It required a workforce in the thousands to hand dig the original Erie Canal (1817-25). Today, over 125 dedicated volunteers, including Lock Tenders, Boat Tenders, Guides, Tour Leaders, Canal Ambassadors, Reenactors and Canal Clean Up & Beautification Team members transform the largest extant section of the Enlarged Erie Canal and the surrounding Locks District into a dynamic, living history experience yearly for thousands of visitors to the Lockport Locks.
When the State of New York authorized the construction of the Erie Barge Canal, Lockport was fortunate that only one of the two flights of five locks from the 19th Century was demolished in order to make room for the much larger and deeper Barge Canal Locks. The rehabilitation of the Erie Canal Flight of Five Locks has ignited a passion among Lockport citizens to make the Lockport Locks Heritage District a world-class heritage tourism attraction that complements the other outstanding architectural and cultural sites in Western New York.
Lockport area residents are invited to join the ranks of the Erie Canal Flight of Five volunteer workforce. Simply complete and submit the Erie Canal Flight of Five Volunteer Sign-Up Form to become part of our organization.
Listed below are the names of our current volunteer corps of Lock Tenders:
Mike O'Neil Robert Ortt Douglas Nagel Don Nims Jenelle Papin Tom Parks Ashley Person Jeffrey Petersen Jack Pittsley Michael Primerano Gary Proefrock Erin Reibel Josh Repp Jeff Rey Bob Corneck Steve Cotten Mike Davidson Don DuBois Rick Dunbar Melissa Dunlap Ahmed Eleshaky Jeremy Fischer Wayne Forrest John "Jack" Frost Marc Frys Dave Garlock Doug Riccobono Sr. Tim Rushlow Ed Sandell Dale Schlyer Alexander Scott Kevin Seekins Kimberly Seekins Felicia Shubbuck John Shubbuck Art Smith Greg Smith Travis Smith Trevor Smith Peter Stapell Dennis Summers Judi Szczublewski Josh Tatman Mike Trethewey Paul Trometer Rick Updegrove Dominic Vogel Ernie Way Terry Werth Kaitlyn Whitlock
Amanda Alexander Rick Annalora Mark Bannan Mark Bauerlein Katie Benden Lola Bergeron Marie Bindeman Tim Brounscheidel Aaron Carlson Dave Chatt Boyd Cooper Desire Giraneza Tom Glynn Mike Gordon Philip Gow David Guetta Nancy Haas Dennis Hadden Beth Handley Mercedes Handley Ken Handley III Chelsea Harpst Doug Hartley Scott Herald Kylie Henderson Gary Hetherly James Houghton Terry Hutchison Russell Jackman Nancy Kasprzak-Whitmore John Katalinas Cindi Kavanaugh Kayla Kisenwether Xavier Krull Michael Landers Jeff Lee Paul Lehman Lindsey Leitzel Dan Lewandowski Mike Lorenc Susan Loughen Kathryn Martin Thomas Mattocks Harry McCrea David Wielgas Kevin Wojcinski Michael Werthman William Wright Joel Yacono
Lock Tenders demonstrate for visitors the manual operation of the wooden lock gates of Locks 68, 69 and 70 in the Flight of Five as well as locking through our docent vessel, the Erie Traveler. Locks Demonstrations take place every Saturday from 11 AM – 1 PM, June through September.
Locks District Guides greet visitors to the Locks District on Saturdays from 11 AM – 1 PM in conjunction with the Locks Demonstrations. Guides lead visitors to points of interest in the Locks area and provide information regarding the history of the Erie Canal and the Lockport Locks. Guides also direct visitors to the Locks District Museum and the Erie Canal Discovery Center as well as related sources of information to enhance the quality of their visit to Lockport and the Lockport Locks.
Tour Docents lead the Flight of Five Lock Tenders Tour, a 1 ½ hour narrated walking tour of the Locks District, Monday through Friday at 11 AM thru September 4.
Chaperones assist Tour Docents in the conduct of the Flight of Five Lock Tenders Tour, assure the safety of visitors on the tour.
Tour Attendants welcome visitors to the Flight of Five Lock Tenders Tour, sign in all visitors and provide them with information regarding the services at the Erie Canal Discovery Center.
Flower Tenders plant and care for the flowers and landscape beds in the Locks District. In addition, Flower Tenders assist with weed control, trimming and litter control.
Training and scheduling of Locks District Volunteers is provided by volunteer leaders of the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation.
Upon the submission of a Locks District Volunteer Application, a representative from our organization will contact you shortly to discuss with you your area of interest as a
Locks District Volunteer.