Audio Tour

The Towpath

00:00 / 02:02

Presented by

Audrey Johnson

Historian, Town of Pittsford

This is known as the towpath. And the towpath was always on the north side of the canal.  

The State Street Bridge looking back at the Village before the canal was widened in 1911-1912.

Early on, before there was anything like motors or anything, the barges and boats were pulled by mules and by horses. And of course those animals had to be attached to the canal barges by big, long ropes. And they had to have a fairly level place to walk. So a towpath, and that's what it was called because they were towing the barges,  was created and it was created on the north side all the way along the Erie Canal, there was a towpath on the north side, it was never on the south, always on the north. And I say that because when the canal was widened, and it was widened and doubled in size, they didn't do anything with the north side. They did it all on the south.  

There was a business and two beautiful houses over on the south side of the canal and, and a boat dock that they could take people for rides on the canal.

The Wiltsie Produce Warehouses, sold to Sam Hutchinson in 1886.

And they also had a mill, not as big as that flour mill, but it was a malt business. When the state decided to make the canal double in size that had to come down, so that business was lost.  

The Agate Malt Mill before the canal was widened.

One of the houses was taken apart and rebuilt down on what's now Rand Place, but the other one remained and it's now known as the Canal Lamp Inn, the bed and breakfast that's there.

Will Agate's house was also dismantled and the wooden wing was reused at 20 Rand Place.

Audio Tour

Historic Preservation

00:00 / 00:55

Presented by

Bob Corby

Mayor, Village of Pittsford

The Martha Wadhams house was moved from the present day Port of Pittsford Park when the canal was widened. The front of the house went to 76 South Main St and the rear went to 35 Rand Place where she built a new home. 

Historic preservation really is the original area of sustainability that's been practiced in Pittsford since its founding. Because every time you reuse a building, you don't put wasted material in a landfill and throughout the history of the community of Pittsford, barns have been moved, buildings have been moved.

 

People attempted to reuse every material in a very efficient way. So long before we use the term historic rehabilitation, people in Pittsford were reusing and repurposing historic structures. That's why so many of the earliest buildings still survive around the village. And there's an ethos of stewardship that has been present here for over 200 years and something that is our responsibility today to continue.