Historic and Cultural Sites and Museums

Historic and Cultural Sites and Museums

Erie Canal- East
ALBANY
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 Albany Institute of History & Art

(518) 463-4478

Showcases a premier collection of art and historical artifacts documenting life and culture of the Upper Hudson Valley region; renowned for its collection of the Hudson River School of painting. The Institute holds diverse collections related to the Erie Canal, including paintings, drawings, and historical objects. Research library houses primary source materials related to the Erie Canal. Online resource collection also available.  Visit Site >

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 Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center

(518) 434-1217

Visitor center and exhibits which trace four centuries of Albany's history from fur-trading post to center for world trade, finance, and government.  Visit Site >

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 New York State Archives

(518) 474-8955

Large collection of historical documents and maps related to the construction and management of the Erie Canal. Programs for students incorporate the use of original documents.  Visit Site >

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 New York State Museum

(518) 474-5877

Science, education, art exhibits, and programs for all ages. The museum's collections include scientific and historical material of national and international importance.  Visit Site >

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 Watervliet Shaker National Historic District

(518) 456-7890

Site of America's first Shaker settlement. Exhibition, gift shop, self guided tour of nine historic structures, garden, orchard, and cemetery where founder Ann Lee is buried.  Visit Site >

CANAJOHARIE
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 Village of Canajoharie

Canajoharie’s location, where the Canajoharie Creek joins the Mohawk River, made this spot a transportation hub where farmers brought their produce to ship to larger markets. The Erie Canal, built in the 1820s, helped Canajoharie become a thriving industrial center. Beech-Nut Packing Company was founded here in 1891. During the 1930s, Beech-Nut started packaging its famous line of mashed baby food made from local produce. Visit Canajoharie to enjoy local restaurants and shops, parks, authentic streetscapes, and historic architecture.

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 Mohawk Valley Regional Information Center

Sample small town life and friendly hospitality in Mohawk Valley villages that grew up along the original Erie Canal, including Fonda, Fultonville, Canajoharie, Palatine Bridge, Fort Plain, Nelliston, and St. Johnsville. Several have historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy historic sites, local food and crafts, antique-hunting, and village and waterfront parks. Pick up information at the Regional Visitors Center at Canajoharie, 89 Church Street. Explore by boat, bike, or car-- the villages are connected by the canal, Canalway Trail, and routes 5 and 5S.  Visit Site >

CLIFTON PARK
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 Mohawk Towpath Byway

This National Scenic Byway is a 26-mile driving route that follows the Mohawk River/Erie Canal from Waterford and Cohoes to Schenectady. Discover the waterway west, the Erie Canal and the role that local communities played in the westward expansion of the country and in the Industrial Revolution. Audio tour available at (518) 649-9990.  Visit Site >

FORT HUNTER
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 Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site

(518) 829-7516

One of New York's premier canal sites, where you can see the remains of the impressive Schoharie Aqueduct, locks from 1825 and 1841, and hike, bike, and picnic on the banks of the present-day canal. Tour the visitor center and partially-restored canal store at historic Lock 28.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

FORT PLAIN
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 Fort Plain Free Library

(518) 993-4646

Uniquely set in a restored 1800s house, the library showcases Fort Plain's canal heritage and serves as a Welcome Center for visitors. Close to Lock E15 and the Erie Canalway Trail.  Visit Site >

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 Village of Fort Plain

From the settlements of the Mohawks to the arrival of the Palatine Germans in the 1700s to the establishment of a fort during the Revolutionary War, Fort Plain has served as a central point in the middle Mohawk Valley. When the Erie Canal opened in 1825, it spurred agricultural and industrial development. Fort Plain factories produced agricultural goods, textiles, machinery, and furniture that were shipped on the canal. The original Erie Canal ran through the center of town, but moved into the Mohawk River in 1918. Visit Fort Plain to enjoy local restaurants and shops, beautiful parks, authentic streetscapes, historic architecture, and natural waterfronts.

