The Schenectady Museum Exhibit - Summer of 1992


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Schenectady Museum The 1992 summer exhibit was located in the Urban Cultural Park Orientation Center, part of the Schenectady Museum. It ran from June 7 to November 2, 1992.

Since its beginning, the replica batteau project was focused on the historic harbor in Schenectady, as part of the Bicentennial of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company (1792-1992). It was here that navigation westward on the Mohawk began in the 1790s, and on the banks of the river most of the batteaux were built in that period. The City of Schenectady Urban Cultural Park had provided coordination and support all through 1991, and a major living history program was planned for the 200th anniversary of the departure of the original W.I.L.N.C. batteau on August 21st.

To expand the educational impact of that event, and to focus on Schenectady's role in this important era in national history, an exhibit was developed for the Urban Cultural Park Orientation Center, in the Schenectady Museum, around the theme of inland navigation and boat-building. The centerpiece of the exhibit was the State Museum's replica batteau "Discovery", surrounded by a number of interpretive displays and supported by programming at the UCP center. Historians and staff of the State Museum assisted in the development and design of this exhibit and provided program support.

The exhibit ran from June 7 to November 2, 1992, but the batteau was removed from the Schenectady Museum on August 10th for its launch into the Mohawk River, in preparation for the August 21st reenactment.

The batteau loaded onto a truck Emerging from the loading dock doors at the State Museum Exhibit Production Facility at 60 Commerce Avenue, the batteau "Discovery" begins a short sixteen mile transport by truck to Schenectday for a summer-long exhibit.
The batteau exhibited in museum lobby The replica batteau, which barely fit through the loading dock doors of the Schenectady Museum, was exhibited in the lobby area between the Urban Cultural Park Orientation Center and the main Museum exhibit areas.
The boat building exhibit This case of tools and display of plans helped highlight the boat-building history of the Schenectady waterfront.
Durham boat exhibit area The history of the Durham Boat, a large river freighter that replaced the batteau around 1800, was presented using a model loaned from a Canadian museum.
Mohawk River boat models A case of boat models, crafted by Phil Lord to support public programming, shows a batteau, two Durham boats, and a section of the old Schenectady harbor waterfront.
Working model for contruction design On display was the 1/12th scale batteau model, built by Phil Lord, on which the construction of "Discovery" had been based; rigged exactly as the real boat would be during the August program.
Canal company exhibit area Since the programs at Schenectady in 1992 were part of a multi-year, research-driven bicentennial program, information about New York's first canal company of 1792 was presented at several locations in the exhibit.

 


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