Lower Falls of the Genesee, Rochester NY

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Lower Falls of the Genesee, Rochester NY


Five miles downstream from here, the Genesee River empties into Lake Ontario at Charlotte, and the base of the falls has been a major spawning ground for salmon and lake trout until non-native fish like the alewife reduced their numbers. The fisherman Seth Green ran a large commercial operation nearby in the lower gorge; ironically, his success also contributed to declining stocks and led to his experiments in pisciculture and eventually a fish hatchery located in Caledonia, NY.

At the time of this photograph, an extensive engineering project recently had constructed Rochester Gas & Electric's Hydro Station #15--a portion of which is shown at left--and transformed the falls themselves. An 80-foot long concrete facing raised the falls to a height of 96 feet and created an intake dam 17 feet in depth. The building at right is a remaining part of the settlement called McCrackenville, chartered in 1821 and best known as an industrial site: flour and paper milling, carpet-making, furniture manufacture, a tannery. In 1850 the city of Rochester annexed the land as part of its plans for residential development along Lake Avenue; eventually it was remade as Lower Falls Park, from which visitors have a spectacular view of the gorge.


Scrantom Wetmore & Co., Publishers




Cooper, Ken


Courtesy of Ken Cooper


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3.5 x 5