HERKIMER
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 Herkimer's Historic Four Corners

(315) 866-6413

Herkimer's Historic Four Corners Composed of 1884 Herkimer County Historical Society Suiter Building, 1834 Herkimer County Jail, 1873 Herkimer County Courthouse, and the 1834 Herkimer Reformed Church.  Visit Site >

LITTLE FALLS
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 Canal Place

(315) 823-4309 (Antiques Center)

This Erie Canalway Heritage Award-winning site features an antiques center, boutique shops, and restaurants housed in historic mill buildings along the Erie Canal. Events throughout the summer. A short walk or bike ride to Lock 17 and Moss Island National Natural Landmark.  Visit Site >

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 Herkimer Home State Historic Site

(315) 823-0398

Features the colonial days of Palatine German settlement in the Mohawk Valley at the 18th-century farmstead of Revolutionary War hero, General Nicholas Herkimer.  Visit Site >

ROME
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 Fort Stanwix National Historical Park

(315) 336-3126

This 1777 frontier fort tells stories of the nations that fought for control of the Oneida Carrying Place, Mohawk Valley, homelands of the Six Nations Confederacy, and the rich resources of North America.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

SCHENECTADY
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 miSci

(518) 382-7890

Museum of Innovation and Science celebrates science, invention, and imagination and explores the area's rich technological heritage. Canal-related programs include historic district cell phone tour (518-387-3028).  Visit Site >

SCHENECTADY AND ROTTERDAM
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 Schenectady County Historical Society Museum & Mabee Farm Historic Site

(518) 887-5073

Learn about the impact of the Erie Canal on Schenectady at the history museum located in the city's historic Stockade District. At the Mabee Farm, explore the home, barn, and grounds of a 300+ year old Dutch farm along the banks of the Mohawk River/Erie Canal.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

TROY
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 Burden Iron Works Museum

(518) 274-5267

Constructed between 1881 and 1882 in the Romanesque Revival style, the former office of the Burden Iron Works contains an extensive exhibit on Troy’s industrial history throughout the 19th century. Much of the cutting-edge technology of the day was developed at the city’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Walking tours also available. Call ahead to visit or schedule a tour.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

WATERFORD
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 Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center

(518) 238-0809

Located in the 1830s Hugh White homestead along the Old Champlain Canal, the museum's permanent exhibit, Born of Two Rivers, features the history of Waterford. Inquire about education programs and rotating exhibits related to local history and the canal.  Visit Site >

Erie Canal- Central
CAMILLUS
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 Camillus Erie Canal Park

(315) 488-3409

Located along the Old Erie Canal and today's Canalway Trail, the park features Sims Store Museum, a replica canal side store circa 1856, and the award-winning 1842 Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, which was restored and rewatered in 2009. The park also includes a dry section of Clinton's Ditch, replica lock tender's shanty, and other outdoor displays. Boat rides in summer.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

CANASTOTA
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 Canastota Canal Town Museum

(315) 697-5002

Located beside a remnant of the Old Erie Canal, the museum is filled with authentic memorabilia, art, and other exhibits featuring Canastota's contribution to the canal. Across the street is a visitors' park with historical murals and informative kiosks; easily accessed from the Canalway Trail.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

CHITTENANGO
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 Chittanango Landing Canal Boat Museum

(315) 687-3801

From 1856 through 1917 the drydocks at Chittenango were a center for canal boat building and repair. Now restored, you'll see three 100-foot long stone and timber dry docks, a replica canal boat, and exhibits related to life on the canal. You’ll also discover a site restored by dedicated volunteers, whose vision and enthusiasm continue to make the museum a vibrant center on the old Erie Canal. The site is located within the Old Erie Canal State Park along the towpath Erie Canalway Trail. Bike rentals are available or bring your own and explore the trail. Bike tours by appointment.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

ONEIDA
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 Shako:wi Cultural Center at the Oneida Indian Nation

(315) 829-8801

Offers an in depth look at the Oneida Nation. Authentic Oneida arts and crafts on display, including basketry, beadwork, dolls, rattles, and wampum.  Visit Site >

SYRACUSE
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 Erie Canal Museum

(315) 471-0593

Extensive collection and exhibits on all facets of the Erie Canal. Housed in the only remaining Weighlock Building (1850) where canal boats were weighed during the days when they traveled through the center of Syracuse on the Erie Canal. Artwork on display year round featuring works by 19th and 20th century American painters, printers and photographers who worked in canal themes.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

Erie Canal- West
ALBION
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 Cobblestone Society Museum

(585) 589-9013

Cobblestones were an inexpensive building material, found in abundance throughout the Western Erie Region. You'll find schools, houses, churches and other buildings made from cobblestones during the 1830s and 1840s here. The museum provides a good overview to this unique form of architecture.  Visit Site >

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 Albion

Albion is the seat of Orleans County. Its dignified courthouse square is ringed by churches and handsome downtown commercial buildings. Many were constructed with distinctive red and tan Medina sandstone. Quarried a few miles west, the stone was carried on the Erie Canal to Albion and points east—as far as New York City.

