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The Mission of Corn Hill Navigation is...

Corn Hill

To foster the improvement and sustainability of the Erie Canal and Genesee River for current and future generations through education, awareness, and enjoyment.

Our two company vessels Sam Patch and Mary Jemison are essential in delivering our mission to create new interest in the canal and river and provide opportunities for the community's future to benefit from the waterways of the past.

We travel the canal showcasing its historical significance, environment, and beauty. We provide uniquely authentic canal cruising experiences for visitors from across the nation and globe as well as local residents. Each cruise features a live, onboard historical narrative. We offer curriculum-based field studies for thousands of students and educators. Additionally we are an effective advocate for waterfront access, restoration, and redevelopment; and for cleaning up and maintaining the river and canal.

Click here to learn how you can join the many organizations and individuals who support our mission. Our most recent annual report and audited financial report (Form 990) are available for download.

A Brief History

In 1991 Edward P. "Ted" Curtis, Jr., community leader and determined champion of Rochester's historic waterways, founded Corn Hill Navigation (CHN) and launched the Sam Patch packet boat from Corn Hill Landing in downtown Rochester. This new venture provided an innovative recreational opportunity for Rochester residents and tourists, and offered an engaging, entertaining entry point to the story of greater Rochester's waterways for the general public, students, and teachers. The launch of Sam Patch was the first docking of a commercial vessel in downtown Rochester in thirty years, representing a major contribution to the city's waterfront revitalization.

In the mid-1990s CHN expanded operations to include Erie Canal cruises from Pittsford's Schoen Place on weekends. At the same time we partnered with the Rochester City Historian's Office, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Canal Society of New York State, Rochester Historical Society, and Genesee Community Charter School to begin producing historical publications, lecture series, onboard school programs, educational charters, and teacher workshops.

In 1998 as Rochester launched a major initiative to revitalize the downtown riverfront, CHN announced its intention to purchase a second and larger passenger boat. With the completion of riverfront construction in 2005, CHN launched the historic wooden vessel Mary Jemison from Corn Hill Landing in downtown Rochester. The Sam Patch continues to cruise the Erie Canal from the Port of Pittsford.