A Cold Day in a CanalTown
© Robert C Burnham
January 26, 2010
Welcome to Brockport, New York. This small but greatly historical village lies approximately twelve miles due north from what I currently call home. To reach it from Buffalo, you would take I-90 east from the airport to exit #47 (Le Roy) and turn onto Route 19 north. Coming from Rochester you would take I-490 west to exit #1 (Le Roy) and then turn onto Route 19 north. Heading north on Route 19 you will be in downtown Brockport as you cross over the Erie Canal.
The opening of the Brockport to Buffalo section in October 1825 marked the completion of the 348 mile Erie Canal. Truly, one of the greatest engineering feats ever achieved. By linking the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the canal provided the first economical means of transportation and shipping from the eastern seaboard to the Midwest. The cost of shipping a ton of wheat from Buffalo to New York City fell from $100 to $5. This made settlement of the Midwest practical and enabled the United States to become a continental nation. The west was now wide open! Communities like Brockport along this new highway to the west benefited magnificently from the Canal as they became important ports for agricultural and industrial shipping.
Brockport’s heyday may be well in the past but it nonetheless remains a picturesque village which still displays an Americana atmosphere and heritage that is a must-see for any traveler exploring western New York. The shops and salons are small, shopper-friendly and carries such names as “Fast Buck Fannie’s”, “Go Ask Alice”, “Lifting Bridge Bookstore” and “Salvation Station”.
On this cold and snowy January morning, Streaker and I set out to discover Brockport and the final segment of the famed Erie Canal. We are glad we did. We would be even more happy if you choose to bundle up for a few minutes and come along. This is a true piece of Americana. This is a true piece of our heritage. God bless you all.
Enjoy our photos.
Concluding our little hike of discovery, we ended up at the Salvation Station Christian Bookstore. I entered and inquired about any inspirational poetry they may have. The proprietor took me to the far wall and presented a couple of options. Thinking of my friend Diana up in the mountains of West Virginia, I chose a collection titled, “Mountain Breezes”. After my selection, the proprietor explained that they were just getting ready to have their weekly prayer meeting in the back and, smiling, she asked if I would care to join them. I did. And in doing so, I met five would-be strangers who I can now list among my friends. A lovely ending to a cold day in a canal town.
All photos and text copyright, Robert C Burnham.