Historic Port Gibson
Explore the great Erie Canal via the charming small town of Port Gibson.
Special because it is Ontario County’s unique presence on the Erie Canal, Port Gibson is a hamlet in the town of Manchester in Ontario County. It lies between Palmyra and Newark.
During the earliest Euro-American settlement of the Finger Lakes area in the 1790s through the 1810s, Canandaigua became the region’s urban center, with natural geographic advantages concentrating people and capital at the head of Canandaigua Lake. In the early 1820s, however, the creation of the artificial Erie Canal waterway to the north threatened to cut Canandaigua out from regional trade, causing consternation among its most prominent merchants and citizens.
Henry B. Gibson, the wealthy cashier of Canandaigua’s Ontario Bank, involved in many of the area’s speculative ventures, saw a business opportunity in Ontario County’s small Canal frontage and coordinated the purchase of the adjacent land by Canandaigua men in the mid- to late 1820s. This became Ontario County’s Port City on the Erie Canal, Port Gibson
During its heyday, Port Gibson was the center of canal trade in regional agricultural goods and industrial developments – including at various times a malt house, a planing mill, fruit drying facilities, and merchants’ warehouses. A hotel operated at the northwest corner of the hamlet’s main intersection from the mid to nineteenth century into the early twentieth century.
Today, Port Gibson is a great destination for a scenic drive to see the rolling farmlands and views of the Erie Canal, with homes nestled along the banks. There is also small boat access if you choose to launch a canoe or kayak and enjoy the view from the water. The Port Gibson United Methodist Church, built in 1871, is situated on Greig Street and is listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places.
Port Gibson’s during its prime was the center of canal trade in regional agricultural goods and industrial developments. Today, it’s Ontario County’s only presence on the Erie Canal.
327 (2017 data)
The formal boundaries for the Port Gibson Census Designated Place encompass a land area of 1.17 sq. miles and a water area of 0.03 sq. miles.
Latitude: 43.03 N, Longitude: 77.16 W
Elevation: 470 feet
Students in Port Gibson attend the Newark Central School District.
Port Gibson United Methodist Church, built in 1871, is situated on Greig Street. The church is listed on both the state and national register of historic places and is the only church in Port Gibson.
Community Bingo Night at the Port Gibson Volunteer Fire Department is a long-standing pastime in Port Gibson.
The Port Gibson Volunteer Fire Department is host of monthly community events along with The Port Gibson Fireman's field which is available for larger events.