Herkimer Home State Historic Site - May to October, 2000


The Herkimer Home State Historic Site in the middle Mohawk Valley borrowed the batteau "Discovery" for the summer of 2000. The boat was to be the centerpiece for an outdoor exhibit focused on early river navigation and trade - an interpretive theme of the Herkimer Home site.

In addition, Herkimer Home was one of the stops on the newly established Erie Canal Schoolboat Project, which was a program that brought students along the canal to learn about local history. Due to the popularity of the batteau program, Herkimer Home extended the loan through October and many hundreds of regular visitors as well as students coming to the site on the School Boat, got to learn about batteaux and trade up close.

Click on any image to enlarge
The Erie Canal School Boat The Erie Canal School Boat brings students to the temporary landing at the Herkimer Home State Historic Site, where they could see the batteau.
The batteau exhibit The exhibit, erected on the grounds outside the house, consisted of the batteau under a large canvas shelter, surrounded by trade goods and equipment typical of the era.
The exhibit It was the perfect combination: the replica batteau from the State Museum and an assortment of trade goods assembled by the Herkimer Home site and living history organizations in the region.
Classroom outside The students responded to the idea of an outdoor classroom, as staff at the state site provided a living history program about trade and transport in the Mohawk valley.
A student helper holds up a copy of the 1772 waterways map used by the State Museum's Durham Project to demonstrate the geography of the inland navigation route.
Having a batteau on site provided an opening to talk about the uses of this type of boat even earlier in the 18th century, when fur trade was common and most of the Mohawk Valley was a wilderness.


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