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The Erie Canal Museum, located in Downtown Syracuse, NY, engages the public in the story of the Erie Canal’s transformative impacts on peoples and places in the past, present, and future. We are stewards and interpreters of Erie Canal related materials and heritage. The Museum is housed in the 1850 National Register Weighlock Building, the last remaining structure of its kind. Visit us for exhibits with interactive displays and original artifacts, and engaging programs. The Erie Canal Museum is a must-see for adults and children of all ages.

The Erie Canal Museum’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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Augusta W. Brown: Watercolorist on the Waterways
Link Gallery
Dates: February 14, 2022 - May 10, 2023

Explore the journey of artist Augusta W. Brown up the Erie Canal into Quebec in 1890, through gorgeous sketches and watercolors of New York and the workers on the Canal. Augusta's journal, not seen since 1930, showcases her trip on a logging boat and the people she met along the way through detailed descriptions and drawings.

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Deeper Dive: History & Shipwrecks, A Legacy of the Erie Canal: A New Survey of Seneca Lake Reveals Canal-era Shipwrecks
Free, $10 recommended donation
Dates: May 18, 2023 - May 18, 2023

Canal freight boats, which like todays tractor trailers, became the backbone of commerce, were built by shipyards all along the Erie Canal. This dynamic inland transportation system helped define New York as the Empire State and transform New York City into the nation's principal seaport. When the Seneca Lake Survey began in 2018, very few examples of these first generation canal boats had been located or studied. Researchers from the Finger Lakes Boating Museum working in partnership with several New York State agencies, and in anticipation of the Erie Canal Bicentennial Anniversary coming in 2025, initiated a new underwater survey in Seneca Lake. Today, Seneca Lake is known for its beauty and the vineyards that surround it. What is little remembered is that by the mid-19th century, Seneca Lake had become a significant link in the inland transportation system and a connection hub to three early canals. The Seneca Lake underwater survey was initiated to determine what of that historic legacy might still be contained beneath the surface.
For more than four decades, nautical archaeologist Art Cohn has located, documented and advocated for the public value of shipwrecks. Art is an Affiliated Scholar at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology & Texas A&M University and the Principal Investigator of the Seneca Lake Survey Project. Art is Director Emeritus of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and his talk will present the project's research findings to date.

This talk will be available both in person and virtually.

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Museum <span>News</span>
Museum <span>News</span>

Museum News

Erie Canal Artist-in-Residence
A Collaboration between the Erie Canal Museum and the New York State Canal Corporation
Dates: January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023

The New York State Canal Corporation and the Erie Canal Museum have announced that Matthew López-Jensen, a Bronx-based, interdisciplinary environmental artist, has been named the 2023 Erie Canal Artist-in-Residence (AIR), the first in the history of both organizations. The AIR program will focus on a year-long creative inquiry into the Canal and the logistics of Canal maintenance and operations – what is required to keep the Canal in a state of good repair so that it remains reliable and safe for all users.

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