2017
two thousand seventeen
Twenty-Seventeen
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Submitted by:  Robert Stopper, Lyons, NY

In just eight weeks the Erie Canal and the Lyons dock will again be open. So what happened last year? Well, although the Erie Canal in Lyons was flooded and closed much of the month of May, 208 boats found the Lyons dock a safe haven for at least one evening during the 2011 boating season. This was an increase of 30 boats from the 2010 season. Boating tourists hailed from 196 areas represented 36 states including Alaska. Tourists also hailed from Austria, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany, and the Bahamas. Twenty-seven (27) boats were from Canada.

Favorite historical sites for the tourists were the Historic Hotchkiss Peppermint Building, the Historic Wayne County Jail, and the Historic Ohmann Theatre. Many tourists photographed the murals located throughout the village, but other tourists were on a special mission– geocaching. By the end of the summer, it was quite well known by boaters, bikers, and hikers alike that a "cache" was located "somewhere" near the Lyons Dock and at another nearby location, the Historical E 56 Lock. Several people actually did find a "cache" at both locations.

Dockside in the early morning
Tourists arrived in power boats, sailboats, kayaks, and even one canoe, but perhaps no boat attracted more attention than a "big" wooden boat. Dockside visitors remarked that they had seen a similar boat in a movie some years ago. They were correct. The boat was the "Nan," a 46 foot wooden mahagony boat. Built in 1937, the boat had appeared in the 1981 movie "Absence of Malice" starring Paul Newman and Sally Field.


"Nan" docked in Lyons, NY
When the "Nan" arrived in Lyons, it was piloted by Ian and Ngaire Carline from New Zealand. Ian and Ngaire are international waterway travelers and videographers. They were videographing the waters of the Erie Canal; however, mother nature, with torrential rains and Hurricane Irene, brought their voyage to a sudden halt.

Peppermint in bloom
In Lyons, a small group of volunteers meets and greets the boaters in the evening and in the morning. The volunteer greeters help the boaters in any way they can from giving directions to the village and historical sites, to purchasing a toggle switch, or even taking pictures. Before arriving in Lyons, many boater tourists have never seen Peppermint Plants. Volunteer greeters encourage boating tourists to see, smell, touch, taste, pick, or even photograph themselves in the Canalbank Peppermint Garden– a unique and wonderful memory of Lyons on the Erie Canal.

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