We are excited to announce that the Erie Canal Museum was one of 13 non-profit organizations and municipalities to be awarded an Erie Canalway IMPACT! Grant in 2021. The grant will help fund Erie Eats: The Erie Canal Foodways Project.
This project will showcase the diverse ways in which the Erie Canal radically impacted how people in New York State and beyond interacted with the most basic building blocks of human life, food and drink. Through a major exhibition, public programs, historic preservation, and innovative community partnerships, the Erie Canal Museum will highlight the many ways in which the histories of the Erie Canal and foodways have intersected over the last two centuries and will continue to interact in the future.
Gardening Basics for Kids
July 13 at 10:00 AM
Raised Bed Construction Workshop
July 13 at 5:00 PM
Join the Cornell Master Gardeners for this free, hands-on workshop constructing a new raised bed garden for the Erie Canal Museum‘s Locktender’s Garden on Tuesday, July 13 at 5 PM EDT. This program is part of the Erie Canal Museum’s effort to revitalize its Locktender’s Garden area and encourage people along the Canal to take up gardening in order to create a more beautiful and sustainable Canal Corridor.
July 15 at 12:00 PM
Join us at the Erie Canal Museum where Interim Curator Derrick Pratt will present on the Museum’s new temporary exhibit Erie Eats, looking at the broad and diverse history of food and drinks along the Erie Canal, on Thursday, July 15 at 12 PM EDT. This talk is part of our regular Lunchtime Lecture series.
July 27 at 5:00 PM
Join the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners for this free, hands-on workshop about what to plant in the summertime on Tuesday, July 27 at 5 PM EDT at the Erie Canal Museum. You’ll even be able to take home something you plant to start your own garden! This program is part of the Erie Canal Museum’s effort to revitalize its Locktender’s Garden area and encourage people along the Canal to take up gardening in order to create a more beautiful and sustainable Canal Corridor.
Native Plants: Creating a Backyard Habitat
August 7 at 10:00 AM
This free event, which will take place on Saturday, August 7 at 10 AM EDT at the Erie Canal Museum, will teach you all about what native plants are and why you should be planting them. This program is part of the Erie Canal Museum’s effort to revitalize its Locktender’s Garden area and encourage people along the Canal to take up gardening in order to create a more beautiful and sustainable Canal Corridor.
August 12 at 12:00 PM
We welcome people of all backgrounds and various accessibility needs. These digital presentations will be offered on Zoom with closed captions.
Save the Date for More Erie Eats Programming
More Details & More Programs Coming Soon
September 16 at 12:00 PM – Dr. Norman Dann, Bloomers, Ballots and Marmalade: The Life of Elizabeth Smith Miller
The Fertile Ground, Home to the Seneca Nation
February 6 at 1:00 PM
Peter Jemison, Seneca artist, educator, advocate, and Historic Site Manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site, discussed the Seneca people and their ancestral homeland in Western New York, as well as the issue of food sovereignty. Jemison was the first guest in our new speaking series in partnership with the Skä·noñh-Great Law of Peace Center looking at the impacts of the Erie Canal on the Haudenosaunee and their foodways as part of our larger Erie Eats Foodways Project.
Dr. Stephen Shaw of SUNY ESF explored how farms and others currently use water from the canal as well as plans to expand irrigation to support the region’s agricultural economy and to provide some resiliency to the increased occurrence of drought. This talk is part of our regular Lunchtime Lecture series. Click here to watch the recording.
Converging on the Canal: The 19th Century Through Food
April 22 at 12:00 PM
Few things are more universal than a need for food. The 19th century in America brought massive growth of industry, movement of people, and avenues for social uplift. This had a direct impact on the evolution of food production, consumption, and dining practices across geographic and socio-economic lines. At the center of much of this change was the opening and expansion of the Erie Canal and the people who lived and worked on it. Amanda Massie and Valerie Balint discussed how the technology and ideas that moved along the Erie Canal shaped how Americans ate in the 19th century. They discussed different communities associated with the canal highlighting the diverse people who played a role in supplying American tables. Click here to watch the recording.
They Sustain Us: Food Sovereignty on the Onondaga Nation
May 20 at 7:00 PM
BrewErie Canal: A Short History of Syracuse Breweries
May 27 at 12:00 PM
May’s Lunchtime Lecture featured Bob Searing, Curator of History at the Onondaga Historical Association. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the program was streamed live on the Museum’s Facebook page. This presentation covered the storied brewing history in the Salt City. The city’s central location on the Erie Canal, the easy access to fresh water and ice, and the ease of transportation, coupled with the significant levels of immigration of Irish and German immigrants in the 19th century, made Syracuse a major brewing center in the days before Prohibition killed off most of the local breweries. The talk covered the major players locally including Greenway’s, Bartels, Haberle, and Moore and Quinn, as well as some of the smaller, short-lived brands. The talk ended with the renaissance of local brewing, including a discussion of Middle Ages, Empire, Towpath, Eastwood, Talking Cursive, Heritage Hill, and the OHA and Willow Rock’s revival of the beloved Congress Beer in August of 2019. Cheers! Click here to watch the recording.
Locktender’s Gardening Series
These programs are part of the Erie Canal Museum’s effort to revitalize its Locktender’s Garden area and encourage people along the Canal to take up gardening in order to create a more beautiful and sustainable Canal Corridor.
