Encampment at Canajoharie - October 4th-5th, 1992

The waterfront at Canajoharie is nearly lost in the crush of modern transportation development, and yet it was one of the more historic batteau landings on the Mohawk River in the 1790s.

The old harbor in the mouth of Canajoharie Creek was dredged and walled for the canal uses long ago, and immediately to the south is a high, elevated structure on which the traffic of the New York State Thruway rushes by at high speeds. People driving across the State on this roadway usually don't even see the historic waterfront below them.

But the Village of Canajoharie has taken significant steps to make its waterfront accessible and attractive. The weekend program created by Barbara Spraker and the Canajoharie Tourism Committee to greet "Discovery" in 1992 was one of the earliest efforts to bring people down to the waterfront and to appreciate its history.

Click on any image to enlarge
The Canajoharie Festival A weekend festival, centered on the arrival of "Discovery", was organized, with living history units from the area and other civic groups, bringing people to their historic waterfront.
Batteau camp at Canajoharie The small batteau encampment alongside the canal terminal wall served as much as basic shelter for the crew as for any educational display, but education was always a priority.
Mulligan selling stock at Canajoharie Bob Mulligan helps us pay our way by selling replica canal stock at the landing in Canajoharie. Every sale carries with it a mini-lesson on 18th century finance.
Mulligan talks to Barbara Spraker Bob Mulligan takes a break from selling stock to talk with Barbara Spraker of Canajoharie; a descendent from local tavern keepers who put up batteau crews near here in the 1790s and an organizer of the festival.
(The NYS Thruway runs on the elevated structure in the background.)
Boat crews meets the public Bob Mulligan, John Anson and Phil Lord provide context for the batteau and the program, using a living history format poplar with the public.
Demonstrating the batteau Joe Meany wrestles with the rigging as "Discovery" makes a pass up the Mohawk River along the festival grounds.
Canajoharie waterfront park area Being thoroughly absorbed into the modern canal does not prevent the historic waterfront at Canajoharie from hosting an 18th century living history encampment.


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