Ballston Spa High School Students and Waterford Canal Boat

Ballston Spa Students Restore Canal Boat for Community Visitors Center

Students in the ‘Basic Principles of Construction’ class at Ballston Spa High School have completed a restorative construction job for the Southern Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

The students repaired the stern of the Waterford Harbor Visitors Center Canal Boat, the Minnie Matton, a working scale model barge used to teach elementary students about the Erie Canal.

In addition to repairs to the stern of the boat, students in the digital electronics class at the high school created a remote controlled, servo operated rudder for the vessel. The new addition to the boat allows its operators to actually mimic the 19th Century operation of the boat better, with one person acting as the “mule” to pull the boat and the other steering the rudder.

The Minnie Matton is a component of the CanalWays School Program run by the Waterford Canal and Towpath Society and the Waterford Harbor Visitors Center. The CanalWays School Program is a unique hands-on history experience, based on New York State Social Studies Standards for the fourth grade.


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