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Canal Town: A Walking Tour

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I am in love with our town. It’s a tiny little place surrounded by farmland. We live about two blocks away from the main village, which is full of historic houses and storefronts. They call it “Canal Town” because the Erie Canal was a big part of it’s history. The canal was opened in 1825. It runs 363 miles (from Buffalo to Albany) and served as a trade route for barges, until railroads and highways became the cheaper transport option.

This weekend, it was so beautiful out (well, beautiful for February in upstate NY) that I took the dogs out to explore the neighborhood with me. I’ve actually never walked around our neighborhood on foot, because we moved in November and my dogs despise letting their feet touch snow.

I got to see all the houses we’ve been stalking up close(!), and took some photos of my favorites. (Click on any of the photos for larger versions)


This house is what our house will look like some day, decades in the future…… it’s gorgeous. It’s historically perfect. The colors are awesome. They even have storm shutters that open and close. I slow down every single time I drive past this place, and will be walking the dogs past it all spring and summer in hopes of meeting it’s owners and getting a (dare I dream?) tour of the inside.

Keep reading to see some more of my favorites…

Another italianate, much bigger than ours:


Greystone Castle, newly restored and used for wedding receptions etc.:

A great gingerbread Victorian:neighbors3.jpg

This one’s for sale, and it’s HUGE:

Another Victorian:

Another Italinate with a great cupola (they’ve got some work to do, too!)

The library, funded by the Carnegie family:

Here’s the main route through town – love the storefronts. Check out the old white elephant sign on the Pharmacy!




See why I love our town?

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 02.08.05:

Oh, I most definitely DO see why you love your town. Makes me want to visit! So many beautiful Italianate houses. Around here, they’re pretty rare. We have only two that I can think of.

How big is your town, population-wise?

john m had this to say on 02.08.05:

I love it when a house has working shutters. On the other hand, I get really bothered by fake shutters. Walking this weekend, we saw a house where they’d put attached fake shutters beside the back door, and then cut one to make space for what looks to be a small shed. Hideous…

Y’all’s town looks wonderful. I’m so used to our neighborhood as part of the larger urban environment that I love to see this architecture in a different context.

mindy had this to say on 02.08.05:

Kristin – The town is a whopping 3.3 square miles large, with a population of around 4,000.

John – yes, there’s definitely an extremely large difference between new and old shutters. And windows, for that matter – uggh, we have the bad kind, unfortunately. Good for keeping out breezes, but they look very “blank” and out of context with the house.

Glad you guys enjoyed the pics. Wait till you see what it looks like without all the snow and ice and mud ;)

Beth had this to say on 02.08.05:

Ooooooh! SO cute! I love your little town! The library is amazing, as is the coveted Italianate near you.

Alex had this to say on 02.08.05:

Mindy, have you ever been to Cape May, NJ? If not, take a long weekend trip there and stay in a B&B. Based on your town, you would love it, lot’s O’ victorian.

Kristin had this to say on 02.09.05:

Our town is about half that size, so I’m right there with you on the small-town stuff. I’m loving living in a small town, though. Less traffic, friendly people, cute downtown.

Trissa had this to say on 02.10.05:

Gorgeous! It would be inspiring to take a walk in your neighborhood- next time you’re feeling a bit burnt out about renovation, just go for a quick stroll and that should do it! I enjoyed the photos-

Pam Ager had this to say on 05.06.05:

Mindy-the white elephant sign over the pharmacy is a left over from when there really was a White Elephant restaurant on the side street that runs down the street from the pharmacy. It burned down while we lived on Peterboro St. It was a very well known restaurant. There have been quite a few large fires that have destroyed part of town between the bank and the pharmacy. That was an arson fire. There was also a large company (abandoned ) at the end of the street that the library is on that burned down several years ago. Lots of history in Canastota.

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