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The Erie Canal in Fort Plain, New York

As told by Fort Plain Environmental Study Team
Fort Plain, New York

Story Narrative:

A snow-covered river with bare trees on the banks and a metal bridge in the background.

The Environmental Study Team at Fort Plain, New York, an affiliate of the Schoharie River Center, explores the significance of the Erie Canal in their community. They also highlight what they've learned by participating in MoMS' Stories: YES program. Sophia N. Rogers, Grace A. Hoffman, and Sarah E. Paradiso are interviewed and Willow M. McGinnis provides the narration. They were supported by Environmental Study Team advisors Grace A. Hoffman and Lance Elliott, in addition to the New York Folklore Society. Stories: YES is funded through a Smithsonian Youth Access Grant.

Speaker 1: Located in far Western Montgomery County, New York, Fort Plain Is a small rural town with important ties back to the Revolutionary War. During the 1800s, the construction and completion of the Erie Canal, was influential to many canal towns including Fort Plain. Both commerce and industry spurred major growth in and around the village, with the canal flowing right through the center of town.

Speaker 2: :[00:00:30] Digital storytelling is getting the point across in an accessible way, through interviews, audio and videos.

Speaker 3: :It kind of keeps people more engaged than just a regular speaker, I think, and I think that's one of its greatest points.

Speaker 4: :[00:01:00] The Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street Stories YES project is used to get people in the community involved and inspire them to learn about the local history and the environment around them.

Speaker 3: :It's less about the digitalness of it and more about the fact that you can include a lot more than just your words. And you can bring a picture to something that typically doesn't have a picture.

Speaker 2:: [00:01:30] An expected outcome of this project would be that we learn more about the town's history than we expected to and learn how it was affected by the Erie Canal.

Speaker 3: :Every single waterway that we have here is part of the town history, whether we like it or not. So at the end of the day, anything to do with water has to do with Fort Plain.

Speaker 1: :[00:02:00] Water has always been an important factor in Fort Plain, even to this day. In modern times, the Mohawk Barge Canal has taken the place of the old Erie Canal and is mostly used for travel and tourism. The Erie Canal Bikeway extends all the way from Buffalo to Albany and provides safe access for outdoor recreation all year round.

Asset ID: 8533
Themes: Waterways, water, canals, digital storytelling, student projects, Stories: Yes
Date recorded: 2019
Length of recording: 2:43 m
Related traveling exhibition: Water/Ways
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Schoharie River Center, Esperance, New York
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