Montezuma Historical SocietyMentz Church and McDonald Roads
Montezuma NY 13117
Category: Museums & Related Organizations
Description: The Montezuma Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the area. Programs are offered seasonally between May and October at the 1825 Historic Mentz Church in Montezuma, NY. The church, leased by the Society is owned by the Town of Montezuma for use as a chapel, exhibits and tours by appointment. Monthly board meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 pm at the Historic Mentz Church (May-October) and the Montezuma Town Hall (November-April). Historic Erie Canal sites walking tours are featured in the Montezuma Heritage Park along scenic nature trails.
Our Story: Montezuma became the western terminal when the Erie Canal opened in 1820. Work on the middle section"of the canal between Utica and Montezuma started after the official ground breaking at Rome in 1817. The Cayuga Seneca Canal also opened in 1828, connecting with the Erie Canal. It opened up 80 miles of lakes to navigation on the two larges Finger Lakes. Montezuma was a bustling village becoming the head of navigation while the building of the Erie Canal proceeded westward. The Richmond Aqueduct, the second largest on the Enlarged Erie was built here and operated until 1917 until the Barge Canal was built. Seven arches remain on the east side today as a testament of this amazing structure that once carried the Erie waters over the Seneca River.