AMHERST
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 Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village 

(716) 689-1440

Recreated 19th century settlement with museum, 10 historic buildings, and reproduction blacksmith shop. Kids can enjoy the Erie Canal exhibit with fun, hands-on activities, a replica canal packet boat, and a miniature street of shops. Guided tours, exhibits, special events, and school programs available.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

BROCKPORT
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 Morgan-Manning House

(585) 637-3645

Preserved and restored Italianate house and grounds in the Village of Brockport; a short walk from the Erie Canal. The house reflects the lifesyle of a wealthy canal town resident during the late 1800s - early 1920s. Extensive local history archives. Tours by appointment.

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 Village of Brockport/Canalfront Welcome Center

(585) 637-5300 (Village office); (585) 637-1000 (welcome center)

This Heritage Award-winning village serves as a museum without walls, showcasing how the canal influenced settlement, architecture, industry, and tourism. Begin your visit at the Canalfront Welcome Center. Services for boaters and cyclists include restrooms, water and electrical hookups, showers, Internet access, bikes to lend, and information on attractions and walking and cycling tours.  Visit Site >

BUFFALO
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 Canalside

(716) 328-0320

Buffalo's historic canal terminus is the centerpiece of the city's waterfront renaissance. Canalside features several fully restored facets of the original Erie Canal Harbor, including the "Commercial Slip," which served as the historic juncture between the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. Events, festivals, and boat tours are on tap throughout the summer season. Ice skate on replica canals in winter.  Visit Site >

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 Delta Sonic Heritage Farm at the Buffalo Zoo

(716) 837-3900

This family-friendly exhibit recreates a historic farm from the 1850s. An Erie Canal-era homestead features heritage breeds of domestic animals and includes an adjacent wetland and a historic replica of an Erie Canal lock.  Visit Site >

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 Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site

(716) 884-0095

Theodore Roosevelt began his presidential journey in Buffalo, NY on September 14, 1901. State of the art exhibits and a dramatic guided tour will immerse you in the sights, sounds and emotions surrounding this pivotal moment in our nation's history. Discover how the enduring legacy of one of America's greatest presidents affects our lives today.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

FAIRPORT
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 Village of Fairport

Stroll along Main Street and browse shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor of this canal town.  Visit Site >

HOLLEY
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 Village of Holley

Stroll along Main Street and browse shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor of this canal town. From the Canalway Trail, cross the lift bridge at Holley and ride 1/4 mile to downtown Holley.  Visit Site >

LOCKPORT
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 Erie Canal Discovery Center

(716) 439-0431

Start your visit to Lockport here. The interactive interpretive center showcases the history of the Erie Canal and the famous “Flight of Five” Lockport Locks. It's a short walk to the Canalside District, the renowned 1800s locks, and the similarly remarkable Barge Canal Locks 34 and 35. Boat tours, Canalway Trail, and other attractions nearby.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

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 Lockport

Stroll along Main Street and browse shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor of this canal town.  Visit Site >

MEDINA
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 Medina Railroad Museum

(583) 798-6106

Located in the old New York Central Freight Depot; exhibits include 200-foot long HO scale model layout. The museum offers two hour train rides along the Erie Canal in the fall.  Visit Site >

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 Village of Medina

Stroll along Main Street and browse shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor of this canal town. From the Canalway Trail, cross the bridge at Medina and ride approximately 1/4 mile to Main Street.  Visit Site >

MIDDLEPORT
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 Village of Middleport

Stroll along Main Street and browse shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor of this canal town.  Visit Site >

NORTH TONAWANDA
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 Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum

(716) 693-1885

The Allan Herschell Company factory produced carousels and amusement rides from the late 1800s through the 1960s, many of which were shipped on the Erie Canal. This National Register site includes the original woodworking shop, Wurlitzer music roll shop, a collection of hand-carved carousel animals, two operating carousels, an outdoor Kiddieland with 4 restored Allan Herschell Kiddie rides, and band organs that play every day.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

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 North Tonawanda History Museum

(716) 213-0554

Showcases the heritage of North Tonawanda and its role as a shipping and manufacturing center on the historic Erie Canal and Niagara River in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Museum hosts guided and self-guided history walks and tours, publications, and events throughout the year.   Visit Site >

PALMYRA
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 Historic Palmyra

(315) 597-6981

Five museum sites preserve and showcase a unique collection of local artifacts and stories. Explore the impact of the Erie Canal on the Village of Palmyra since 1821 at the William Phelps General Store, Historic Museum, Palmyra Print Shop, Erie Canal Depot, and Alling Coverlet Museum. Group tours welcome. Erie Canalway Heritage Award- Honorable Mention, 2008.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

PITTSFORD
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 Village of Pittsford

Stroll along Main Street and browse shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor of this canal town.  Visit Site >

