The Lyons Drydock
Thee Lyons drydock, located just west of the village
was the last drydock built on the New York State
Canal System after nearly a century of improvements.
Drydocks like the one at Lyons were needed so that canal
boats could be maintained and have a place to winter over.
The original Barge Canal plan called for public drydocks
at Schuylerville, Waterford, Little Falls, Baldwinsville,
Rochester, and Lockport. Later, when the Baldwinsville
site was dropped, the facility at Lyons was added.
The Lyons drydock was completed in 1931, with a storehouse and machine shop added the next year. Lyons
became one of two principal drydock sites in the canal
system (the other was Waterford).
Today, the Lyons shop repairs equipment still used on the canal. The drydock is used to berth tugs in the
off season and stores Dipper Dredge No. 3, one of the
original Barge Canal dredges. [caption]
Dipper Dredge No. 3 today, at the Lyons drydock. Inset photo shows the size of the two scoops.
Dipper Dredges And Derricks
Dipper dredges and steam derricks were the heavy
equipment used to dig, clear, and maintain the
Barge Canal from its inception until today. The
dredges, like old No. 3, were used to remove the
silt and muck from the bottom of the canal and deposit
it beyond the canal's banks. In the course of this work accidents sometimes occurred.
In 1911, barge machinery claimed the life of a
young man from one of Lyons most prominent
families. Calvin Hotchkiss Jr. grandson of H. G.
Hotchkiss (the "Peppermint King"), stumbled on
a rain-slickened deck and fell into the gears of a
dipper dredge that was excavating a section of the canal near Lyons. Within seconds the operator stopped the machine, but not before the young man had suffered a fatal injury. [captions] A dipper dredge at work during the construction of the Barge Canal c.1910. Derrick barges on the canal in western New York c.1910. Gears on the boom of Dipper Dredge No. 3.