Erie Canal Village is an outdoor living history museum. It is a reconstructed 19th century settlement on the site where, on July 4, 1817, the first shovelful of earth was turned for the construction of the original Erie Canal. Relax as our mule drawn Packet Boat plies a section of the enlarged canal giving visitors a taste of early 19th century water travel.
The village is home to three museums: The Erie Canal Museum, which unfolds the story of the Erie Canal from the first proposals for an improved route to the West through the emergence of the Barge Canal System in 1918; The Harden museum which exhibits a collection of horse drawn vehicles that range from utilitarian farm equipment to an elegant Laundaulet. In order to present a clearer view of 19th century travel, vehicles are placed on samples of three types of roads: dirt, plank and cobblestone; and third, The New York State Museum of Cheese building, which once housed the Merry and Weeks cheese factory in nearby Verona, NY. This building explores the history of cheese making and its relationship to the importance of the Erie Canal in New York State during the 19th century.
In addition to the museums, other typical structures found during the 19th century can be viewed such as Bennett's Tavern, Blacksmith Shop, Railroad Station, Ice House, Wood Creek School, Maynard Methodist Church, Shull Victorian House, Settler's House, Crosby House and Canal Store.