Erie Canal House more than just a piece of history

The Erie Canal House is located in Canajoharie. (Photo submitted)

CANAJOHARIE — When Michele and John McGlone bought their first mixed-use commercial property in the village of Canajoharie at a bankruptcy auction in 2012, they saw it as a strategic investment in the future of the area.

After making substantial renovations, including solar panels and a new roof, the building has been completely occupied.

Among the commercial tenants is Emotional Outlet, a vintage fashion and consignment shop run by Michele McGlone.

Emotional Outlet opened in 2010, and has continued to thrive at its anchor location, directly across from the soon-to-be redeveloped former Beech-Nut site and the Arkell Museum.

As they were looking around for their next opportunity to invest, they did not have to look far. In 2015, they purchased a building on a large lot across from the Canajoharie village offices.

“We knew the property had a story to tell, but it was deeply hidden under vinyl siding and decades of modifications. We love the area and knew it was the right investment to make,” said Michele McGlone in a news release.

“I see tremendous opportunities for large and small businesses in the county and there are great success stories throughout the county,” added John McGlone in the release.

After two years of historic restoration, the results delighted and surprised everyone involved. The restored property now operates as the Erie Canal House, a superior grade accommodation for tourists and visitors to the area.

The Erie Canal House can accommodate up to six guests, who have the entire home to enjoy on an exclusive basis. In addition to the 3 bedrooms, there are two and one-half baths, washer/dryer, complete kitchen and flat screen TVs in each room. The property is handicap and mobility equipped and includes a heated front porch and dramatic patio area.

“We recognized that visitors, especially families, or groups, might prefer the experience of having an entire house to themselves. We have tried to provide the comforts of home in a superior setting. We thought this might generate multi-night bookings,” said John McGlone in the release. “It turns out we were right. Bookings so far have been very positive —and with little to no advertising.”

The Erie Canal House has a fascinating history as well, which was uncovered during the historic restoration process.

The oldest part of the Erie Canal House was built before 1855 and was originally a stable for canal mules. It was converted into a home around 1905, when there was no longer a need for a stable.

Located at the heart of the village, the Erie Canal House is a short walk to shopping and dining. Given its location on the Erie Canalway Bike Trail and the services it offers to cyclists, it has received designation as a “Bike Friendly New York” business from Parks and Trails NY.

In 2018, the Erie Canal House will also focus on paddlers enjoying the Mohawk River, including pickup at the village boat launch and transfer of kayaks and equipment for overnight guests.

“We love the idea of encouraging more visitors to the area and preserving a piece of Erie Canal history,” said John McGlone in the release.

As if to prove the point, the Erie Canal House has adopted the slogan “Mules Stay Free.”

For more information, visit the Erie Canal House’s website,

By Paul Wager

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