In the 1800s, the United States was a nation obsessed with finding a form of transportation that was the fastest, cheapest, and most reliable; at the time, canals were the answer. Canals broke through vast, open countryside, forested woodlands, and rolling hills to expose the heart of the nation to development. They took passengers and goods off of dusty or muddy roads and delivered them to their destinations faster and cheaper than by any other means. From Toledo to Cincinnati, the Miami and Erie Canal provided western Ohio with that sorely needed waterway and became part of the 1,000 miles of Ohio canals contributing to the national network of canals. Today, with the help of government, corporations, and citizens, many parts of the Ohio canal system have been preserved or restored and can be visited and experienced. Watered sections of canal quietly reflect a bygone era and lead an explorer down the towpaths of history.
About the Author
Bill Oeters, assistant editor of Towpaths, the Canal Society of Ohio’s quarterly journal, has traveled by foot on many miles of Ohio canals searching out remaining canal structures. Nancy Gulick worked canal boats on British canals, which fostered her interest in preserving and restoring the canals of Ohio. They are both trustees of the Canal Society of Ohio.
Table of Contents
1 The Miami Canal: Cincinnati to Dayton 9
2 The Miami Extension Canal: Dayton to Junction 53
3 The Miami and Erie Canal: Junction to Toledo 95
4 The Flood of 1913: Demise of the Miami and Erie Canal 109
5 After the Flood: Conservation, Restoration, and Interpretation 113
About the Organizations 127
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