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Letter: Erie Canal’s history is being celebrated

Erie Canal’s history is being celebrated

In response to a recent letter, the writer did not have adequate information on current activities for the bicentennial of the Erie Canal.

The Black Rock Historical Society (BRHS) started planning for this historic celebration in 2016, following the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Fenian Invasion. Dignitaries from Ireland attended our events and an international bond was established. The BRHS decided to showcase Irish workers who built and lived on the Erie Canal, and created three portable displays.

Currently, we have an Erie Canal exhibit at our museum depicting early canal life, the workers and their music. Numerous college and high schools students have toured the museum, including regional social studies teachers. The BRHS has also designed and distributed free coloring books depicting the history of the canal.

Last semester our essay/poetry contest with local schools, History in your Neighborhood, focused on “Digging the Erie Canal” and our second, “Art as History,” will also focus on the Erie Canal in September. In June, the BRHS produced a re-enactment of the debate on the western terminus of the Erie Canal, Buffalo versus Black Rock, at the Buffalo History Museum.

Local celebrations will continue this Saturday, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host an open house from noon to 3 p.m. at the Black Rock Lock. Exhibitors, including the BRHS, Buffalo Harbor Museum, Scajaquada Canoe Club and Company A, U.S. Engineer Battalion, will provide a tour of the historic lock and the Erie Canal for an up-close glimpse of canal navigation.

We encourage everyone to visit the museum and our website at

Doreen DeBoth

Chairwoman, Black Rock Historical Society, Buffalo

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