Our Fall 2022 Buffalo History Course will focus on one of the most important elements of Buffalo history: The Erie Canal. Join us on Zoom on Wednesday evenings from October 19 to November 9 (October 19 & 26 and November 2 & 9). We’ll be taking a close look at the history of the Erie Canal, including the factors that led to the Canal’s creation; the building of the Canal and the commerce that resulted from the Canal’s opening; life on the Canal and the Canal in winter; and the Canal’s legacy and impact. At the end of this history course, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the Erie Canal and its importance to Buffalo, New York State, and the nation.
- October 19: Erie Canal: Concept to Construction
The idea of the canal started before the American Revolution as we sought routes to settle the areas beyond the Eastern seaboard. You will learn of the individuals who developed and promoted the idea, the political and economic forces at play and the innovative methods that led to its successful construction. It certainly was one of the greatest feats of civil engineering up to the time of its completion in 1825.
- October 26: Size Matters: Erie Canal 2.0
The original Erie Canal was completed in 1825, but it’s not the waterway we know today. You’ll learn about several enlargements and route changes to the Erie Canal that helped to further its growth and importance.
- November 2: Life on the Erie Canal: From Laborers to ReformersThe Erie Canal provided homes (canal boats) and jobs for thousands of Americans and immigrants. It was the information highway of its day, spreading ideas and social reform to the rest of the country. Whole families (and their mules!) lived in 800 to 1,000 square feet. How did they do it, and why did they do it?
- November 9: Big Ditch, Big Impact: How the Erie Canal Helped Shape the Empire State and Beyond
In the final installment of the history course, you’ll learn about the Erie Canal’s lasting legacy and impact, including the industries that grew because of the canal, and the technology that largely replaced it.
The history course is led by Explore Buffalo docents who are knowledgeable and passionate about Erie Canal history. Each presentation, with Q&A at the end, will be approximately one hour in length. Each presentation will begin at 7pm.
- General Admission: $25
- Explorer Pass Admission: $20
This class must be purchased as a whole. You will receive the Zoom access instructions after registering for this class. Registered participants will also receive access to the recording of each presentation after the class in case you are unable to attend, or would like to rewatch the presentation. Please note that recordings will be available the week following each presentation.