Visitors (and Lockport residents) who arrive at the Erie Canal Discovery Center want - first and foremost - to find out about the Erie Canal and Lockport locks.
Most of them have only a vague idea of what the canal was, where it went, or even why it was built. Very few have any idea at all about the incredible engineering feat that was achieved at what became Lockport. Most of them do know "The Song," of course!
After years of working with guests, the ECDC staff has learned what it is that most people haven't learned, but want to know before they tour the locks at Lockport.
In addition to the information presented by the exhibits in the Discovery Center (which not everyone visits), the staff have come up with an introduction and background that answers the most frequent questions and helps explain what people will see (or, in some cases, what they have already seen but didn't understand.)
Ray Wigle, director of the Erie Canal Discovery Center, will tell guests "What the Tourists Want to Know, But Nobody Told Them," at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Niagara History Center, 215 Niagara St. in Lockport. He'll look at the questions and answers that come up most often. Using historical and modern images of the Erie Canal and Lockport Locks, the program will give the audience a good thumbnail history and background to the "Wonder of the World."
Members of the audience will be encouraged to ask their own questions and add to our program.
Donations are accepted. Call the Niagara History Center at 716-434-7433 for more information.
The History Center receives grant assistance from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.