Museum of Wayne County History, 21 Butternut St., Lyons, will exhibit “The Little Ditch that Could and Did! Wayne County Canal Towns Boom!” starting April 13 with speaker Tim McDonnell.
On April 15, 1817, the Canal Act was carried in New York Legislature and the commissioners were empowered to begin work. On July 4, 1817, ground was broken just outside of Rome. In a ceremony, the people of New York began the 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 new waterway bringing economic growth to every town and city it touched, the Wayne County towns of Galen, Lyons, Arcadia, Palmyra and Macedon were changed. Savannah had a small piece of the Clinton’s Ditch success, but later got cut out of the canal boom.
McDonnell will present “Rediscovering the Erie Canal” at 6:30 p.m. April 13. He works with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology, serves as coordinator for the New York Geographic Alliance and is an assistant adjunct professor at Monroe Community College.
For information, call 315-946-4943 or visit waynehistory.org.