Major in History
A Tourist's Journey on the Erie Canal
When we think of traveling away from home, we usually think of two things, where we are going, and how long it will take to get there. We rarely look forward to the journey ahead of us, even if the journey may be much faster than in times past, we are still focused on the destination.
Tourism has changed immensely to become what it is today and the beginning of this development coincided with the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. The canal is most widely known for its economic contributions, as it opened up Western New York to commerce. It also showed the world the great potential of Americans, and more specifically New Yorkers. Interestingly, historians rarely discuss the relationship between tourism and the canal in depth. Had it not been for this blossoming new business, many of the aspects that made the Erie Canal so famous may never have existed. This age of tourism on the canal was short lived however, and was never given the opportunity to establish itself before the rise of the railroads.
Although brief, there was once a time when tourists embarked upon a journey on an artificial river, with anticipation and excitement which we could not possibly comprehend today.