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Submitted by:  Robert Stopper, Lyons

Barb & David Conroy remembering Ganurgua Creek
Captain David Conroy, a retired NYS Canal Section 6 Superintendent for 21 years, knew the waterway quite well. A gentle breeze and a soft wind added to the nostalgic trip as the Captain deftly urged his boat, Water Lilly, from the Erie Canal into Ganargua Creek.

It had been at least five years since the Captain and his wife Barbara were “up this creek.”For the first few moments, the Captain and his wife were silent as they gazed upon the bankside and stared ahead into the glistening water. According to David, “After retirement from the Canal Corporation, we operated the Liberty Tour Boat. We used to bring tourists and hundreds of school students up this creek. It was really a very historical trip. After we passed through this wilderness area, we always turned around at the old aqueduct location where Clinton’s Ditch and the Creek met. After we turned around, students handled the wheel. We always sang Low Boat, Everybody Down when we glided under the Ganargua Creek Bridge.” 

As the boat gently glistened thru the waters, Captain David and his wife Barbara told more about their life on the creek: “There is where we lived for many years…. There is where we stored our steamboat…. There is where we had our woodpile…. We used to take our little tug up the creek, cut the trees which had fallen into the creek, then drag them home and cut them up for winter firewood.”

In earlier years, when Captain David was not working on the Erie Canal, cleaning up the creek, or guiding tours, he was always working on a steamboat. When asked if he still loves steamboats, David looked at his wife, smiled, and replied with a huge grin, “Let’s just say that now I am working on our seventh steamboat!”
As the boat returned closer to the Erie Canal, Captain David pulled back the throttle, slowed the boat, and Barbara took one final picture. Captain David looked at his wife and said, “Well, Barbara, what do you think?” She smiled and looked at him and said, “Wonderful memories, David, wonderful memories- but it seems like such a long time ago…” 


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