Participants learned how to plan and get the most from small space gardens with raised beds with Pat Jokajtys from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Program. Click here to watch the recording.
Beer and Spirits in Upstate NY
Saturday, June 12 at 12:00 PM
As part of the Erie Canal Museum‘s ongoing Erie Eats: Erie Canal Foodways Project, the Museum hosted a lecture by author Don Cazentre covering the historic changes and modern trends in beer, wine, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages across the Erie Canal corridor. The presentation took place in the Locktender’s Garden at the Erie Canal Museum.
Don is a writer for Syracuse.com, The Post-Standard and NYUP.com. He has covered the trends and changes in beer, wine, and spirits across Upstate New York since the mid-1990s. He is the author of New York Breweries, 2nd ed. (Stackpole; 2014) and Spirits & Cocktails of Upstate New York (The History Press; 2017). He is currently part of a team working on a complete history of beer and brewing in New York state for the SUNY Press.
Additional Programs and Resources
Join Erie Canal Museum staff in recreating the historic recipes of Oliver Wendell Petrie, a cook on the Barge Canal in the late 1930s whose recipe book is now house in the Museum’s archives. In addition to recreating these recipes, staff shares interesting bits of Erie Canal and food history. Be sure to subscribe to the Erie Canal Museum YouTube channel to see new episodes when they’re released.
Experience Erie Canal history by bike, then enjoy a pint in this statewide summer series along New York’s Canals!
On Thursday nights throughout the summer an hour long guided bike tour will take guests along the new Empire State Trail while also highlighting that regions’ unique Canal history. Following the tour, join your fellow cyclists and brewery founders for a complimentary drink at our participating brewery. Participate for one night at your favorite local spot or try to complete the entire statewide circuit.
Please register in advance to participate. Registration is $20 per ride. Visit all 7 participating breweries in 2021 to receive a prize!
June 24 at 6:00 PM – Albany Join the Historic Albany Foundation, Discover Albany, the Albany Ale Project, and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour through Albany looking at the city’s Erie Canal and brewing history. See sites like the location of the enormous John Taylor and Sons Brewery and Lock #1 on the Old Erie. The ride begins and ends at C.H. Evans Brewing Company, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.
July 8 at 6:00 PM – Syracuse Join the Erie Canal Museum and Talking Cursive Brewing Company for this hour long cycling tour through Syracuse looking at the its unique brewing and Canal history, including Greenway’s Brewing, which once occupied the same site as Talking Cursive today! The ride begins at the Erie Canal Museum and ends at Talking Cursive, right down the street, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.
July 26 at 6:00 PM – Buffalo Join Slow Roll Buffalo and the Erie Canal Museum for this joint cycling tour through Buffalo looking at the city’s Erie Canal history, taking you from Canalside to Big Ditch Brewery. At Big Ditch you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history by the Buffalo Maritime Center‘s John Montague. Admission also includes a commemorative t-shirt. This ride is part of the Erie Canal Museum’s larger statewide cycling series Beers, Bikes, and Barges, which aims to educate people about the Erie Canal’s diverse history while also supporting local breweries, as well as Slow Roll Buffalo’s monthly Ticket to Roll series highlighting different aspects of Buffalo. Due to the commemorative t-shirt, this ride is $25. Click here to purchase tickets on the Slow Roll website.
August 5 at 6:00 PM – Finger Lakes Region Join the Erie Canal Museum, Finger Lakes Boating Museum’s Art Cohn, and Twisted Rail Brewing Company for this hour long cycling tour along the north end of Seneca Lake looking at the area’s unique Canal history, including the current efforts by Art and his underwater surveying team to map sunken canal boats at the bottom of the Lake! The ride begins and ends at Twisted Rail where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.
August 19 at 6:00 PM – Pittsford Join Historic Pittsford and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour around town looking at it’s Erie Canal and brewing history. Stops will include both Lock 32 Brewing Company and the real Lock 32 on the New York Barge Canal! The ride begins and ends at Lock 32 Brewing Company, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.
September 2 at 6:00 PM – Schenectady Join the Schenectady County Historical Society and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour through Schenectady looking at the city’s Erie Canal and brewing history, as you ride along the historic Mohawk River. The ride begins and ends at Druthers Brewing Company, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.
September 16 at 6:00 PM – Canastota Join the Canastota Canal Town Museum and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour around town looking at its Erie Canal and brewing history. You’ll enjoy this ride along the historic Old Erie Canal State Historic Site and the newly completed Canastota Rail Trail! The ride begins and ends at Erie Canal Brewing Company, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.
Cones and Canals
Join us for a series of walking and cycling tours that will be fun for the whole family as you learn about different canal communities’ rich history and enjoy some ice cream from a local shop!
This series will take place every other Saturday throughout the summer. Please register in advance to participate by clicking on a specific date. Registration is $15 for adults and $5 for kids.
July 10 at 11:00 AM – Schoharie Crossing Join the Erie Canal Museum at the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site for this tour, which includes a stop at Kim’s Produce and Ice Cream. Registration details TBA.
More Dates and Locations TBA
All Erie Eats programs are funded in part through the generous support of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
This project is dependent upon the generous support from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the NYS Canal Corporation, along with support provided by Market NY through I LOVE NY, New York State’s Division of Tourism, as a part of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
The Erie Canal Museum programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.