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History of the Black River Canal Museum

People with passion can sure get a lot done!

building the mercantile

completed mercantile

That’s what happened when a group of volunteers got together, obtained a charter from the New York State Board of Regents in 2003 and started building a museum, one building at a time–all for the purpose of promoting the significance of the Black River Canal. 

The museum has grown to five buildings and gained recognition as a highly rated destination.

Engaging visitors with historic artifacts and fascinating photographs is not all.

There is a hands-on section for kids of all ages to learn how to navigate a canal boat through a number of locks on a mini canal, which is housed in a cleverly converted original 1850 Mule Barn.  Other stations teach how to steer using a boat rudder and explore the use of pulleys.

Repairing the mule barn

completed mule barn

And where else can you walk inside a full-size canal boat and see where the mules/horses lived on one end and a family on the other? 

For all of you out there who have always wanted to see a circa early-20th century Blacksmith Shop we can accommodate that desire also. 

The museum is still operated by volunteers that share an enthusiasm of the magnitude the Black River Canal played in the lives of the area that it touched.

building the canal boat

completed canal boat