“Lockport’s Erie Canal Locks: From Roberts to Renewal” will be presented by David Kinyon at the Historic Palace Theater on Monday.
Kinyon chairs the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation, which oversees the restored remains of the Five Locks Robbery. His lecture focuses on the life of Nathan Roberts, the designer and construction supervisor of the original flight of five locks, as well as the history of the locks from their original construction in the 1820s to the present day.
Kinyon thinks Roberts is an underrepresented figure in the history of the famous Erie Canal — and Lockport.
“He was supervisor of the construction of the original locks on the Erie Canal, and I don’t think anyone has spoken so much about the life of Nathan Roberts,” he said.
Kinyon, who has been closely involved with the restoration of Flight of Five for many years, is a seasoned speaker on the subject. Last year, he addressed the New York State Canal Society’s winter symposium and gave an online talk for Explore Buffalo.
For Monday’s presentation, Kinyon will be joined by John Montague, president emeritus of the Buffalo Maritime Center. Montague is expected to discuss Buffalo Maritime Center’s progress in building a working replica of the “Seneca Chief,” the boat that ferried New York Governor DeWitt Clinton from Buffalo to New York in 1825 to celebrate the opening of the Erie Canal. . Buffalo Maritime Center’s goal is to complete work on the “Seneca Chief” replica by 2023 and use it to commemorate the Erie Canal Bicentennial in 2025.
“We’re building this boat,” Montague said. “We’ve been working on this for several years in terms of researching and developing what we think is the closest authentic design possible and then building it.”
“From Roberts to Renewal” is co-organized by the Palace and the Niagara County Historical Society. The 90-minute presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Monday. Free entry. All attendees must show proof of Covid vaccination upon entering the theater and must wear a mask at all times. All participants will be entered into a draw for a photograph of Lockport Locks taken by Jeff Tracy.