Cayuga County has a rich canal history that dates back 190 years to the opening of the first section of the Erie Canal. In 1820, with 90 miles of canal constructed, boats could travel between Rome and Montezuma, Port Byron and Weedsport. Then in 1828, the Cayuga Seneca Canal was constructed, making Montezuma a junction point for those who wished to head south to the Finger Lakes. The villages grew with the canals, becoming “ports” for the busy trade of Auburn, and local agricultural interests. In the years since 1820, the canal has changed its size and its route twice. This has created a rich history that can still be seen in the remains of locks, aqueducts, watered and dry sections of historic canal, as well as in the working canal.
We invite you to come and explore our canals, historical societies and villages. On these pages, visitors will find information to help plan their explorations; and educators will find information for the teaching of this history.
This website is a collaboration of the; Montezuma, Old Brutus, and Lock 52 Historical Society’s, with the assistance of the New York State Canal Corporation.