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Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse

4.6
#1 of 7 in Museums in Syracuse
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Erie Canal Museum is a historical museum about the Erie Canal located in Syracuse, New York. The museum was founded in 1962 and is a private, non-profit corporation. It is housed in the Syracuse Weighlock Building dating from 1850. The Syracuse Weighlock Building was in operation as a weighlock from 1850 to 1883. In 1883 the canal decided to stop charging tolls. The weighlock building was essentially used as a big, elaborate scale to weigh the boats traveling on the Erie Canal and determine how much each boat would pay for a toll. Today the museum includes not only artifacts from the Erie Canal, but also a gallery of present canal life. It is the mission of the museum to help people to learn the rich history of the Erie Canal and that it is not just a thing of the past, but still very much exists today in different forms.

The museum's Weighlock Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
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Erie Canal Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
440 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This is two stories that tells the story of the life of the Erie Canal. There was a tour guide that walked you through the highlights of the first floor. It took about 2 hours 
    This is two stories that tells the story of the life of the Erie Canal. There was a tour guide that walked you through the highlights of the first floor. It took about 2 hours  more »
  • Great exhibits and John, a strongly knowledgeable tour guide (exhibits some of which were hands on could be done self guided as well). If you love American history this is an absolute must... 
    Great exhibits and John, a strongly knowledgeable tour guide (exhibits some of which were hands on could be done self guided as well). If you love American history this is an absolute must...  more »
Google
  • This is a wonderful museum with a greatest staff. I went one day about 15 minutes before closing (4pm) then went back today to really tour. Both gentleman who were working were so very kind and inviting. This made my trip to Syracuse worth it!!! You will need a mask but if you don’t have one they will provide. There is so much History here! They have a 15-20 minute video on history before and after construction which is very good. It’s in a large room so not a small cramped area. They have a boat that was used to go down canal that you can walk through and take photos. I also learned that the street (Erie Canal Blvd) is where the canal ran until 1920. The Erie Canal was 363 miles long and ran from Albany to Buffalo. The grand opening was October 26, 1825. They will celebrate 200 years in 2025. Most of the canal no longer exist but along the canal cities have historical markets etc to keep memory going. This museum is the last existing Weighlock station. I think there were originally 83. I really enjoyed everything about this museum and so happy that I went back to enjoy the exhibits etc. I highly recommend that you stop by to visit museum and give yourself at least an hour to tour. They also have a nice little gift shop with plenty of items to chose from; magnets, t-shirts, candy, wooden pencils, coaster, books about Erie Canal for adults and children, and so much more!! It’s free but they would like if you donate $10 to museum. I definitely did do and spent quite a bit in gift shop both days!
  • Worth the stop if in the area!! The workers there are so friendly, and gave us some information about Syracuse and the surrounding areas! They actually care about the museum, and care about people who visit from out of town! :) We are from the Buffalo,Ny area so this was a first time visit. The cost to visit is cheap around $10, a person but totally worth it! Plenty of exhibits, and even a boat ⛵ inside!! Wow!! Super neat. Also the gingerbread houses were super cute! :) The gift shop is worth a look as well, and is full of awesome things! We picked up some local salt, soap, postcards and a magnet! Will definitely come back in the future.

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