Prehistoric Pittsford
and the Erie Canal
Centennial of Clifton Sarle's Discovery of the Eurypterids at Pittsford, New York

During the early 1800s,  the Erie Canal was  built across New York State from Albany to Buffalo.  Often referred to as "Clinton's Ditch,"  this grand waterway connected Lake Erie in the west with the Hudson River in the east thus opening the 'west' to increased trade and shipping of goods from Atlantic port cities like New York.
   During construction of the Erie Canal, enormous quantities of rock had to be excavated at many points along its path.  However,  around the turn of the century,  during the widening and deepening of the Erie Canal,   Clifton J. Sarle discovered a suite of fossils (eurypterids) in the area now known as the Spring House near the Brighton-Pittsford town line immediately southeast of the City of  Rochester.  In 1902-1903,  Sarle's paper, describing the discovery of new fossils at Pittsford, was published by the New York State Museum and in it he described the  new eurypterid genera and species.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF ERIE CANAL LOCK
Behind Pittsford Plaza, Pittsford, New York
BY SAMUEL J. CIURCA, JR.
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK

Copyright 2000 Samuel J. Ciurca, Jr.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Samuel J. Ciurca, Jr.             Rochester, New York
PITTSFORD,  NEW YORK,  JUNE 1999
MORE PHOTOS OF LOCK 62 AT PITTSFORD, NEW YORK  and "BIG ROCK"
CLICK HERE  ERIE CANAL 2

CHECK OUT THESE SITES
Rochester Area
Cities, Towns & Villages
http://www.rochesterinfo.com

HOW TO SEE THE LOCKS TODAY
From Rochester, travel east on NY 31 to Clover Street.  Continue,  and on your right you will see Pittsford Plaza.  Park near the back where you see the ridge behind the plaza.  Follow the trail up to the locks at the top of the ridge.  Don't forget your camera.  This is a well-preserved lock, one of many,  on the old Erie Canal. 
The Town of Pittsford, while containing numerous housing develop-  ments, still has much farmland--rolling hills made by the  retreating glaciers, melting snows and temporary lakes and rivers.  Mendon Ponds Park is located here and preserves several  glacially formed landscapes. A great place to visit, it can be reached via NY 65 south of NY 31 (Monroe Avenue).See kettles, eskers, drumlins and gravel pits.
ICE AGE PITTSFORD
Prehistoric Pittsford
Photograph taken in the Summer of 1999.  Water collects in this abandoned canal during the rainy periods and is generally stagnant. Several views were photographed over the past several years and are presented in this website--ERIE CANAL 2.  From the lock shown above, the Erie Canal proceeded northwestward to the nearby Pittsford-Brighton town line where Clifton Sarle made his discovery of the 'Pittsford eurypterids.'  Continuing in this direction, the canal entered downtown Rochester, New York, at what is now the Rochester (Rundell) Public Library on South Avenue,  and was carried over the Genesee River via an aquaduct that is preserved by what is now the Broad Street Bridge.