Our Erie Canal exhibit is finally done! Supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, we kicked off renovations in November of last year. It was quite a process – converting a long coat room hallway into the interiors of a miniature street of shops where previously there had only been a large wall of text regarding the history of the Erie Canal…and then came the fun part, constructing the exteriors of four buildings! The exhibit has been partitioned off for these past six months and we have had some disappointed kids on our hands when they race around the corner of the museum and find their way to the boat blocked. Hopefully now, when they see the finished product, they will forgive us for keeping them from their favorite exhibit in the museum for so long!
The exhibit now features four miniature shops modeled after 19th century storefronts which would have been common in towns along the Erie Canal. There is a barn where you can groom a horse, a post office to send letters, a general store where you can buy dry goods and essentials, and a tavern to catch a meal after a long day before renting a room and enjoying a nice read by the fireplace. Everything is sized to be kid-friendly and there have been some sore heads in the museum during this fabrication process from forgetting about the lowered door frames!
Not to worry – kids’ favorite part of this exhibit up to this point, the packet boat, is still there but is now sporting a new coat of fresh paint. Thanks to local artist Joe Del Monte, we also had the mural along the wall by the boat redone and it looks spectacular! He did beautiful work and we are proud to showcase his talents.
Enjoy some of these shots of the fabrication process and make sure to visit the museum to see the newly updated exhibit for yourself!