Aqueduct Park marks the site where the Erie Canal crosses Oak Orchard Creek. The structure was constructed of local Medina sandstone and topped with a wooden trestle that carried the canal water over the creek water at a lower elevation. While the structures no longer exist, the builder of the canal constructed gates that would be closed in the event the trestle developed an unmanageable leak. Not shown in the photo is a separate smaller bridge that carryied the mules hauling canal boats on their several hundred mile trip.
The latest reconstruction of the canal came after power driven steam and then diesel tugs were in use pushing and pulling the barges. Much of the wood near the canal was lumbered to power the early steam engines.
Lock 60 is a historic treasure because it is one of the few lock systems remaining.
The structure shows clearly how the water level was dropped from higher level to the lower level in the foreground. Locks could only drop or raise the water level by a few feet at a time because of the engineering limitations of wooden structures that were manually operated. The present lock system can raise or lower craft 20 to 30 feet so there are far less locks required than during the original construction. The plaque below shows the three reconstruction dates where the canal was rebuilt. .
Lock 30 lowered our chartered home and boat from Palmyra back to the level (called a pool) of Mid-Lakes Navigation where we started and ended this wondrous journey back in time.
Our Diesel Powered “time machine” traveled back a hundred years to the time when people built major structures by hand and moved the country’s food and supplies by their own hands with the power of animals.