erie-canalway-logo.jpgMuseums and heritage sites present canal's role in shaping the nation Waterford, N.Y. - The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission is pleased to announce the selection of four new heritage sites to join its Erie Canalway Partner Program, which offers technical assistance, coordinated tourism promotion, and networking opportunities for selected sites within the Corridor. The new sites include: Albany Institute of History & Art, Canastota Canal Town Museum in Canastota, the History Center in Tompkins County in Ithaca, and Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville. The program now includes 29 canal-related museums and cultural heritage sites. "Each one of our partners shares a different aspect of the canal's role in shaping New York and the nation," said Beth Sciumeca, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. "Some have important works of engineering, others have works of art or artifacts, and some highlight the value of the canal today. By working together, each place can provide a bridge to the next, offering a more complete picture for residents and visitors." The Albany Institute of History & Art showcases a premier collection of art and historical artifacts on a broad range of subjects, including the Erie Canal. Visitors can see original drawings by Robert Fulton, Duncan Phyfe's commemorative wood token box made from the first boat to navigate the Canal, paintings by E.L. Henry, hand drawn maps of the Erie Canal, and Simeon DeWitt's surveying tools. The Institute's research library houses primary source materials, including maps, documents, photos, and manuscripts related to the Erie Canal. An online resource collection will be launched in June 2012. "Our education programs connect our community to our collections through lifelong learning opportunities," said Erika Sanger, Director of Education at the Albany Institute. "We have collected primary resource materials related to the Erie Canal from before its construction to the present day. These artifacts and documents help museum visitors and website users see how the Erie Canal has shaped our history and continues to influence New Yorkers and people across the nation." Canastota Canal Town Museum brings to life local history and folklore of the "Old Erie Canal." Located beside a remnant of the original canal, the museum is filled with authentic memorabilia, art, and other exhibits explaining Canastota's contributions to the canal, business, industry and agriculture. "We are excited about being a member of the Erie Canalway Partner program, for it opens new doors for us to share the history, wonders, culture and life of the people of Canastota and the Erie Canal with a broader audience," said Joe DiGiorgio, President of Canastota Canal Town Museum. The History Center in Tompkins County serves as a highly valuable resource for researchers, teachers, students, and genealogists. It offers an extensive historical collection that includes both images and archives on the history of the canal in southern Cayuga Lake. "Waterways have factored greatly in the history of Tompkins County, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in making that history available to people from throughout the region and beyond," said Scott Callan, Director of the History Center. "Collaborative initiatives like this help us better connect our resources to other organizations, and make for more robust programming all around." Hudson Crossing Park is located on Lock 5 Island on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville. It features trails, a children's play garden, boat access, and links to the Old Champlain Canal towpath. A variety of fun programs and events bring people together to enjoy the best of what the region offers and promote good environmental stewardship. "We are committed to providing an environmentally responsible model park that contributes to economic revitalization for our waterfront communities," said Marlene Bissell, President of the Board at Hudson Crossing.  It is an honor and privilege to have been selected for the Partner Program." Visitors to the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor can plan their visit and find information about Heritage Partners and other sites of interest online at www.eriecanalway.org/explore. ABOUT THE ERIE CANALWAY NATIONAL HERITAGE CORRIDOR The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, encompassing the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more than 230 canal communities. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, in partnership with the National Park Service, collaborates with government agencies, communities and organizations to protect and promote the canal corridor for all to use and enjoy.   Erie Canalway Partners Partners are named to one of three categories based on their facilities, hours of operation, and significance as a canal site. Erie Canalway Heritage Partners Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, Canajoharie Burden Iron Works Museum, Troy Camillus Erie Canal Park, Camillus Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Chittenango Eastern Gateway to the Canal System at Waterford Harbor, Waterford Erie Canal Discovery Center, Lockport Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse Historic Palmyra, Palmyra Mohawk Towpath Byway, Waterford and Cohoes to Schenectady North Tonawanda History Museum, North Tonawanda Rochester Museum & Science Center, Rochester Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, Fort Hunter Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry, Seneca Falls Erie Canalway Affiliate Sites Canastota Canal Town Museum, Canastota Fort Plain Free Library, Fort Plain Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, North Tonawanda History Center of Tompkins County, Ithaca Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester Rochester Public Library, Rochester Schenectady Museum & Planetarium, Schenectady Spencerport Depot & Canal Museum, Spencerport Erie Canalway Points of Interest Hudson Crossing Park, Schuylerville Lockport Flight, Lockport Old Erie Canal State Park, Dewitt/Rome Town of Halfmoon waterfront parks: Crescent Park, Halfmoon Champlain Canal Historic Structures, Halfmoon Lighthouse Park, and Vandenburgh Dunsbach Ferry Crossing Town of Montezuma Heritage Park, Montezuma Western Monroe Historical Society (Morgan Manning House), Brockport Watervliet Shaker National Historic District, Watervliet IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Contact: Erie Canalway: Jean Mackay, 518-237-7000, ext 222, jean_mackay@partner.nps.gov Albany Institute: Erika Sanger, 518-463-4478, ext. 404, sangere@albanyinstitute.org