Monthly at Noon

$10 Suggested Donation

Lunchtime Lectures will be either virtual via Zoom or hybrid, giving you the option to join us in person or virtual. If you are joining us virtually. you will receive an email from the Erie Canal Museum via no-reply@zoom.us providing you personal link to this secure event at least one hour prior to the event beginning.

Note: We are unable to offer refunds for event reservations or donations. Please be sure you can attend prior to contributing. All event reservations/ticket sales/donations are final, unless the Museum cancels the event.

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2022 Schedule – Upcoming

Thursday, July 21 at 12 PM- Pamela Vittorio- Weighing In: A Day in the Life of the Syracuse Weighmasters – HYBRID PROGRAM

This will cover a personal look at  weigh masters and the process they went through to become one, and their interactions with other people who worked at the weigh lock, the boatmen, and what happened in the Weighlock buildings.

Thursday, August 25 at 12 PM- David Beebe- Camillus Aqueduct Restoration – HYBRID PROGRAM

Learn more about the restoration of the historic Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, the only restored towpath era aqueduct on the Erie Canal. Explore this engineering marvel and the tremendous effort involved in its rehabilitation!

Thursday, September 22 at 12 PM- Patrick McGreevy – The Canal and the Continent: Imagining, Creating and Understanding a Pivot of Change – HYBRID PROGRAM

What did the original Erie Canal mean to those who imagined, built, and tried to understand it? Decisions made at various levels, including the local, impacted, and were impacted by, wider historical transformations. This presentation will explore some of these connections between decisions, meanings, and consequences.

More to be announced soon!


Thursday, January 20 at 12 PM – Stephen Pennington – Benjamin Wright, Father of American Civil Engineering

The early 19th century was a time of great change as the United States transitioned from the colonial era to the industrial age. Benjamin Wright’s engineering career spanned the better part of that time from 1790 to 1840. Stephen Pennington’s presentation chronicles Wright’s life and varied career from country surveyor to his early work on America’s railroads. After surveying the Mohawk River for navigation improvements and supervising the engineering of the Erie Canal project, he then went on to contribute to such projects as the Chesapeake and Delaware canal near Philadelphia, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal near Washington, DC. From the capital city, Wright advanced his engineering practice as America grew and viewed its manifest expansion to the West.


Thursday, February 17 at 12 PM – Suzanne Spellen – Garnet Douglass Baltimore: Landscape Architect and Engineer Extraordinaire

In 1901, the city fathers of Troy, NY wanted a fine, naturalist city park to rival the parks of other cities, such as Manhattan’s Central Park, and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. They chose the highest point in the city: Mount Ida, purchased the land, and chose a landscape architect. That man was Garnet Douglass Baltimore. He was a son of Troy; his father had been a prominent member of Troy’s African American community, and he was the first black graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Our tour of Baltimore’s outstanding life and career includes Troy’s Prospect Park, as well as some of his other projects, including his first engineering job on the Erie and Oswego Canals. He was a well-educated African American man who operated freely and seemingly without prejudice in his chosen profession, and in the halls of power and society in early 20th century America. His story deserves to be told.

Thursday, March 24 at 12 PM – Susan Snow Wadley – Upstate NY in the late 1800s: the Life and Times of Theodocia Maria Toll Foster – VIRTUAL PROGRAM

Theodocia Maria Toll Foster, a lifetime resident of Verona, NY, was a highly published children’s author in the latter part of the 19th century as well as head mistress of a late 19th century boarding school for girls located in Verona and New Hartford. More broadly, her life is framed by a religious movement called the Second Great awakening, also known as the Burned Over District,  racing across Upstate NY throughout the 19th century. A staunch temperance advocate, her stories speak against alcohol, growing hops, and the travails of big city life.  Writing under the name Faye Huntington, she published some 40 books and many articles and stories in a popular children’s magazine of the day, Pansy. In this talk, Susan Snow Wadley explores her life and her writings and values as reflected in her numerous published writings.

Thursday, April 14 at 12 PM – David Brooks – A Crossing Situation: The Erie Canal at Schoharie Creek 

David Brooks, Education Director at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, will explain how the Schoharie Creek was an impediment to the Erie Canal before the artificial river opened.  We’ll explore what Erie Canal engineers and builders determined was needed to cross the waters of the Schoharie from the earliest dam to the incredible John B. Jervis-designed Schoharie Creek Aqueduct, and what that meant for the success of the Erie Canal.

Thursday, May 19 at 12 PM – Ambrose Barbuto – Winter Maintenance on The NYS Canal System – HYBRID PROGRAM

Join Ambrose Barbuto of the NYS Canal Corporation to provide a brief overview of the maintenance activities that occurred on the NYS Canal System during the non-navigation season.

Thursday, June 16 at 12 PM – Shane Blauvelt – Recreational and Sustainability Projects Coming to Onondaga Lake – HYBRID PROGRAM

Honeywell continues making progress on recreational projects under the supervision of federal agencies, and with state and local governments on sustainability projects that could bring renewable energy opportunities for former industrial properties. In addition, more than 90 acres of restored wetlands are providing a sustainable habitat to nearly 290 wildlife species who have returned to the lake’s shoreline and nearby areas. Shane Blauvelt, Honeywell’s Senior Remediation Manager, will provide an update on these initiatives and what the community can expect to see in the upcoming year.