Little Falls doesn't have much dock space just a town wall, Benton's Landing, but it is a great town to visit. The Erie Canal Boat that we'd seen several times taking passengers on tours docks here. We'd heard about Captain Tom Ryan from Captain John at Kingston down the Hudson on Rondout Creek. Being at dock while we were there, we finally were able to meet the Tom before his next tour.
To get into town, you cross a small bridge over the Mohawk River where I am told by the locals that a rock pile, pictured below, is the remains of an old lock.
There are many buildings along the old section of the canal. Today some house antique and other local shops. The factories were sometimes partly used as housing as well.
Ann Street runs from the water front over the old canal to the antique shop area, past the Ann St. Cafe, and through a tunnel under the train tracks to the main part of town. Don't stop at the tunnel. There is plenty to see up the hill in the main part of town. The Ann St. Cafe has good food and is worth the stop just to look at the interesting pictures on the wall.
Speaking with a local we learned that the interesting old looking building below is the oldest building in town still standing and it was once used as a school.
Departing Little Falls, the canal rounds a bend before reaching lock 17, the guillotine lock with the 40.5 foot drop we told you about on the Herkimer page. While the lock lock, an approaching east bound boat had the following exchange with the lockmaster.
Eastbounder calling lockmaster: Which side would you like us to lock though on?
Lockmaster: Your choice captain, but the port side might be a little wet.
Most people tend to lock through on their starboard side. The chart has a note that the westbounders must lock through on their port side. I wonder why?
Enjoying Canajoharie on the way out, we returned for another visit on the way back. Only after it was too dark on the way out did we realize the history of the stoplight in the center of town as being one of the first free-standing stoplights. On our way to dinner, I finally captured a picture of it.
After dinner in town, we returned and talked with one of the people passing by in the park. I learned that he was a deacon at the local church. I told him about my stops in Utica and Amsterdam and how I like Canajoharie. He told me that there had some trouble with kids untieing a boat at Amsterdam. The boat was occupied and they apparently were about to get back to the dock without going over any falls or major grounding.
He also mentioned that a couple of days back Canajoharie had a problem where a larger boat came into the dock. After securing their boat, the wife asked another boater to move their boat so they could reach the plug. The person refused as they had already settled in. As I understand it, the big boat could have just turned themselves around and reached a different plug, but did not. The argument ensued between this other boater and the wife and husband of the big boat and that led to punches. The police came and there were charges pressed. The town then asked the big boat to leave as it wasn't welcome to stay the night. He went west to the next lock were someone opened the lock and let him up. He then had to spend the night on a lock wall without power.
At the end of the story, he happened to mention the name of the boat and I realized that I had docked right behind that very boat a few days earlier. It was the one with the children that were a bit mischievous. They told me they were putting the boat up for the winter and flying home the next day. I thought July 19 seemed a bit early to end the boating season even in the Erie.
I hope that such events don't cause the town to change welcoming boaters to Canajoharie.
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