It is 1880 and you are riding on a packet boat through Lyons, New York. As you pass through Lock 55 the air is thick with the smell of peppermint oil having just been loaded for shipment by the Hotchkiss Building. Your packet boat just turned north going under the Montezuma Street Bridge; the familiar symbols of Lyons, the Wayne County Courthouse and the clock on the Methodist Church are in the distance. Up ahead is the Montezuma Street Bridge where your packet boat will again head east along Clyde Rd.
This scene from 1880 will soon come to life on Mike Victorious’ MVP Auto Parts building as a mural seen by those coming north from the Route 14 Bridge. This installation will soon give Lyons another mural to proudly display as part of its Mural Mania collection. Erica Swenson, an RIT graduate, has been commissioned to paint a mural depicting the Enlarged Erie Canal as it wound its way through the village in the 1800s. Clinton’s Ditch, as it was originally called, became the iconic waterway establishing settlement patterns for most of the United States, and made New York the financial capital of the world.
The mural will complement the existing eight murals in Lyons, each representing a different aspect of the town and its residents, past and present. Erica’s mural will include details that include historic buildings and boats, and show the village’s intimate relationship with the canal; typical of the western New York villages it passed through.
The Boehmler Foundation has generously funded a portion of the cost of the mural. A ceremony celebrating its official dedication will be held on October 15th at 1 p.m. during Pumpkinpalooza. The public is invited.
If you would like to make a donation please make your check payable to the Wayne County Historical Society in c/o the Erica Swenson mural project. Donations over $50 will be recognized on a plaque below the mural. Please contact Mark De Cracker with any questions at email@example.com or call 315-573-8170.