Erie Canal Museum

What a fascinating visit and step back in history.. Long before the Eisenhower Road System this Canal was a dream of our first president, George Washington. He wanted a canal system linking Washington D.C. through to New York City and beyond. The plan lay dormant with his death, and Thomas Jefferson who followed shortly after had no use for a canal system. Since Jefferson’s block was mainly political, as he wished Virginia to be the main port rather than New York City, it fell to De Witt Clinton of New York to find funding to build this Gateway to the West.

A Canal Boat with the back drop of the Albany State Capitol Buildings

DeWitt Clinton held many positions in New York politics, and as Governor he presided over the construction of the Erie Canal from 1817 to 1825. He believed infrastructure improvements could improve American life, and it did.

Map of the first version of the Erie Canal

The Erie Canal Today – now known as the Canal System which is mainly used for recreation and tourism.

In 2025, major celebrations are planned for the 200th anniversary.

This hand dug canal was created mainly by farmers using elementary farm tools. It was 4 foot in depth and 40 foot wide. In 1862, the Canal was enlarged to 7 foot depth and 70 foot wide.

So how did the Canal work? It moved through the waters via horse power with young boys pulling the horses. In rough and uneven waters locks were created to raise and lower the water height.

The Barge approaching the lock.

The doors to the lock close behind the barge and the water level is elevated.

Rising waters are fed through a series of “windows” on the side of the lock.

An aerial representation of the barge in the lock. The Canal created many jobs and small towns blossomed with its industry. The barge also transported people to the West (Buffalo). While not all who took this ride appreciated it due to inclement weather, it was a quick transport of 5 days from Albany to Buffalo.

The building of a lock.

In 10 years with a series of tolls the Canal paid for itself. The Museum currently sits on the last remaining Weighlock Building, which was one of the 7 weigh stations on the Canal where these tolls were collected..

The Weighlock Building and below pictures of the interior.

Let’s end with some pictures of an actual barge and its interior.

What a fun visit and a must see, especially if you have kids..

Everson Museum

The Museum was built in 1968, with the famed architect I.M. Pei, as its designer.

Pei is probably best known for his work on The Louvre.


The Everson is a contemporary and modern museum located in downtown Syracuse. It has many offerings in classes and camps for all ages according to their website, While lacking the time for a visit, did see their extensive outside sculpture garden. Looks like a fun spot where folks can picnic next to these sculptures in the warmer months.


Syracuse Stage

,Attended the Sunday matinee of Espejos: Clean. The play acted in Spanish and English portrays the lives of 2 women from varied socioeconomic backgrounds who harbor the same secret. Well acted and staged, the 2 1/2 hour production gave insights into these women who while culturally diverse held similar demons.

Am sure much more will come from this young playwright, Christine Quintana.

The Syracuse Stage originally began as the Regent Movie House in 1914, and since 1974 it transitioned to a non-profit professional theater company producing over 300 plays and musicals. It is an integral part of the Syracuse University Department of Drama.

Great service and reasonable prices at their bar. Love that Saranac Root Beer, also many wines and liquors available.

The Lobby


The play runs through March 5.

Tickets $35.

820 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY 13210

(315) 443-3275

Oakwood Cemetery

Not far from the Syracuse University campus is Oakwood Cemetery. It was designed by landscape artist Howard Daniels, and had its first burial in 1859. A historic cemetery, its 92 acres serves as the final resting place for many prominent residents of Syracuse. Am told there are cemetery tours, and recommend contacting the Cemetery for further information.

Found many SU students walking about the cemetery. The mausoleums were particularly interesting so let’s take a peek at some of them.

Rear View of Mausoleum – Angelic Stained Glass

Military Headstones with canon

Found this interesting.. members of the BPOE have a section of the cemetery for their members – wonder if the wives can be buried here???

My favorite – reminds me of an Art Deco representation


Word of caution – the cemetery is quite hilly, and my EV, Clemmie, (yes, I have named her after Winston Churchill’s amazing wife), be careful, and have exceptional tires, especially with the winter.

