Miami and Erie Canal


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Along the canal c.1910

The Miami and Erie Canal was a 274-mile (441 km) canal that ran from Cincinnati to Toledo, Ohio, creating a water route between the Ohio River and Lake Erie.[1] Construction on the canal began in 1825 and was completed in 1845 at a cost to the state government of $8,062,680.07. At its peak, it included 19 aqueducts, three guard locks, 103 canal locks, multiple feeder canals, and a few man-made water reservoirs. The canal climbed 395 feet (120 m) above Lake Erie and 513 feet (156 m) above the Ohio River to reach a topographical peak called the Loramie Summit, which extended 19 miles (31 km) between New Bremen, Ohio to lock 1-S in Lockington, north of Piqua, Ohio. Boats up to 80 feet long were towed along the canal by mules, horses, and oxen walking on a prepared towpath along the bank, at a rate of four to five miles per hour.

Miami and Erie Canal, at Rupps Store, Waterville, Ohio, 1888
Miami and Erie Canal, at Rupps Store, Waterville, Ohio, 1888

Due to competition from railroads, which began to be built in the area in the 1850s, the commercial use of the canal gradually declined during the late 19th century. It was permanently abandoned for commercial use in 1913 after a historic flood in Ohio severely damaged it.[2] Only a small fraction of the canal survives today, along with its towpath and locks.

  1. ^ Foster, Ellsworth D. & Hughes, James Laughlin (1922). The American Educator. Ralph Durham Company. p. 823.
  2. ^ "Miami and Erie Canal". Shelby County Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-01-03.

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