Bring on the mules'

At 11 a.m. today Thursday July 16, the board members and volunteers of the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum dedicated its newly built mule stable exhibit.

The mule stable is a representation of how mules and horses were used for "towing power" in the early days of the Erie Canal. At this time, mules and horses were the source of power to get boats across the canal. While a boat was repaired on the dry dock, the animals were stabled in the barn at the museum's site in Chittenango and allowed to graze in nearby pastures as they rested on unexpected vacations from their usual labor.

The construction on the stable itself began in May, according to museum board trustee Jackie Lawniczak, who said the exhibit should be fully completed by Labor Day this year.

Museum goers and community members joined to see the dedication as the Director of the New York State Canal Corporation Carmella Mantello congratulated everyone involved in the process for their hard work and dedication to a great cause.

"I wanted to arrive by the canal," Mantello told the crowd. "But I wouldn't have arrived for several more days."

The crowd laughed at the canal humor and clapped as Mantello and museum board president Brain McIntyre mentioned all the special grants and community members that made the new exhibit possible.

The bulk of the funding was collected form the New York State Canal Corporation which awarded the museum partial funding of the Erie Canal Greenway Grant in 2007, which also helps the annual Erie Canal Bike Tour possible.

"We look at trails as a quality of life," Mantello said. "But it's an economic boost generated by the trail."

According to Mantello, the Erie Canal Trial on its own has generated $41 million over the last few years which is important to remember when thinking about the economic and environmental successes in the area.

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