Syracuse University Art Museum

Have never been to Syracuse University before. Quite a sprawling campus, and was impressed by their eclectic art collection. The art arrangement reminded me of the Denver Art Museum where one picture is modern 20th century then the next a piece from centuries earlier, truly eclectic.

The current exhibit is Take Me to the Palace of Love – It is the works of Rina Banajee. Her representation of the Taj Mahal.

Next a 200-600 A.D. terra cotta from Peru.

View From West Point – a lovely work by William Louis Sonntag, Sr., circa 1860.

A print block from plywood which boarded store windows during the George Floyd riots.

Much of the work at this museum is from students, or former students and have political overtones.

The Teddy Roosevelt statute which no longer stands in front of the NYC Natural History Museum is one of these.

Roosevelt was known to be a US Imperialist, and his policies on the indigenous population were harsh. Considered to be a white supremacist he transferred 86 million Indian acres to the National Park System. He saw these people as a threat to white civilization. During his trip to Africa he killed 11,400 animals in one year. The statute was removed in 2022.

The Museum is increasing its collection of Indigenous People’s art.

Gayanenhsa goneh, by Brandon Lazore, of the Onondaga tribe, Snipe Clan, acquired 2021.

Madonna and Child, from the School of Raphael, circa 1500. This painting portrays the domestic nature of the Virgin Mary, infant Jesus, and the young St. John, the Baptist. Breathtaking.

White Haze, 1959, by Seymour Boardman


Some pictures of the Syracuse Campus..

Looks like we have some construction going on..

The Keepers

Watch The Keepers | Netflix Official Site

This 6 year old Netflix documentary was recently brought to my attention. Spent the next 8 hours over 2 days watching this fascinating program.. It chronicled the murder of a Catholic nun who was about to expose a priest sex scandal in the Baltimore Diocese which reached political, law enforcement, and community leaders.

Was it an eye opener?

Sadly, no, but riveting the lengths the catholic church goes to cover up lies.

Baltimore Wood Nature Center

This Nature Center is 270 acres of forests, fields, and wetlands, as according to their trail information. Recently, an additional 90 acres have been added through donor contributions. The Center also has children’s and adult programs.

The Nature Interpretive Center – worth a look especially if bringing young children..

And some watercolors from a local artist, Sally Stormon.

The Trails

Looking forward to a spring visit.

Skaneateles, New York

Skaneateles lies on one of the several Finger Lakes. It is an affluent community of much beauty. Derek Jetter is rumored to be building a home here. Founded in 1830, it was originally part of the town of Marcellus, and was incorporated as a village in 1833.

According to the Skaneateles history page Irish immigrants came here to work in factories, industries, and on the Erie Canal. Others became farmers or merchants. Many wealthy New York City residents summered here due to the climate and beautiful waters.

Take a look..

The Historic Sherwood Inn

Aren’t these homes exquisite? And they overlook the Lake – what a view from the porch…

A modern beauty in the area..

A home which was on the Underground Railroad.

And for those who are interested in historic cemeteries – the Lakeview Cemetery

The Burrows Chapel – owner of the Burrows-Mohawk Mills built this Chapel.

Another interesting visit to a Finger Lakes small-town.

The Last Shot

Followed the sign off the Trail and found quite a surprise. Here a man from Hawaii, 37 years as a pastry chef, followed his heart and lady to her home in Skaneateles, New York. He studied Google articles, and read books on crafting beer and spirits and viola, The Last Shot was birthed. Quite a success story wouldn’t you say?

Only open 7 years and here are some of the awards the owner, Chris Uyehara has stacked up..

The brand is tasty, flavorful, and plan on stocking up prior to my departure. Prices are reasonable.

Note the hand sanitizer. During the Pandemic when business was bleak Chris made hand sanitizer by the gallon to keep his business afloat.

The Brewing Rooms..

Chris, the owner

The Tasting and Bar Rooms

She’s wrapping up my chocolate liquor – better than Bailey’s – Yummy!!

Coming events – mark your calendar.. A must see and do place if in the area.

What a fun place! Nice to meet someone which such passion for his business.

I see a bright future for The Last Shot.