Saturday, December 25, 2010

Canal Research Resources

If you are planning a trip to Cayuga County to look at our canal sites, you will find it helpful to have done some background research to get your bearings. So let me tell you of one of the best places to start.

You may not think of a genealogical website as a source of canal research information, but sometimes you can be surprised. The Cayuga County Genweb site at; is one of the best local historical research sites on the web. On the left are buttons you can chose for the various resources. Look for the William Hecht site of images and maps. Here you will find scans of photos, postcards and maps of Cayuga County. Here is the link in case you can't find it;

You will be surprised at the treasure of information available. Bill has digitized some of the large statewide canal maps that came out of the Canal Commissioner's Reports, as well as other maps that deal with the canals, railroads, military tracts and many other things .

Look for the county and village maps maps. These can be found on the maps button on the Genweb page. The 1859 map is very interesting since it shows the route of the old and enlarged canals west of Port Byron.

Bill also comes up with things that haven't been seen in 100 years, and his discoveries are sometimes amazing. But here is a warning. It will take time to get a feel for the site. Organization of the site is, well, iffy at best. Bill posts his discoveries on the message board on the Genweb site, so look there as a finding aid if you just feel like poking around.

If you can find them, look for the fly over photographs Bill takes from his plane. One of the tours included Lockport, Niagara Falls, and the Finger Lakes.

It is all good stuff, and you will find yourself spending hours looking at the resources Bill has made available.

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