Mules were a popular draft animal on the Erie Canal. An offspring of a male donkey and a female horse are generally less stubborn and more intelligent than a donkey and hardier and longer lived than a horse. Many barges had a small compartment to stable mules in the front of the barge. Small living quarters were in the rear well away from the draft animals. To be more efficient some barge owners would swap mules at the end of the day and keep going the barge moving into the night and thus cover more than 15 or 20 miles a day. The early owners of the farm that is today Riverview Orchards, raised, kept and traded mules. The trading occurred at the canal locks in this case either at lock 20 at the foot of present day Robinson Road or locks 21 and 22 in Rexford.
The Erie Canalway Heritage Corridor has adopted a mule named Sal as a mascot.