Monday, September 13, 2010

Lockport Cave

Lockport Cave, interior
This morning proved to be yet another rainy start to a day. So, what better to do other than go explore a local cave.There are quite a few legendary caves in the region but this time we weren't traipsing through a steep embankment. This was an easy drive into Lockport to the Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride. It may be a touristy type of cave exploring, but it was still a sweet cave, even if it didn't really smell like one. The fancy light show combined with the upbeat and pertinent tour guide proved to us that it was a tourist destination. The stalactites, dripping water, Lockport Dolomite proved that it was in fact a marvelous specimen of geological and historical fabulousness.

The cave was blasted out in the early days of manufacturing along the Erie Canal Locks and acted as a water raceway that was used to power the Holly Manufacturing Company (and a couple of others after that). The man behind the HMC was Birdsill Holly, an inventor responsible for the fire hydrant as well as riling up some of the locals. The tour finishes off with a ride through the natural seep water in a wooden boat that takes you past the stalactites. Yet another terrific way to learn a thing or two about the glorious Erie Canal and Lockport, New York.

Growing up in Lockport, there were always stories about a cave that went beneath houses and streets and eventually ended up at the canal. Every generation stemming back over 100 years has these stories. Several people have attempted to locate and document any bit of proof to this urban legend. Some for the shear curiosity or thrill, others primarily with an intent to exploit the caves for financial gain. I won't go into explicit detail,  but this is for all of you that have been curious about this one particular cave in Lockport and never went exploring for yourself.

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