FORT HUNTER, N.Y. - It was a birthday celebration, full of treats, music, and of course lots of looking back on the good ol' days.
"It's hard to over exaggerate the importance of the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal was the largest state public works program of its time and it basically tied the entire country together," said Janice Fontanella.
Referred to as the 'eighth wonder of the world,' by some, the Canal was built 188 years ago this October. But at this years annual birthday bash, the canal wasn't the one getting a special gift.
"Because of the floods that happened here two years ago, our parking lot was washed away and we found the remains of 18th century old Fort Hunter," said Fontanella.
Mary Lou Coughlin said, "It's was a blessing in disguise, really."
Guests were given a tour of the area where they were discovered, and the opportunity to see the artifacts for the first time.
"I learned a couple things, it was pretty cool," said Matt Osborne.
Brooke Osborne said, "To hear everything about how they got washed out and then that they're rebuilding now it was really cool to hear all that."
The parking lot will instead be re-built here. As you can see it's going to be a little bit of a hike getting to the visitor's center, but it was the closest site they could find to build on without disturbing any artifacts.
"Every time we put a shovel in the ground we found something cool and interesting so we didn't want to build there," Fontanella said.
Thousands of artifacts were found during the process, a select few will be on display until the center closes for the season at the end of the month.