Monday, February 1, 2010

For Erie Canal History Buffs

Abner Adams House Bed & Breakfast has 2 historic connections to the Erie Canal. In the 1830's Abner Adams and his Bother-In-Law, Josiah Rowley, both took on the challenge of becoming engineering contractors for two sections of the early canal.

Abner left the Town of East Bloomfield, which was settled by his father Deacon John Adams in 1789, and moved to a location West of Rochester. Abner and his sons developed several businesses here, while Abner began his venture in canal construction. The town where they settled now bears their name, Adams Basin.

Josiah Rowley took on one of the more extraordinary feats of early canal construction. He is credited for the engineering of the historic 'Great Embankment'. This is where the Erie canal had to traverse the 'Pre-glacial River Valley of the Genesee River'. The Genesee, since rerouted to the West by glacial activity over 12,000 years ago, carved a wide, deep valley at the location of the Great Embankment. Nearby hills had to be dug out and moved by shovels, wagons, and mules to fill in this old valley in order for the Erie Canal to cross it.

While staying at the Abner Adams House you can kayak, canoe, walk, bike, run the canal or canal tow pathes from the Great Embankment to the historic canal village of Fairport, known for a Lift Bridge noted in Ripley's Believe It or Not. This famous structure has no square corners. This 720 ton bridge crosses the canal at an 'average' angle of 32 degrees, yet each corner of the bridge posesses its own unique angle.

Before heading back to the Bed & Breakfast you might choose to enjoy some for wine sampling at the Casa Larga Vineyard, a short drive South of the canal in Fairport. Dinner? How about some more canal history? About half way home to Abner Adams House stop at the 1818 Tavern and Hotel in Bushnell's Basin, now known as Richardson's Canal House Restaurant. Located close to the Great Embankment.

If your quest for Erie Canal history has not been totally fulfilled by this vacation. Consider at follow up trip to the tiny hamlet of Adams Basin, named for the Adams family. Here the Adams Basin Inn Bed and Breakfast was built in the 1830's by Abner's son, Marcus Adams. This historic Inn contains the only, original Erie Canal Tavern, built during the early canal era, that still remains standing today.

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