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Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site hosts lecture on the history of the Erie Canal

Erie CanalAs part of a statewide commemoration of the Erie Canal’s 200th anniversary, the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter and the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse will host a lecture by Dr. Carol Sheriff, author of The Artificial River, Sunday, July 23, at 4:00 p.m. inside the newly renovated Visitors Center at 129 Schoharie Street.

Reflections on Erie’s Waters is a collaboration between The Erie Canal Museum and The Canal Society of New York State to commemorate the waterway’s bicentennial and examine its legacy and future through diverse viewpoints. Reflections presents an inclusive view of the Erie Canal, examines its relevance and importance and heightens awareness of its historical impact, current significance and future potential through a series of workshops, lectures and exhibits.

Dr. Sheriff’s lecture, Becoming Second Nature: The Erie Canal’s Early History, examines how the new waterway initially symbolized the young republic’s technological and economic progress, and was even hailed as a divinely ordained mission. She will discuss how the Erie Canal redefined daily routines, livelihoods and values for thousands of New Yorkers, and remapped the region’s physical and human geography.

Dr. Sheriff is author of The Artificial River: The Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1862, which was honored by the New York State Historical Association in 1996. She is a Professor of History at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and co-author of several American history publications and textbooks.

The Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the Erie Canal as one of the 19th century’s greatest commercial and engineering projects. The Visitor Center exhibit traces the history of the Erie Canal and its impact on the growth of New York State and the nation. Within the site’s boundaries are many structures dating from the three eras of the canal’s development. For more information, call (518) 829-7516.

Committed to preserving the only existing weighlock building in the United States, the Erie Canal Museum collects and conserves Canal material, champions an appreciation and understanding of Erie Canal history through educational programming, and promotes an awareness of the Canal’s transforming effects on the past, present and future. The Museum is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free with a suggested $5 donation.

For more information on the Reflections on Erie’s Waters program or any of the artist-led workshops or statewide lecture series, contact Vicki Krisak, Director of Communications and Outreach, Erie Canal Museum,, (315) 471-0593, ext. 15, or visit the Erie Canal Museum website

Reflections on Erie’s Waters is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.