Voyage to Canajoharie - October 1st-4th, 1992


After the end of the August program in Schenectady, "Discovery" remained moored at Lock 9 at Rotterdam Junction. There were occassional boat-side programs put on by staff during this period, as well as some additional navigation trials, as most people began to look ahead to the end of summer.

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The mooring at Rotterdam From August 24th until September 30th, "Discovery" remained at her mooring next to Lock 9 in Rotterdam Junction. An anxious crew took turns driving by to check on her during that period.

But the most anticipated and complex program of the entire three year expedition was yet to come. It came to be known as the "Linked Schools Program" and involved programming to connect schools in the Schenectady area (where manufactured goods would have been shipped upriver to frontier settlements) with schools in the Canajoharie/Fort Plain region 40 miles to the west (from which agricultural produce would have returned downriver).

Canajoharie was selected because of its rich history relating to early Mohawk River trade and navigation. You can read more about this on the State Museum website.

With teachers and State Museum staff as resources, students at both school districts learned about river trade 200 years ago, focusing on the role their community played. Using a guide prepared by the Museum, students, teachers and parents in each district collected representative items for shipment on "Discovery", which would rereate a trading voyage of the 1790s in early October. (Read more about this project on the State Museum website.)

On October 1st, "Discovery"embarked from Schectady harbor, carrying samples of the goods that went upriver 200 years earlier, and arrived in Canajoharie on the next day. A weekend-long living history festival on the waterfront had been organized to celebrate this voyage. The local schoolchildren came to the waterfront, received the shipment from Schenectady, and loaded the batteau with examples of the produce they would have shipped back dowriver in that era.

Phil Lord hands off to John Anson some of the cargo packaged up by Schenectady and Scotia school children for shipment by batteau to their counterparts in Canajoharie.
Getting a tow Going upriver on a schedule required the assistence of modern technology - a buoy tender from the Canal Corporation/Thruway Authority, which provided a tandem tow.
Leaning into the oars John Anson and Bob Mulligan lean into the oars to bring us around the point and into the harbor at Canajoharie, just a few hundred feet ahead.
Arrival at Canajoharie "Discovery"arrives at the small harbor in the mouth of Canajoharie Creek, bringing with it cargo from Schenectady.
Ready to receive cargo This press photo captures the transfer of the first frontier produce - a stem of local tobacco - being passed to Bob Mulligan from the crowd of school children assembled to meet "Discovery" on its arrival.

 


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