Enterprising Waters

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Enterprising Waters

Opening this weekend at the New York State Museum is a new exhibit in honor of the Bicentennial of the Erie Canal’s construction. Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal is an exciting new exhibit at the New York State Museum. In collaboration with organizations on the canal corridor and across the state, the State Museum tells the Erie Canal’s story with unique objects, documents, and images.

Dominating the exhibition space is a gigantic windlass—a pulley mechanism that easily lifted and lowered heavy cargo from both sides of a warehouse with only one or two men. From 1831 through 1866, this windlass operated in the H. G. Root and Company Warehouse in the Village of Mohawk on the Erie Canal. The owners of the warehouse, Humphrey G. and Elias Root, also ran a general store and other small businesses along the canal.

Even the smell of the fresh rough cut lumber adds to the effect to bring you back 200 years to the opening of the Erie Canal.  You must see this exhibit to appreciate all that went into this magnificent engineering wonder we call the Erie Canal!  See it now along with other new exhibits “A spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War” and “Hudson Valley Ruins”.  And come back in several months as the Erie Canal exhibit is expanded.  These exhibits will be there at least for the next 2 years.

This is a great boost to telling the Byway story.  Consider that most world tourists seldom venture out of New York City.  If they come to upstate area their first stop is the New York State Museum.  With this effective showcase of the Canal system the next stop in their international visit would logically be the Mohawk Towpath Byway and further along the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.  Are we ready to celebrate the first two centuries of the Erie Canal?

New York State is hosting the World Canal Conference in Syracuse this month.  Our visitors are here!

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