBHS, or 2.6 miles from the stop light in Port Byron. Lock 51 on the enlarged canal. This was the first lock that the water from Skaneateles Lake passed through on its way to the Seneca River at Montezuma. Lock 51 is located on Rt

31 about 3 miles east of Weedsport and about 1 mile west of Jordan. It is just off the highway and dry throughout so you can walk in and around as you explore. Parking is in the lot just off the road. If you are not joining the guided tours, the Old Brutus Historical Society (OBHS) will have free handouts available that will give a quick overview of the stops. They will also have detailed “on your own” tour books available for Port Byron and Montezuma walking tours. (Note- There is a fee for the guide books. All income will benefit the local Historical Society.) A lot more information on the tour, details on the sites and photos can be found on our Cayuga County Canal Tours blog at;

www.canalsplash.blogspot.com
The guided tour is set up so that you can feel free to pick and choose what tours you wish to attend. You do not need to attend all the stops. We will do our best to hold firm to the start times.

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