Erie Canal House opens

The ribbon cutting and open house for the Erie Canal House in Canajoharie was held Tuesday. There to cut the ribbon were Chamber Ambassadors, from left, Carl Marucci of Kinderhook Bank, Patty Laux of NBT Bank, Michele Pawlik, Montgomery County Business Development Center; Fred Quist, Montgomery County United Way; Janet Stanley, Lee Shops at Wagner Square, Canajoharie; Roy Dimond, Montgomery County Legislator; Erie Canal House owner/operator Michele McGlone; Fulton Montgomery Chamber President Mark Kilmer; Canajoharie Mayor Francis Avery; and Montgomery County Tourism Director Gina DaBiere-Gibbs. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

CANAJOHARIE — Wednesday’s rain didn’t stop owner and operator of the Erie Canal House, Michele McGlone, from having an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for the home. The home is available as a short-term rental for tourists.

“Thank you all so much for coming to the opening of the Erie Canal House where mules stay free, McGlone said. “And thank you for nobody bringing their mule with them today.”

Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer said home is a beautiful place with the landscape.

Canajoharie residents can also look forward to many more opportunities to come within the village and county.

“I have to give the governor some credit. He’s really been pushing for the whole Mohawk Valley and the Erie Canal,” Kilmer said. “They had the revisioning of the canal grant, the petition that just went on and the purpose of doing that is trying to redevelop ways to re-establish some real economic revitalization in the Erie Canal area.”

Montgomery County District 3 Legislator Roy Dimond said when he was elected in 2014 and one thing he and the other legislators agreed on was that the first element of any revitalization is trusting the government.

“Currently Montgomery County has the lowest unemployment rate since the last 12 years, we stabilized the budget, our economic development department is very busy, we have our exit 29 project and we have Dollar General in full swing right now, so I thing the Erie Canal House is a great example of good things going to happen,” Dimond said.

He said he rides the Erie Canal Bike path often and was able to see the house transform to the facility it is now.

Canajoharie Mayor Francis Avery said since the Erie Canal was built in 1825, it has been a major part in the development of the village.

“The use of this canal has changed over time, but not it’s importance to our community,” Francis said.

What was originally a barn built in 1853 used for mules to tow barges on the Erie Canal is now known as the Erie Canal House. What once had mules and a dock, is now a deluxe accommodation for tourists and business travelers.

Guests up to six can stay in the house which includes two bedrooms, two and one half baths, a living room, lounge area, a fully equipped kitchen, patio and a heated three-season porch.

Attendees of the open house who got the opportunity to take a tour of the home said it was beautiful.

“I think it’s a nice addition to downtown Canajoharie,” said Kim Gustafson.

By Josh Bovee

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