The Hudson River Maritime Museum opened its new 2018 exhibit, “The Hudson River and Its Canals: Building the Empire State” on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This new temporary exhibit celebrates the bicentennial of a decade of canal construction that created bold new transportation corridors connecting the Hudson River and New York State to Canada and Vermont, the Great Lakes and Midwest, and the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Featured canals include the Champlain (1823), Erie (1825), and Delaware & Hudson (1828) and the exhibit will also include information on later feeder canals and canal expansions.
This system of interconnected waterways led to rapid growth in New York State, created new markets, led to the rise of new cities, and made New York City one of the world’s largest ports. The canals interpreted in the exhibit fulfilled the promise of the motto “Empire State” and established New York as a leader in engineering, communications, capital, and international trade. The exhibit illustrates that the geography of New York State and the Hudson and Mohawk valleys uniquely positioned it to provide transportation corridors through the barriers of the Appalachian mountain chain and demonstrates that transportation by water was much cheaper and more efficient than overland travel.
Visitors will have the opportunity to hear the voice of a woman who grew up driving a mule along the Delaware & Hudson canal from the interior of a canal boat cabin. Children can operate small canal boats through a scale model canal with mechanical locks and an aqueduct. A large three-dimensional topographical map showcases how the geography of the state influenced canal routes. Photos show the faces of the people and animals who operated on the canals, including children who grew up in canal boats and shared the work, and videos illustrate the construction and operation of the canals throughout history.
Funding for this exhibit was generously provided by a grant from Humanities NY and ArtsMidHudson. “The Hudson River and Its Canals: Building the Empire State” will be open from April 21, 2018 until December, 2019.
Below are some photos from our opening reception:
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Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
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The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.