New York State Fair - August, 2000


During the term of the summer exhibit at the Herkimer Home State Historic Site, we got a request from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for permission to take the batteau "Discovery" to the New York State Fair in Syracuse.They had an exhibit slated for the fair and wanted to use the batteau as the centerpiece.

Although the boat had ended its navigation program at Syracuse in 1994, on Onondaga Lake, this return visit by land exposed thousands of fair-goers to the educational message which the boat was designed to deliver. It was a great opportunity to expand the program even further.

Click on any image to enlarge
Leaving Herkimer Home The batteau leaves its summer exhibit area at Herkimer Home State Historic Site temporarily to go to the State Fair in Syracuse.
On the truck at the fair The boat arrives at the fair grounds in Syracuse courtesy of a local trucking firm in the Herkimer area, who donated the transport services.
Unloading the boat The volunteer truckers help unload the batteau from the truck at the exhibit site. In spite of the way these boats were moved overland in the 18th century, it takes modern technology to handle one today.
The exhibit set up The display is similar to the one at the Herkimer Home, showing the role batteaux played in early trade and transport and the cargo they carried.
Visiting the exhibit The batteau draws lots of attention, even when just sitting on the ground. Some of these people may have seen it on the canal during the 1990s programming.
People at the display As a catalyst for educational interaction, the batteau is hard to beat. It opens a discussion of how research has revealed an early canal and navigation age few people knew existed in New York.


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