Old Erie Canal Lock 54

Lock 54 on the original Erie Canal was sometimes called the Berlin lock for the nearest settlement, now called Lock Berlin. It’s east of Lyons, NY and west of Clyde, along Rt. 31. It was enlarged twice, with the final work being completed just before the Civil War. It was subsequently abandoned when the canal was rerouted in the early 20th century. A short section of the canal was left in place and thanks to the recent snow and rain it’s pretty much as full as it would have been when in use. The gates have long been gone but the photos below represent a view similar to what you would have seen when it was in use.

No Longer In Use by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Lock 54 Exit by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Lock 54 Entrance by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Old Lock 54 by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Wellsville and Salamanca

Last week I hopped on the Bumblebeemer and took a long ride to the Southwestern corner of NY State. One of the places I stopped was Wellsville where, as the name suggests, oil was discovered. Most if not all of those old wells have either gone dry or become to expensive to maintain. This old pump was visible from the road and was apparently part of a system of wells and pumps long since abandoned.

Driven by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Bearing by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Pump by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Further down the road is Salamanca. It’s an odd place as the city is entirely on the Allegany Reservation of the Seneca nation. As a result, the Senecas own the land and homeowners lease the property. It’s been controversial and has scared a lot of people and businesses away. Salamanca was a major rail hub at one point but that has long since lost its importance. These are some of the remnants of its rail yard (along with a museum).

Towers by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Falling Concrete by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Bent by Tom Maszerowski on 500px.com

Google Maps shows that there was a large roundhouse and turntable in the yard at one time so I’m going back to check that out sometime.

Revisiting the Manchester Roundhouse

Breaking from my recent Erie Canal focus, I stopped by the Lehigh Valley RR roundhouse in Manchester, NY. Long abandoned, it was used for other purposes for a while but hasn’t been occupied in many years. As it’s the height of summer (and a wet one at that) a lot of the exterior, including the turntable, was obscured by vegetation.

Access to the site was more difficult this time due to the business next door putting up gates and warning signs.

How a Canandaigua kidnapping influenced American politics

Back in 1826, the Masons had members throughout the American political system. But when a prominent critic was abducted outside of the Canandaigua jail in 1826, their influence would be called into question. Outrage over the incident would lead to the formation of the Anti-Masonic party, cement a serious distrust of government and introduce the nominating convention for presidential candidates.

The Anti-Masons didn’t last as a political party but many of them ended up in the Whigs, who would eventually form the nucleus of the Republican party.

Trying to find the Lehigh Valley RR museum in Manchester, NY

Back in June I took a quick weekend trip to Manchester, NY to visit the Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society. I assumed (but didn’t verify) that it would have some rolling stock similar to the site I visited a few years back in Pennsylvania.

Well, lessons learned. The historical society has a building that appears to be a former freight depot but not only was it not open, there is no rolling stock or anything related to railroads other than the building itself. But all was not lost.

On the way into Manchester, there’s a lone caboose sitting by itself in a small park. It’s fully restored and the park itself is maintained by volunteers, including former LVRR employees. So here’s some photos I took with my Lubitel on Fuji Velvia film. The Velvia really brings out the Lehigh Valley color.

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Railing
Railing
Belt
Belt
Cylinder
Cylinder

Medina Railroad Museum

Remember my recent trip to Manchester and the lack of Lehigh Valley RR museum? This time I did my homework and made sure that the Medina Museum existed, was open and had at least some rolling stock.

The museum owner was very friendly and talkative and even let me into the middle of the model train layout to take some photos. Their rolling stock featured diesel power in the New York Central colors. It was the railroad that went through Medina and and all of the major NY cities and towns.

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_MG_0760I’ll have more photos in a later post as there’s more to the story.

Curtiss Museum

My wife and daughters were off to a baby shower so I took advantage of the alone time and the wonderful weather to pilot (pun intended) the Bumblebeemer down to Hammondsport, NY to the Curtiss Museum. Glenn H. Curtiss started building bicycles, later branching off into the new market for motorcycles. His skill with designing and building small powerful engines eventually caught the attention of Alexander Graham Bell and a group of early aviation experimenters. Curtiss’s engines powered a number of successful planes that followed and gave birth to one of the most successful aviation companies of the early twentieth century. The museum showcases some of his most successful motorcycles and planes along with a lot of related machines. I took a bunch of photos but here a few showcasing Curtiss’ work.

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Entrance
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June Bug
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V8 Record Holder
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Training
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Flying Boat
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Hall of Fame