Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Tour Of Massena, New York - Part 1

If you've been following my posts, you know that I recently took a driving tour through the nearby towns of Canton and Potsdam, New York. They were both lovely college towns with beautiful old buildings and modern architecture, educated liberal residents and tall, stately trees. But on this day I was headed north to the town of Massena, New York. I stopped on the way along the banks of the St. Regis River in the little town of Winthrop near a restaurant called Goose Landing. Clearly a bridge had spanned the river here many years ago:

I drove north towards Massena on Route 420, driving right through the Lost Nation State Forest on my way. Though called a forest, mostly I saw wetlands:

And then I arrived in Massena:

Massena had a dramatically different look and feel to it than either Potsdam or Canton. It seemed dirtier, more industrial, less prosperous:

Both Canton and Potsdam had commercial strips filled with big box stores and so did Massena. In fact, that's all I'd previously seen of Massena so I planned to search out the downtown and residential sections as I toured the area:

I didn't know what the Massena Arena was used for so looked it up when I got home. Apparently it is the home for minor league hockey and public skating:

And just the other side of the highway was a residential section. I'd be driving over there to take a look:

But first I had to stop at Tractor Supply, one of the big box chain stores. Once I'd done my shopping, I resumed my driving tour:

The residential streets looked middle class, friendly, comfortable:

They also reminded me of the near west side of Cleveland where I grew up and of Rensselaer (NY) where I live now. Massena, it seemed, was a place of industry and commerce. Indeed it has a rich history of manufacturing and as a major shipping port on the St. Lawrence Seaway. It is frequently called the "Gateway To America's Fourth Coast:"

I continued on my driving tour, snapping photos of the local residences as I drove. I'll post more tomorrow:


  1. Enjoying your blog and pictures and your travels. I just moved up to the North Country from the Berkshires. Originally lived in Albany for awhile. So enjoy your documentation and pictures. My old dog and I have travelled and explores some of these areas.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate knowing when someone enjoys the blog and I'm looking forward to moving up there permanently myself.