The Canal Museum
The Canal Museum
The Canal Museum provides the complete history of the Erie Extension Canal. There are several exhibits throughout the museum. Wander back in time when 36 hours were needed to make a canal boat trip from Beaver to Erie, PA. In 1840, it was the only way to travel. Today, it is just a short two hour drive.
View the diorama of a canal crossing, 'Old West Greenville'. There is a display of an iron furnace, as iron was an abundant resource in Pennsylvania. There is a large display that shows how a lock on the canal works. A model shows how a gristmill works, just flip the switch to see it in action. You will find a model of Kidd's Mill Bridge. There are artifacts of iron ore, tools, coal, and other items that were either used to build and maintain the canal, or relied on the canal for shipment.
You will not want to miss the Rufus S. Reed, a forty foot replica of an original canal freighter. This was the first boat to pass through the canal. In the 1840's the Reed hauled tons of coal and supplies to factories and settlers along the canal route. Coal freighters and passenger boats averages 50 feet long and 8 feet wide and traveled the 200 mile Erie Extension Canal during the mid-1800's. A team of horses or mules was used to pull the canal boats on their trips. New teams were either carried on board or kept along the way for replacement and to keep the boats moving.
A trip to the Canal Museum is a trip back in American history. It is a learning experience for adults and children of all ages.
The museum was very interesting. There was a diorama of the town showing what it looked like back in the mid-1800's. There was a woman carrying water buckets on her shoulders. There was a man sitting on a crate too. There was an electric miniature mill. You turn it on and it showed how a mill worked. My favorite thing was their model of a freighter. It held coal and salt and those sorts of things.
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