Black River Canal Museum (photo from CNY)
from the Central New York Chapter newsletter, July 2011, by Kathy Eisele
Nine members and guests of the Central New York Chapter of the NCTA traveled to the Black River Canal Museum in Boonville, New York, to celebrate Trails Day on June 4. Upon arrival, Daphne Larrabee, who gave us a guided overview of the museum’s exhibits, met us. Laura Czajka, Alyssa Matthews, and Dale Ferris, curator, assisted her. Our contribution to the day was Steve Kinne’s Power Point presentation on the North Country National Scenic Trail.
The museum, located right on the Black River Canal, has wonderful exhibits from the canal days (first boat traveled from Rome to Boonville in 1850, last boat left Boonville in 1924), including changing displays of enlarged photographs of the canal and surrounding communities selected from an inventory of more than 3,000 photos. The many other exhibits include tools and other artifacts; a display showing the 109 locks between Rome and Lyons Falls, a 35 miles distance with a rise/fall of 1,079 feet; a working mini-canal replica that allows visitors (or as Daphne put it “children of all ages”) to run model canal boats through a set of locks to see how the system worked.
One of the newest exhibits is a life-sized replica of a Black River Canal Boat, constructed using original plans, that gives an idea of what life was like living and working on the canal. Currently being developed at the museum is an Archives Room, which, when finished, will be open to the public for research. The gift shop offers memorabilia, including t-shirts, books and DVDs. Also, if one of the photos in the museum’s displays particularly appeals to you, an 8x10 reprint can be ordered.
Ed Fynmore, now President of the museum’s Board of Trustees, initiated the museum in 2003 when he organized a group of interested volunteers. He, the Board of Trustees, and all of the other volunteers merit congratulations for developing a real asset in the North Country, well worth a trip to Boonville. In addition, of course, trailheads to the NCNST to Pixley Falls (approx. 6 mile hike) or to Forestport (approx. 10 mile hike) are nearby. The museum is open seven days a week starting the last week end in June through Labor Day,
10 to 4, then on weekends to Columbus Day.
See Central New York Chapter of the NCTA
See Black River Canal Museum