And now for the other half of yesterday's adventure. When we drove to Ilion to the Remington Arms Museum we arrived before the opening at 1 pm. Rather than sit and wait, we drove the short distance to Mohawk to see if we could find the Erie Canal Cruise.
As it turned out, it was nearby and they had tickets available for the 1 pm tour.
We decided to take the cruise and then return to the Remington Museum after the cruise.
Do you see the big boat in the photo? That's not the one we have tickets for. The little one in front of it is our boat.
I tried ordering tickets on the big boat for their Friday Night Party cruise but they were sold out. They also had a living history cruise with dinner on Saturday but it was sold out too.
It was a great day for a boat ride and we felt very lucky that we could walk in at the last minute and get tickets even if it was a little boat.
There was a historic narration for the entire 90 minute trip. Unfortunately, everyone was having such a great time they were talking on their cell phones or talking to each other, which made it difficult to hear.
Here's a few facts to get the feel of what an accomplishment this was. The Erie Canal was built between 1817 and 1825. It was hand dug, 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep and 363 miles long.
In the winter they close these gates and drain the water so they can do maintenance.
The markers are taken care of during the winter months.
Bill really enjoyed the history of the Erie Canal. It had an important role in the development of the United States. Of course, he also loved hearing the stories about its importance to the Civil War.
We passed many people who use the trails and parks along the waterway who were fishing. I'm not sure why you need a helmet to fish, but there are strange laws and regulations in this state.
We slowed down by the Herkimer Church ca 1730. We were told about Fort Herkimer and the General that it was named for.
We only passed two other boats the whole trip.
The captain steered the boat into lock 18 which is 100 years old. The lock will do a 20 foot lift.
We were the only ones in the lock and I found it interesting that if one kayak needed to use it, they opened it up without waiting for another boat. No toll for a kayak or canoe. Unlimited use for a year is $100.
We've been through the locks on the Danube and also the Panama Canal. This one was very quick.
We did notice that there needs to be some maintenance done when they close for the winter.
Here's a photo from near the bottom looking up at the toll house.
The gates opened very smoothly.
Pretty soon we were headed out of the lock.
The captain gave all the kids a chance to come up and steer the boat.
A second boat that passed us.
After hearing the story of how important the Erie Canal was, Bill and I both agreed it was a bigger feat than the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal had dynamite and modern building equipment. Hand dug 363 miles is a much bigger undertaking. The seven million dollar bond was paid off in 9 years from the tolls.
When we left the boat trip we had enough time to stop at the Remington Arms while we were in the area. I would have liked to visit the diamond mines, but we were running out of daylight.
Today I wanted a haircut before doing anything else. My thoughts were to do the Farmer Museum today. I'd seen a story about it on Mysteries at the Museum but found out tomorrow they will have re-enactors so we went to Hyde Hall today instead of tomorrow.
This is the Tin Top gatehouse which is the entrance to Hyde Hall. It is believed to have been built in 1821.
There were no barriers or Plexiglas coverings in the mansion. The furnishings were nearly all original to the 1817 mansion.
There's no way photos will be able to show the size of these rooms.
I believe this room had ceilings 18 and half feet tall. All the fireplaces were marble.
We were told that these dishes were not original to the house.
The second floor wasn't as elaborate as the ground floor. This would have been the children's room.
This was called the dismal room. The "Time out" room for kids?
The third floor was much nicer than the second floor.
I found it strange that there was a section of banister over the window.
The state of New York is adding electricity to the home.
The staircase was gorgeous. The banister is made of tiger wood maple.
This room has a million dollar view of Otsego Lake.
Guess what's behind this curved door?
The dinnerware is all original--all 500 piece settings. The table will expand to accommodate 30 people.
These working argon lights are said to be the only ones in the world.
I now realize we should have taken a photo of the view from the mansion.
Hard to believe this was built in 1817.
Even the dog kennel was huge.
They even had an apple house that was built in 1822.
It was quite the mansion with the latest inventions of its time.
Reluctantly we left, but I'm sure we'll revisit it in the future to see more of the completed rooms.
I'm glad we took the tour, it was well worth it.