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Remains of "Clinton's Ditch" near the cross of
Storms Road and Lock Berlin Road in Lyons, NY.
(Photo credit: Loreen Jorgensen)
SUBMITTED by Larry Ann Evans

The second exhibit of the year at the Museum of Wayne County History will be “The Little Ditch that Could and Did! Wayne County Canal Towns Boom!” The exhibit opens April 13, 2017 with speaker Tim McDonnell.

April 15, 1817 the Canal Act was carried in New York legislature and the Commissioners were empowered to begin work. July 4, 1817 ground was broken just outside of Rome, NY. In a very simple ceremony, the people of New York began the greatest piece of work yet undertaken in America. They found their own money. They did their own engineering and Clinton’s Ditch was born! With this glorious new waterway bringing economic growth to every town and city it touched, the Wayne County towns of Galen, Lyons, Arcadia, Palmyra, and Macedon were forever changed. Savannah had a small, very small piece of the “Clinton’s Ditch” pie, but later got cut out of the canal boom.

Tim McDonnell will be the featured speaker at the exhibit’s preview party, Thurs. April 13, 2017 at 6:30pm. McDonnell will give his presentation on “Rediscovering the Erie Canal.” McDonnell works with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute out of RIT, he is also Coordinator for the New York Geographic Alliance, aligned with National Geographic and is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Monroe Community College. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Museum of Wayne County History by calling 315 946 4943 or look at the website www.waynehistory.org. The museum is located at 21 Butternut Street in Lyons NY.


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