Erie Canal Museum

A Piece of History

Often dubbed a hidden gem, the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, New York has interesting and accessible exhibits that have something of interest for the entire family.

The history of the Erie Canal Museum is told in the original 1850 building where canal boats were weighed.

Check out the Erie Canal Made New York exhibit to learn about the history and construction of the Canal from its very beginnings to the modern Barge Canal System. The Weighlock Building Exhibits houses information about the financing of the Canal, the functions of the Syracuse Weighlock, and some more Syracuse-specific history.

Head over to the Weigh Chamber to view the Frank Buchanan Thomson, a full-size replica line boat representing a pre-enlargement vessel that would have carried both cargo and passengers on the Canal.

The majority of the second floor is a recreation of life in a Canal town, complete with a Canal-era tavern, general store, and theatre. It also includes an exhibit about Onondaga Pottery/Syracuse China a business that came from the early days of the Erie Canal.

Also featured throughout the museum is a children’s area, artwork and murals inside and outside, and the Locktender’s Garden, as well as some specialty events.

Visit the Museum

The museum is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm.

Private docent-led groups are available between 10 am and 3:30 pm and can accommodate a minimum of 10 people and up to 60 people.

There are also self-guided tours for a $5 admission fee, or an approximately hour-long guided tour with a museum docent for $7 per person.

The museum offers several other tours, peruse all the options here.