At the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum in Chittenango, New York, re-enactors bring history to life. The museum has preserved three Erie Canal drydocks, originally built in 1855.
The drydocks would fill with water, boats would be let in, and then the docks drained. The boats would sit on timbers while repairs were completed. Boats were also built here. A small town of retail, blacksmith, sawmill, and woodworking shops sprang up around the drydocks.
Visitors can ‘go back in time’ and see how the people of the Erie Canal lived. The working Blacksmith’s Shop demonstrates how practically anything they needed could be molded, from a frying pan to a tie for a boat.
While waiting for repairs, families were able to get off the boat and obtain needed supplies or go for a picnic. Occasionally, a special treat came to town: the circus. Circus boats would tie up at the canal, set up tents, and entertain visitors and locals.
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Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum