The Historical Association of Lewiston's March program, titled "The Deep Cut," will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah Fellowship Hall, 915 Oneida St.
This year is the 200th anniversary of the start of the Erie Canal dig (July 4, 1817). At the HAL meeting, historian Michael McCarthy will present "The Deep Cut." As the Erie Canal neared completion in the 1820s, the final push was to make the deep cut through the Niagara Escarpment. The engineers hired 1,200 men to cut through this rock for the remaining seven miles, which took five years to complete.
This HAL presentation will examine the difficulties the engineers faced and how the Irish laborers contributed in making the nearly impossible task a reality.
McCarthy is a retired Rochester Police Department investigator and former director of safety and security for St. John Fisher College. He published his first historical novel, "From Cork to the New World," in 2009. His second novel, "The Flight of the Wretched," was published in 2011, and, last December, he released his third book, "The Children of Michigan Street."
McCarthy is the president of the Irish American Cultural Institute (Rochester Chapter) and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
This event is free and open to all, and refreshments will be served.