Many boatmen of the original Erie Canal joined the Union Army to fight in the Civil War just as the Enlarged Erie Canal was being completed in 1862. Those who returned to the boats and banks of the Canal found the culture changed, harsher, and more difficult. Fast forward to 1917: the Enlarged Canal closed its gates forever as the newly built Barge Canal system was about to open. Boatmen made their last trips in the fall of 1917, and many enlisted in the armed forces during World War I. In this special lunchtime lecture at the Erie Canal Museum, historian Pamela Vittorio will discuss the impact that the end of these two wars and Canal eras had on the lives of these veterans.
Pamela Vittorio is from the Erie Canal community of Chittenango, New York. She specializes in research topics including the Erie Canal, the Civil War, migration, and cartography. She is a professional historian and genealogist, and has served on the board of the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum. Admission to this special lecture is free for Museum members and just $5 for the general public, and the program will include time for questions. Free parking is in Museum-designated spots in the lot across the street under routes 81 and 690. Join us!