ROCHESTER
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 Mount Hope Cemetery

(585) 461-3494

America's oldest municipally-owned Victorian cemetery and the final resting place of many people associated with the Erie Canal, Underground Railroad, and Women's Rights. Tours offered May-Oct.  Visit Site >

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 Rochester Museum & Science Center

(585) 271-4320

Explore science and technology and its impact - past, present, future - on our lives. Canal-themed exhibits include: hands-on Erie Canal lock model; impacts of canal building on Native Americans; and Flight to Freedom: Rochester’s Underground Railroad.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

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 Rochester Public Library

(585) 428-8370

The library's collection includes many original documents about the Erie Canal. An extensive online collection shares images and maps about the impact of the Erie Canal in Rochester and surrounding areas.    Visit Site >

SPENCERPORT
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 Spencerport Depot and Canal Museum

(585) 352-0942

Inviting visitor center and small museum on the Erie Canal housed in a restored 1908 Trolly Depot. Rest in the Depot’s rocking chairs, borrow books, use the WiFi, and browse local history exhibits. Restrooms with showers available. Erie Canalway Heritage Award- Honorable Mention, 2009.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

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 Village of Spencerport

Stroll along Main Street and browse shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor of this canal town.  Visit Site >

VICTOR
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 Ganondagan State Historic Site

(585) 398-6151

Ganondagan is the site of a Native American community that was a flourishing, vibrant center for the Seneca people. The site offers a visitor center, gift shop, a 17th-century Seneca Bark Longhouse, and miles of self-guided trails.  Visit Site >

Cayuga-Seneca Canal
ITHACA
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 Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway

This NYS Scenic Byway loop around Cayuga Lake connects many sites of historic significance, scenic beauty, and recreational value. Visit the website for a map of the tour route.  Visit Site >

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 History Center in Tompkins County

(607) 273-8284

The History Center in Tompkins County serves as a highly valuable resource for researchers, teachers, students, and genealogists. It offers an extensive historical collection that includes both images and archives on the history of the canal in southern Cayuga Lake.  Visit Site >

SENECA FALLS
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 Seneca Museum of Waterways & Industry and Seneca Falls Visitor Center

(315) 568-1510

Three floors of exhibits illustrate how the Seneca River and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal powered the rise of industry, fostered cultural development, and spread social reform.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

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 Women’s Rights National Historical Park

(315) 568-0024

Seneca Falls is the birthplace of the woman’s rights movement in 1848. Park includes the site of the First Women’s Rights Convention, as well as the homes of three of the convention’s organizers.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

Champlain Canal
CROWN POINT
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 Lakes to Locks Passage Scenic Byway

(518) 597-9661

The Scenic Byway travels the length of the Champlain Canal along US Route 4, connecting Troy to Rouses Point at the northern end of Lake Champlain, and highlighting how the historic waterway shaped New York's history.  Visit Site >

FORT EDWARD
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 Rodgers Island Visitor Center

(518) 747-3693

Exhibits tell the story of the Fort Edward area, from the earliest Native Americans through the Revolutionary War.  Visit Site >

SCHUYLERVILLE
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 Gen. Philip Schuyler House

(518) 670-2985

Visit the country home of Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler—military man, entrepreneur, politician, and godfather of the canal system of New York State. Schuyler built this house amid the ruins of another home destroyed by the retreating British army under General John Burgoyne in the autumn of 1777. Operated as part of Saratoga National Historical Park.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

STILLWATER
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 Saratoga National Historical Park

(518) 670-2985

On pastoral bluffs above the Hudson River, pivotal Revolutionary War battles fought here ended in an American victory. Drive or bicycle the battlefield’s scenic 10-mile tour road, hike historic paths, see the film and museum, shop the bookstore and enjoy year-around special events. The park also includes the country estate of General Philip Schuyler, one of the earliest proponents of canal building in New York.  Visit Site >
Passport Site

WHITEHALL
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 Whitehall Heritage Area Visitor Center

(518) 499-1155

Situated in a 1917 canal terminal building; over 4,000 artifacts and photos on display highlighting two main themes of Whitehall's history: transporation and defense. Visit the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce for information about this and other attractions in Whitehall.  Visit Site >

Oswego Canal
OSWEGO
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 H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego

(315) 342-0480

The only U.S. maritime museum on Lake Ontario preserves and shares the diverse history of the Oswego River Basin, Oswego Canal & Lake Ontario. Located in the “Historic Maritime District,” it consists of indoor and outdoor exhibits, galleries, gift shop, and a fleet of historic vessels on the West First Street Pier.  Visit Site >
Passport Site