The Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center is presenting a temporary exhibit entitled “Canals during the Civil War” in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This small exhibit opens May 4th and runs through October 29. The exhibit includes photos and maps of the Erie Canal, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and Grant’s Canal near Vicksburg. The exhibit can be viewed during regular Visitor Center hours.
New York State had a profound impact on the outcome of the Civil War and the Erie Canal was the reason. The factories and companies found in canal towns like Utica, Ilion and New York City helped the war effort in many ways. The Erie Canal was used for stops on the Underground Railroad and served as a link economically, socially and politically between the Midwest and the Northern Atlantic States. The C & O Canal was in the heart of the fighting and was considered the “lifeline of the Union Army.” The Confederates repeated tried to stop navigation on the C & O Canal. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign included an attempt to build a canal in order to by-pass the city of Vicksburg and thus having an impact on the outcome of the campaign.
A traveling outreach program is also available to coincide with this exhibit. The fee for this outreach program is $30 for any adult group or $1 per student. Recommended places include but are not limited to schools, libraries, senior centers, scout troops, home schooled groups, and historical societies. To make arrangements for scheduling an outreach program, please contact Tricia Shaw at (518) 829-7516 or email Tricia.Shaw@oprhp.state.ny.us.