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SUBMITTED by Jean Mackay, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (7-Feb-2011)

“Canal Stories” Offer Glimpse of Life Along the Waterway

Videos available on ErieCanalway.org
Nine video stories featuring people who lived or work on the Erie and Champlain Canals from 1900 to the present are now available online at the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor website. From hiding bootleg liquor in the 1920s to learning from old time canal workers, each short story offers a glimpse into life on the canal.
“These colorful stories are valuable part of the ‘people’s history’ of New York, and they would simply be lost if not recorded and shared,” said Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Executive Director Beth Scuimeca. “We are so pleased to be able to make them available to the public.”
Canal Stories was produced by City Lore and the Erie Canal Museum, in collaboration with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission and the New York State Museum, with additional funding provided by the New York Council on the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Steve Zeitlin, Director of City Lore, said: “When the canal opened in 1825, the Erie opened the way west, helped to create the cities of Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester, and made New York a world city. But even in the 20th and 21st centuries, the canal continues to shape the lives of men and women who live and work on and around it and contribute to the American experience.”
Dr. Clifford Siegfried, New York State Museum Director, said: “The New York State Museum is proud to be a partner in this effort to bring the history of our canalways to life -- not only for residents of New York State, but through the web and social networking, to our public around the world.”
To view the videos, visit www.eriecanalway.org.

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