Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum
The Chittenango Landing Dry Dock served as a dry dock for canal boats on a section of the enlarged Erie Canal. It had three separate dry dock bays. It was in operation from 1856 until 1917 when the section of the Erie Canal that it resided on was rerouted by the creation of a new barge canal.
Backstory and Context
The property for this dry dock was originally purchased in 1856 from the Yates Estate for $1400. During the existence of the original docks, the ownership would change hands several times. It is unknown who the original contractor was who built the docks, but due to similar building techniques, it is thought to possibly have been done by the same contractors who completed the Newark, Albion, and Middleport dry docks.
In 1917, when parts of the Erie Canal were rerouted for a larger barge canal the Chitenango Landing became abandoned for purposes of the canal. It was repurposed and used as a spot for agricultural operations. A building on site was used to house cows, chickens, and horses for a period of time going into almost the 1950s. Wood was taken from the buildings, and from the abandoned barge that resided there and in 1950, stones were removed form the walls to use in the New York State Thruway.
In 1986, a group of people saw the disrepair that the docks had fallen under and decided to recreate what was originally there. This includes all of the docks, as well as having a canalboat docked there. So far, there have been 6 buildings to be restored or rebuilt, with one being the current home of the museum, which displays photographs and history of the docks throughout the years. In 1992, it was paced on the National Historic Registry.