D&H Canal Museum

The D&H Canal Museum

The D&H Canal Museum is located in High Falls, NY, inside a beautiful historic building originally constructed in 1797 and later used in the 1800s for Canal Company offices.

POW! was proud to partner with Ferwerda Creative Services to develop compelling, immersive environments and thoughtful interactive experiences that illuminate the stories associated with this vital part of American history. In the first months after opening the new facility, the number of visitors exceeded the annual attendance figures in the museum’s previous location!

Important creative partners joining us in this project included 42 Design|Fab Studio, Trivium Interactive, Avery Zucker, and Teddy Vuong. Please credit all photos in this section to Teddy Vuong.

D & H Canal Museum Entrance

Museum Entrance

D&H Canal Museum Entrance.

D&H Canal Timeline

The introductory section of the D&H Canal Museum puts a twist on the traditional history museum timeline by punctuating the chronology with interactive elements and historical objects and documents.

Economics Area Overview

Inviting graphics and authentic objects, such as a stock certificate and a $3 banknote, displayed inside a period-appropriate desk, help visitors understand the economic importance of the D&H Canal.

Windows to the Past

Large, colorful video displays show the changes that the Canal brought to the region surrounding High Falls over time. POW! and Ferwerda Creative Services worked with Teddy Vuong and museum staff to develop the content and scripting for these units.

New York Cityscape

42 Design|Fab created a stylized, dimensional New York City streetscape from the 1800s using touchable objects to help a broad range of visitors learn about the importance of the materials the D&H Canal transported.

Technology Area Overview

In the Technology Area of the Museum, people can operate an interactive lock model, examine canal boat artifacts, set off a simulated explosion, and operate a scale model of a “coal roller coaster” (also known as the Gravity Railroad).

Roebling Detail

An entire section of the Technology area sits near the watchful eyes of a life-sized cutout of German immigrant engineer John Augustus Roebling. In addition to significant work involving wire rope and the creation of suspension aqueducts that Roebling completed for the D&H Canal, he later went on to design the Brooklyn Bridge.

Blaster Interactive

Museum visitors can take on the role of “blasters,” the men responsible for the dangerous job of blasting large rocks out of the way during the construction of the Canal. Lighting a simulated fuse triggers a video sequence that usually (but not always!) results in a booming explosion.

TAVERN Overview

Since part of the museum building’s original use was as a tavern, we created an immersive environment reflecting a 19th century gathering place to tell social history stories of the women, people of color, immigrants, and even children who all helped to build and operate the D&H Canal. 

TAVERN Table Detail

Detail of one of the Tavern tables showing inset document replicas, graphics, and period-appropriate objects that museum visitors can sit down and engage with.