More photos from The Oxbow.

I was recently forwarded some new photos by Bill Poray, the village historian, and thought I’d share them here.


This shot is from the 1940’s, which shows that the Oxbow was a lake at that time. I was under the impression that the islands were developed from dredging when the canal was built, but obviously it was dredged much later than that.  Note the Oxbow Woods that skirt the school playing fields and the electricity lines  don’t exist, except for the two old willow trees.

Oxbow scene_01.jpg

This has to be my favorite photo, it’s detail is spectacular and is beautifully composed. Those old willow trees haven’t changed much in all these years.

boys fishing.png

Boy’s doing what The Oxbow was meant for – fishin’. And note the willows in the background. Those old trees have dozens of knurls in the bark, and if you look very carefully, you can see faces in them. Willows have something mysterious about them, like magical powers, spells and potions, and the bark is where Aspirin comes from,  See if you can see the faces in the bark next time you’re down there.

IMG_2442.JPGoxbow canal map.png

Here’s a map of the construction of the towpath wall.  The cottages were on the spit of land you see on the right. This was once the original towpath and became the boardwalk, and is now the trail. The thin line of blue is the old canal, and you can still see it’s depression alongside the existing trail.

You can see more cottage photos here!




Author: Mike Caswell

I live in Fairport, and my home is at The Oxbow section of The Erie Canal. I fish, have a pontoon boat and like messing in boats. (see I'm retired and enjoy every day living here with my wife Carol and our two dogs.

3 thoughts on “More photos from The Oxbow.”

  1. My family got to live here.
    Born in 1957, lived in the Oxbow till I was ten. My oldest brother two then. My sister and me with my daddy. We walked the road from one end to the other end. It was the best place to grow up with the canal as our back yard. I learned to swim there and and ride our sled from the what I call the hill to the side of the house, right into the frozen drained canal in the winter. In 1966 daddy had to shovel us out of the home from the storm.
    We didn’t know we were poor till homes were built nearby, and I went to play with a little girl I met at the hill and her mom said she couldn’t play with me for I came from the Oxbow.
    But now I see I had it all there! What a great place to grow up!
    We didn’t have e a lot but we knew how to use our imagination. The Oxbow was our home and we loved it. So sad for others who didn’t get to experience it or the simpler times.
    God Bless the people of Fairport especially the Oxbow residends who inspired me as I grew up.
    Fannie was my neighbor and the Ecks – so kind and generous people!

    Oh! The memories live on!


  2. Very nice Oxbow photos from Bill Poray! Note that he is the historian for the town of Perinton history, not just the village of Fairport. His office is in Perinton Town Hall.


  3. Hi Mike What a find! Thank you for sharing them. It’s really something to see the open area where the woods now exist. I suspect that Oxbow people from the 1940’s wouldn’t recognize the place! I had heard about the “boardwalk” and that there was water on both sides but now I get it after seeing these pictures…mystery solved! Such a cool piece of Fairport history! THANK YOU!


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