As today people were drawn to the river and the canal for recreation. Descendants of the town’s first settlers, John and Dorcas Van Vranken of Vischer Ferry and their children and grandchildren had a camp on the Mohawk River between Forts Ferry and Vischer Ferry. Photographs from the 1880s and 1890s show the family picnicking, boating and swimming at the river. Early photos of Vischer Ferry show children jumping off the canal bridge in to the canal at the end of Ferry Drive. They are all skinny dipping.
The two canal locks at Rexford were popular gathering spots on a Sunday afternoon to watch the boats. By 1900 some fancy speedboats and excursion boats were plying the canal and attracted lots of attention from those standing by.
When in 1907 the Mohawk River was dammed to create the Barge Canal, the river became much deeper and more lake like. Owners of riverfront property constructed camps. Bill Leversee who owned Riverview Orchard on Riverview Road at this time constructed three camps along the river that he rented to families wanting to vacation along the riverfront. Howard Barrett, Isabel Prescott’s father later purchased this property and continued to rent the camps until 1964 when they were abandoned. Until recently, two of these camps stood on the riverfront property acquired by the town from Isabel Prescott, and now known as Riverview Landing.
With increased attention to environmental quality starting in the 1960s the Mohawk River once again draws people to it’s shores for fishing, boating, swimming or just enjoying the aesthetics and history of the river.