Pieces of the Past
Artifacts, Documents, and Primary Sources
from Letchworth Park History

Landmarks on the Genesee Valley Canal
in Letchworth Park

Part I

In the 19th century, the Genesee Valley Canal passed through the lands which would become Letchworth Park. Although the Canal was abandoned in 1878, those who hike along the old canal bed can still find traces of that engineering wonder, especially along Trail #7.

Until their death, J. Hayward and Emily Madden of South Livonia were considered to be the leading experts on the Genesee Valley Canal. Among their extensive research files and resources were notebooks documenting each section of the old Canal.

In June of 1978 I visited with the Maddens and took the notes found below, which identify important landmarks of the Canal in the sections in or near Letchworth Park.

Please note that the comments found in parenthesis are the Madden's notes or comments describing the features as they existed in the 1960's and 70's. There may have been some changes since that time.

Modern photographs of some of the features listed below are found in Part II

SECTION 53 (starts in Oakland, east of Oakland Road and extends to a point east of the Deep Cut)

SECTION 54 (starts at Deep Cut and extends to point on William Road)

SECTION 55 (starts at point in William Road and runs to point near River Road)

SECTION 56 (starts near River Road and runs to a point near the Parade Grounds)

SECTION 57 (starts near the Parade Grounds and extends to the Slide Area by Middle Falls)

SECTION 58 (starts at Slide Area and extends to point near Railroad Bridge)

SECTION 59 (starts at Railroad Bridge and extends to Portage Aqueduct)

SECTION 60 (starts at Aqueduct and extends in Portageville)


Tom Cook
March 2002

Also see our Glimpse of the Genesee Valley Canal



Notebooks of J. Hayward and Emily Madden, South Livonia, New York

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